Here is our 4th interview was made with Esma and Vlatko. They will represent Macedonia at Eurovision Song Contest with their song Pred da se razdeni (Before the sun rise).
When your carrier started? How was the beginning?
Esma: I started my carrier when I was 12-13 years old girl, back in 1956. There was a competition organized by Radio Skopje, called „The michrophone is yours”, and the authorities from my school, suggested me to that competition. There I won the competition and was noticed by Stevo Teodosievski, the editor of the music programmes on Radio Skopje. He offered me to start singing in his orchestra. At the beginning was difficult. It was very different time from today: we travelled a lot by bus to go to concerts. Everything was live performance, even if you sing on the radio program. But it was good time, everything went slowly for now, and people feel it much better from now.
Lozano: My carrier started years ago when I was in primary school. I was playing accordion in school’s orchestra, and one thing led to another and I started singing. But my first public appearance was in the show „Mak Stars” in 2007. A month later, when the show was over I won the Grand Prix on the first MacedonianRadio Festival called Starry Night. I sang the song „Vrati Me” which was also my first official single.
It was announced early that you will represent Macedonia at Eurovision. How did you get the information that you will be representative?
Esma: The authorities in Macedonian National Radio and Television decided me and Vlatko to represent Macedonia on this year Eurovision Song Contest. They announced me in December, when I was on a tour in Switzerland. I was very surprised, because to be honest I didn’t expect this kind of offer. I tried two times to be elected to represent my country, first time in 1969 when we were a part of Yugoslavia and second time with Adrian Gaxha, but this third time was lucky for me.
Lozano: It was such an excitement. I’m a Eurovision fan, and I’ve always wanted to represent my country on this show. I am very pleased to have that opportunity this year but it’s also a big responsibility. I’ll give my best!
Esma, we all know that you are the Queen of Gipsy music. Are you happy that you can make a song together with a young man like Vlatko? Is that easy to work with him?
As a good singer, I always respect good voices. For Vlatko I think that he’s good vocal and he was my suggestion, because people from MRT gave me a chance to choose the mail vocal, who will sing with me. I think for Vlatko this is a very good chance to present himself to European audience, and a way to grow up his carrier.
We are living in a world where we all find pop, pop and once again pop music. Vlatko, do you agree with me that young artists should have known more about musicians like Esma?
Lozano: I respect Esma and her music a lot. The 55 years on stage, give her lot of experience and I am very pleased to collaborate with such an artist. I think that everyone should respect all kinds of music, not only pop, but also rock, classic, ethno, gypsy etc.
For the first time Imperija was selected as the Macedonian song, but after a while it was changed to Pred da se razdeni. Who caught up with the idea to change it?
Esma: As everybody in Europe knows this is a rule and the people who are responsible for it may do the change. In this case the responsible people in MRT do it, because in accordance with the EBU rules, every country may do a change of the song. May be Macedonian people fill it strange, because it happens for the first time in my country.
Lozano: The change was made by the Eurovision team from the national broadcaster MRT, responsible for organization of Macedonian entry each year. We respect their decision, as they thought that Pred da se razdeni is more appropriate for us.
How the song (Pred da se razdeni) was created?
Esma&Lozano: It’s not so easy to make a song for two singers from different generations. The authors mainly put attention on our voices, trying to give us the chance to show in best possible way our vocal abilities. We think that in „Pred da se razdeni” both of us show the best we know.
Which song is closer to your heart if you can choose only one of them?
Esma: This question is very difficult to answer. It is the same if you ask me who my best child is. I feel all my songs as my children, and I love them all, because when one song is created it’s like the birth of a child, in another different way. I don’t have my favorite. There is something different when you ask the audience. They are here to make choices and make our songs hits.
Vlatko: I can’t really say that, I first concentrated on Imperia, and later on Pred da se razdeni. This two are completely different songs. Each one of them has its own beauty.
Do you follow Eurovision Song Contest? If yes, which year was your first?
Esma: Yes, I follow it may be from the beginning. Don’t forget, I’m not young; I’ll be the oldest participant in this Eurovision Song Contest.
Lozano: Yes I follow it, but I can’t really remember which year was my first one. I know that every year I had my own favorite that I was voting for. I remember great songs such as Athena – For Real, Marija Serifovic -Molitva, Louren – Euphoria, Johny Logan – Hold Me now, Joksimovic – Lane Moje, Dima Bilan – Never Let you go… If I think better, the list is very long.
Who are your favourite singers? (In the world, not only Eurovision singers!)
Esma: Edit Piaf is my favorite female singer and Franck Sinatra from mail vocals.
Lozano: I would have say: Sting, Bono – U2, and Bruno Mars from the young artist has surprised me a lot.
Who are your favourite singers? (At Eurovision)
Esma: Bonnie Tyler, of course, something from my time.
Lozano: Well, somehow I always like the songs of our neighbors, the song of Serbia, for example, the Danish song is excellent, and I like the Norwegian song.
Have you ever been in Hungary?
Esma: I don’t know how many times I have been in Hungary. I may mention my three or four last comes. I have been on Sziget Festival three times, once on the main stage. In 2009 I was on a Festival in Pecs, in Budapest many, many concerts.
Lozano: Unfortunately I’ve never been to Hungary. Bud I’d love to come some day.
This year there will be 39 countries in the contest. Have you listened any of the songs? If yes, which songs are your favorite ones?
Esma: Yes, I have listened to almost all the songs. I think that there are many good entries. There are countries which have spent a lot of money for not very good entries, but there are countries which put attention on the quality voices and good performance, which for me is the most important thing. In my top 3 are Danish song, the British song and the one from Germany.
Lozano: Yes, I enjoy listening to this year Eurovision songs, but I never really thought who my favorite is. Eurovision is full of surprises, therefore is so interesting to watch it every year. You never know what will manage to thrill the audience!
Do you follow comments and feedbacks on social network sites?
Esma: Yes, but I think that it is very early to believe them. After the happening in Amsterdam, everything is possibly much more clear, because the participants had the first chance to fill the stage with Eurovision entries, and also the votes had better picture who is who and what they may expect in Malmo.
Lozano: Sure I do. And I’m very pleased that there are so much positive comments about our songs. The best thing that can happen to a singer, singing in his native language, is when people are singing his song, not knowing the words, but yet through music feeling and understanding them.
Can you tell us a bit about the coming video?
Esma&Lozano: The video was shoot a week ago. It was done by Macedonian very popular production house, called simply „THE PRODUCTION”. It will be a mystic presentation of the song, because everything happens „Before the sun rise”, which means something as a dream.
What are your plans for Malmö? Will there be a totally different choreography than in the video was made in the studio?
Esma&Lozano: The team still works on the elements, but we don’t expect a different choreography from that which was on the video presentation. We’ll support our voices with light show, use the light effects to create mystic atmosphere and we’ll try to reach the votes that way.
What are your expectations about the Eurovision? What are your main aims this year?
Esma: I don’t expect to win. Vlatko and I are here to try to represent Macedonia on the best way, to make friends and to be a part of Europe.
Lozano: The higher result, the better for us. Together we will do our best, but it doesn’t depend only on us, but also on different factors. But maybe Eurovision became breakthrough for my career. I hope European audience will vote for us.
Where from do you get your inspirations?
Esma: As an author of many of my songs, I get an inspiration from everyday life. If you listen to my songs, on which I’m an author, you may notice that they are joyful or sad. There isn’t middle. It depends on me, if I cry or dance in the song.
Lozano: From life, from love, from my friends, from some stories that I hear.
Who help for you how to do everything well at Eurovision?
Esma: Here is a list of people who help me to do the best and to have quality presentation on Eurovision:
My management team, leading by my manager Vesna Gjorgjievska
The Eurovision delegation from MRT, HoD Ljupcho Mirkovski, and the Leader of Press Aleksandra Jovanovska.
Griot concert Agency from Germany, leaded by Marion Von Gaudecker, many other sub agents in Europe.
This is a way to say ,,thank you,, to all of them, for all their hard work.
Lozano: First of all the composers of the song Lazar Cvetkoski and Darko Dimitrov. And then there are the people from my team that I’m working with, they help me with everything. And of course the team from MRT.
Have you ever thought about winning Eurovision? What would be your first things to do?
Esma: I think that I gave the answer to this question, I don’t expect it, but if it comes it’s more then welcome, Macedonia will be very good host country, and organize everything on good level.
Vlatko: It’s very scary even if you just imagine that something like that could happen. We have the chance, why not. Everybody does!
What would you like to say to the Hungarian fans of Esma & Vlatko?
Esma&Lozano: Please, listen to „Pred da se razdeni” several times, you’ll notice that it is very good song, which will help you to make your final choice and vote for Macedonia. Kisses for you, we love you all. Macedonia and the Eurovision fans will be in our hearts while singing in Malmo!
Thank you for Esma & Vlatko for thie interview and special thanks to Aleksandra Jovanovska (Head of Press). We wish good luck in Malmö!