Slovenia: Interview with Karmen Stavec

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Karmen Stavec, who represented Slovenia in the Eurovision Song Contest 2003 with Nanana, is competing in tonight's semi final of EMA 2009, the Slovenian Eurovision selection, hoping to advance to the big final tomorrow with her song A si zelis.

Dear Karmen, you represented Slovenia at the 2003 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in Riga but after your participation, it became kind of quiet around you until you made a come back in 2007 with the catchy pop- song Povej. How did things go for you after your participation in 2003 and what were your main motives of giving Eurovision another shot?

After my participation in 2003 in Riga I really neededa little break from the music business in general, mainly because of personal reasons. I simply could notfind the right motivation to perform anymore or to be creative in a way I would like to. So the business offer I received in that period of time came just right and I started with a totally new businessnot thinking about a music career at all. In fact I thought I had put a closure on it.And it was in 2007 I decided to start again…but slowly, not as a classical come back to the business, maybe more like something I want to enjoy. You know, just because of the passion for it.

Your song for EMA 2009 is written by Rafael Artesero, who is no stranger to Eurovision being responsible for the Andorran entries in 2005 and 2006. How did you end up collaborating with him?

I think I was contacted in August last year by Jose, who works with Rafael Artesero. Frankly said, until then I was sure I would never want to compete on EMA again, but as funny as it soundsI simply and absolutely fell in love with the melody. And we decided to try it together.

Which message does your song convey?

The slovene lyricsA si zeliš mean Do you wishIt's a very catchy song with biographical lyrics – A woman left by her boyfriend in ashitty way (I really can't name it with amore polite word, sorry) and now the guy is sorry about it and wants to take back all the things he's said and done to her…

What are you personally expecting from coming back to EMA? Are you determined to win again?

Well, everybody who's involved in this project loves it and puts a great personal effort into it. And Ihave a great team behind me. And I can assure you that our determination is to totally enjoy ourselves on stage and do our best.

Who do you think will be the strongest competitors to win the Slovenian ticket to Moscow?

To be honest, I think this year's competition is much stronger than last year's. So I'm very sure it will be hard for everybody in the game to get the ticket to Moscow!

Prior to your 2003 victory on EMA, you already tried to represent Slovenia in 1998, 2001 and 2002. In 2002, the outcome was highly controversial as you won the televoting by a staggering landslide with your up- tempo song “Se in se” (31.944 televotes) but due to the jury voting, you ended up behind Sestre (8.454 televotes), who eventually were given the ticket to Tallin to the Eurovision Song Contest. In retrospect, what is your personal view on the whole affair?

I must admit I have a very colourful history in EMA :)))…But all I can say on that topic now is that I never did anything elsethan to offer an option like everybody else. You really can't do more than that, because the voting system as good or bad or controversial as it may be is not in your hands. At the end, I believe everything happened with a good reason.

After two years of televoting only, the jury will once again by back on EMA, having an impact of 50% on the results. How do you feel about this?

Having back a jury again on EMA is probably the reflection of having it back on Eurovisionagainas well…

Tell us a bit about what the Eurovision Song Contest means to you. Are you a big fan of the competition? Do you have some special memories or even some favourite songs out of the Slovenian or international entries?

Probably you really have to like or understandEurovision to want to take part in it in any kind of way, even if it's "just" a national selection. To me Eurovision is something very entertaining to watch, I love the whole event and never miss it. In fact,every yearwe are having a party watchingEurovision withfriends.

Tell us a bit about your experience in Riga 2003. Was it a pleasant journey for you despite the rather disappointing placement? Do you think you would have done better with “Se in se”? And who of the other countries’ participants did you like the most?

It's really unfortunate toguess if Še in Še in 2002 would have made a better placement, because we will never know now and in the end I liked Samo Ljubezen a lot. But I went to Riga in 2003 and I only have good memories of that journey except the fact that I wished for some more votes, normally :))) … In 2003, I totally liked Norway for example … and Sweden because they where our very pleasant neighbours backstage… and not to forget about Iceland who provided us with their very delicate national beverage :)))…

Do you have a special message for the readers of, particularly with regard to your participation on EMA 2009?

Try to not take everything so seriously … Just enjoy and embrace life and live to the maximum!

EMA 2009- A si zelis


EMA 2002- Se in se

Eurovision 2003- Nanana

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