INTERVIEW - SLOVENIA - ManuELLA
BLUE AND RED
thanks to ManuELLA
Interview by Douwe Reveler for Sechuk.com
Published by Gary Speirs for Sechuk.com
many congratulations on winning the Slovenian ticket to the
Eurovision Song Contest. How are you feeling and can you describe how you
felt when you were announced as the winner of EMA 2016?
was always my dream to sing on the big Eurovision stage. When I won Slovene
national selection for ESC I was completely overwhelmed. So many emotions
ran through me at that moment, it is even hard to describe it. I felt so
much gratitude, joy and excitement and I can still feel it all!
the other songs in EMA 2016 which did you feel was your closest rival?
on EMA 2016 were so unique and different from artist to artist. And at that
moment I was just concentrated on my performance. But if I have to choose
one, I would say Raiven, because we were both qualified in super-final part
of the show based on jury votes.
talk about 'Blue And Red' in more detail later but can you introduce
yourself? Where were you born and are you still living there? Can you
describe the place?
grew up in a small Slovene town Laško, which is known by its good beer.
I've got a sister and a loving family who always supported me in my music.
The person who gave me the most support and showed me the love for music was
my father who sadly passed away last year. But it all made me even stronger
and my passion for singing got even stronger.
I can remember, music was a big part of my life. I started singing when I
was a little girl and I knew right away I always want to keep music close.
you describe yourself in 3 words?
positive woman who loves life and music.
you outline the highlights of your career so far?
2010 I was classified in top 100 talents in RTL show Das Supertalent, and
year after that competing in ’Misija Evrovizija’ (Mission Eurovision).
The national broadcaster RTV Slovenia produced series of programs, with only
one goal in mind, to choose the singer who would represent
2013 I perform on traditional festival dedicated to a music genre known as
Slovenian song ("popevka") that was most popular during the 1960s
and 1970s and had a similarly high standing in Slovene culture as did the Sanremo
Music Festival in Italian culture. With song ’Zadnji ples’
(Last dance) I was classified on 5th place.
last, but not least, winning this year's Slovenian national selection EMA
with Blue and Red written by me in cooperation with Marjan Hvala, and Leon
Oblak contributing the lyrics.
and where did you start singing?
I was a little girl I was watching Eurovision and dreaming that one day I
will stand on that magnificent stage as well. But if you ask about my first
live performance – that was at my age 6 in my primary school.
you enjoyed a musical education?
I did. I have attended music school, playing piano accordion. Later I also
learn to play bass guitar.
you come from a musical family and if so can you tell us more about them?
grandfather was a musician. My mum and dad have ear for music, but never had
the opportunity for develop this more. And that’s why they support me so
much on my way.
are your main musical influences?
are so many great artists that I like and admire, and of course their music
might influence me in the way of loving music even more and giving me even
more will to do my own music. I feel big respect for artists like Ellie
Goulding, Taylor Swift, LeAnn Rimes and many more…
you were not a singer what other occupations interest you?
enjoy free time with my dog Gucci, love to swim and cycling, and of course
catching up with my family and friends. I also enjoy attending good
participated in Misija Evrovizija in 2012 and reached the semi
final. Can you tell us more about that experience and what it taught
That was an amazing experience, I think in some way it was some kind of
preparation for what I'm going through now. I wished to represent
of the judges during Misija Evrovizija were Darja Švajger and
Raay, both of whom represented
both congratulated me and wished me great time and experience. Raay also
gave me a lot of useful advices how to do my best on Eurovision stage.
made you decide to participate again this year?
started writing and recording my first album, and when we were working on
'Blue And Red', I knew that is the song I would like
you tell us more about 'Blue And Red' and the meaning of the lyrics?
and Red is a song about a relationship that we can probably all relate to at
some point of our lives. It's about ups and downs. Blue symbolizes sad and
unhappy emotions, while red symbolizes love and passion. And what I'm trying
to say is that it's sometimes better to let go and find our own happiness.
are your favourite colours?
and now of course - blue and redJ
And Red' has been composed by yourself and Marjan Hvala and the lyrics
have been written by Leon Oblak, who was also the co-writer of the Slovenian
entry 'Narodnozabavni rock' sung by Ansambel Žlindra and Kalamari
in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest in
recently recorded a slightly different version of 'Blue And Red'. What
prompted you to take that decision?
wanted to do some small changes and record new version that is even more
attractive and suitable for the big Eurovision stage.
What are the
strengths of this composition in your opinion that will hopefully persuade people
will give the best of me, and I hope people will see and feel my passion and
enjoy with me.
Can you tell us about
the staging of the song in
is definitely going to be different than the performance on Ema 2016. Me and
my whole team are working really hard these days to create a good stage
performance. I can reveal that world famous dancer and choreographer Anže
Škrube is preparing stage performance. All the rest is still a secret.
will you be wearing and can you tell us who will design your dress?
Hojnik - DH fashion will design my amazing dress.
you followed the Eurovision Song Contest closely over the years?
been watching Eurovision every year, since I was a little girl. I was 3
years old, standing in front of television, watching Eurovision and
pretending that I'm standing on the stage and singing. So Eurovision has a
very special place in my heart and I am so grateful that I've got a chance
to be a part of it this year.
you have a favourite winning song and perhaps a favourite Slovenian
gave us such beautiful music through years, it would be quite hard to pick
just one favorite. I really like The Common Linnets's 'Calm After the
Storm', Loreen's 'Euphoria' and many more..
continues after photos
Photos Credit : Ziga Mihelcic
How important is the
Eurovision Song Contest in
national selection “EMA” is the most popular TV show among Slovenian
public. That’s why I wish that they will have the chance to enjoy my
performance also in semi-final and final of Eurovision Song Contest.
you describe the Slovenian music scene in more detail?
a lot of variety in
you received any words of advice or congratulations from any previous
Slovenian representatives and if yes what did they say to you ?
all gave me lots of advices. I’ll try to follow them as much as I can.
What did they say? That’s a secret-)
A promotional tour in
the lead up to the contest has become popular in recent years. You were in
had a small promo tour. I performed at the special event Eurovision in
Concert in the capital of the
you plan any different versions of the song for promotional purposes ?
now, there are no special versions planned, I'm only concentrating on the
performance at the moment.
The contest this year
will take place in
is my first trip to
have long music tradition and many excellent performers: ABBA, A-ha,
Charlotte Nilsen, Avicii and many more. Although I think, that Melodie
Festival is the bas for their constant success on Eurovision.
you enjoy the winning song last year ('Heroes') ?
think Mĺns Zelmerlöw had a great energy and stage performance, he has a
great vocal, so it was no surprise he won last year's Eurovision Song
you consider yourself a fan of the group ABBA and which of their songs
is your favourite ?
ABBA is for me one of the core musicians, they made world career and I
respect them a lot. It’s hard to choose among all those great songs…so I
will just say allJ
are you most looking forward to and what do you hope to gain from
participating in the contest ?
expect one unforgettable experience, lots of great music. I'm really looking
forward to the whole Eurovision adventure, I am not stressed about the
results, I only want to give the best of me, and I hope people will see and
feel my passion and enjoy with me.
is a great opportunity for the musicians that we can introduce ourselves to
the widest possible range of music fans, so I welcome the participation of
you listened to any of the other competing songs this year and if so do you
have any favourites ?
I can be completely honest, I haven't had a chance to listen to all of them
yet. There are so many good artist every year, I am sure this year is no
You will be the
musical ambassador for
you enjoy cooking ?
I loooove cooking. I love variety on the plate and all different tastes.
is your favourite Slovenian food ?
favorite cuisine is roasted potatoe.
you have any time for hobbies and if so what do you enjoy doing?
enjoy spending time with my dog Gucci. I also like to swim and cycle. And of
course catching up time with my family and friends.
you could sing with any artist or artists (dead or alive) who would you
choose and why ? and what is your all-time favourite song (any genre)?
would choose Michael Jackson. He was definitely my musical hero. And
all-time favorite song - Whitney Houston’s song I will always love you.
you perform any rituals before going on stage ?
going on stage I take a deep breath, gather thoughts and concentrate on my
are your plans immediately after the contest in May?
the moment all my focus is on the Eurovision Song Contest. After that, I
will get back to writing and recording songs for my first album, that has
been in the making.
you have a message for the readers of this interview ?
love and respect each and every one of you. And please, remember to always
follow your dreams and never ever give up!!
thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us ! Good luck in
the contest and enjoy the experience !