With less than a month to go before the 2009 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, esctoday.com takes another opportunity to talk with Marko Kon, the singer and co-composer of this year entry from Serbia. During a lively conversation, Marko talks about his feelings of pride and great responsibility in representing his country at the contest, how he hopes his song will appeal to all of Europe and how proud the people of Serbia felt whilst hosting last year's contest.
Hi Marko, firstly congratulations on being selected to represent Serbia in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest. How does it feel to be representing Serbia in the contest?
Thank you, Russell and esctoday.com! Presenting Serbia makes us very proud and definitely we are going to give our best. Besides, it’s a feeling of great responsibility – it’s not a small thing presenting your country in any context, especially on this prestige competition. I didn’t expect to win the national contest, but I won. After that, everything is possible. I never do something because I expect something in return – I just give my best and results come by themselves. It’s the same as making a movie – nobody is doing it in order to get an Oscar, but with the intention to create a really good movie.
What is the concept behind the composition of your song Shoe and was it especially created with the Eurovision Song Contest in mind?
The song Cipela (Shoe) was created a year ago; it actually laid down in a drawer waiting for the right moment to be presented and that moment has come. When she heard the song, a friend of mine (Leontina – lyrics writer for “Lane Moje”) has persuaded me of sending it to the national competition and here we are now – trying to bring back ESC in Serbia again! I would describe Shoe as a funny song that makes you move your backside and frisk with your legs, weather you want it or not. The lyrics carry some sarcasm and the music is specific mixture of pop, rock and folk music. We have elements of Serbian music with reggae inputs and jazz choreography. Some would say it’s a mix of incompatible styles, but when you extract all the elements in the right way, you get something really interesting – it is more than desirably. The accordion is the dominant instrument, which we intend to put back on the European music scene in a great style. We hope we’ll be able to accomplish this with Cipela, especially because I personally believe that the accordion should be present in a Serbian song, with a realistic message.
Marko you have a wealth of experience in the music industry having written more than 800 songs. What was your motivation in deciding to make your singing debut in Beovizija 2009 (the Serbian national final) with Shoe?
We made this song a year ago, and we came up on the idea that I could perform it accidentally. I am composer, lyrics writer and producer, I play piano, drums, guitar, saxophone, etc, but being a singer is completely new experience, although I’ve been working with singers for years. I admit it’s pretty demanding standing on a stage as a singer and with this experience I acclaim that singing is not an easy job. I promise I’ll be much less rigorous towards singers (laugh :-).
It was obvious that you were having a lot of fun performing Shoe at Beovizija. Do you plan on keeping the same routine or you have something new planned for the Eurovision stage in Moscow?
We are happy to cooperate with the world-renown choreograph, Mojca Horvat, who is preparing our stage appearance. We are practicing in the theatre and our stage performance will be different than during the national contest, and I hope European audiences will love our energy and spontaneity!
The musical style for Shoe will certainly appeal to the countries in the Balken area. Do you feel that your song will also appeal to the rest of Europe?
The accordion is a dominant instrument in Shoe, which we are attending to put back in European music scene in a great style. In fact, Europe has already been infected with this sort of music – musicians all over the old continent have been using our musical heritage as an inspiration. Kids in urban parts of Western Europe listen to Balkan Beat, musical movement born in Germany and France and inspired by Balkan music that Goran Bregovic promoted all over the world. Therefore I believe that Europe understands, or at least, finds our music very interesting.
Do you plan on singing at least part of the song in another language at Eurovision?
I prefer presenting a song in my own language, because you can always record it and promote it in other languages if you want to, in order to make it closer to European audience. That’s why we are recording it in English, French, Russian, Finish and maybe some other language.
What were your feelings regarding winning Beovizija 2006 with the group Flamingos and the resulting controversy which resulted in Serbia and Montenegro withdrawing from the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest?
I feel sorry that Ludi letnji ples (Crazy Summer Dance) hasn’t been presented to European audience in ESC 2006, because I believed it would achieve a great success, but that’s something that belongs to past with no hard feelings. Boys from Montenegro were good and I’m glad that they had a chance to perform on ESC.
As co-arranger and co-producer of the 2008 entry by Stefan Filopvic for Montenegro, can you tell me a little of your experience in last year's contest?
As I said, no hard feelings, which is proved by cooperation that I had with Montenegrin television last year. It is really wonderful to be the part of the world’s biggest circus, especially when it’s being held in your birth-town. I’ve always been ESC fan, I had a wonderful time!
On a more general level can you tell me of how the Serbian people felt about hosting the 2008 event?
Serbia was very proud to organize and hold one of the best Eurovision shows ever. We had more than 20,000 guests from all over Europe, and not only organization, but I think all people in Serbia gave their best to be wonderful hosts.
There is little doubt that you have the most amazing head of hair. Have you have a chance to look at the previews DVD to establish the competing hairdos in this year’s competition?
I love my hair style and I wouldn’t let it be changed. Up to my 30s, my parents didn’t allow me to let my hair be long – now, I can finally do with it whatever I want (laugh))))
More seriously, have you listened to any other song from this year’s competition and if so which are you favorite songs?
I like Norway, because it has an authentic Scandinavian sound, along with many rhythm changes, good energy and interesting interpretation. I like Montenegro as well, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Germany.
What will be your aim in the contests?
To bring back ESC 2010 in Serbia 🙂 seriously, to give our best and to present Serbia as it deserves.
Finally, do you have a message for esctoday.com reader?
Enjoy in good music and do what you believe in!
Thank you Marko, may I wish you the very best of luck in Moscow.