The Slovenian national selection is taking place this Saturday in Ljubljana, where seven artists will battle it out who will be the one to represent this country in the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen. Bilbi is one of the contestants in this year’s EMA, and we had the honour of speaking to her about her entry in this Contest.
Check out what she told us in the following interview:
escXtra: Hi Bilbi! First of all, thank you for taking your time out for doing this interview. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself for the start?
Bilbi: I am coming from a musical theatre background, I studied and worked in musicals in Austria and Germany for about ten years. I started writing music in my teens and it was a big passion of mine ever since I can remember. There was nothing more than just a singer/songwriter thing in the beginning, but in time I felt I needed new adventures besides my job in the musical theatre. I started to work with a composer from Slovenia, Gregor Stermecki (who is now my husband) on new songs and “Bilbi” was born. Bilbi is my stage character and it means Pippi Longstocking in Hebrew. I always wanted to be as brave and strong as Pippi, and I had a very good friend from Israel. I liked the way the name was changed in Hebrew, so I have chosen BILBI for my stage name. We shocked the Slovenian music scene at the end of 2010 with the single “Hvala za vijolice” (Thank you for the violets). This is a song about a mistress who doesn’t want to be the second violin any more and dumps her rich, married lover. It caught the attention of many Slovenians and music critics. In May 2011 we published our first album “Drobne slike” (Little pictures) and all of our published singles charted high in the Slovenian music charts, and got a lot of airplay on the Slovenian radio and TV stations. In the collaboration with the Slovenian RTV Big Band, “Drobne slike” got a funky jazz version by the conductor and jazz saxophone soloist Tadej Tomšič. In 2013 we stared to work on new material for the upcoming album “Toskana” (Tuscany). And the song I am entering this years Ema is the first new single. It is called “To ni blues”, which means – This isn’t blues.
X: How did you decide that you want to enter EMA this year?
B: I was invited by our national TV and radio institution to join the intern pre-selection for EMA. Our new song “To ni blues” was almost finished, so we decided to enter the competition with it.
X: Can you tell us a little bit about your song, “To ni blues”?
B: It is an energetic, emotional fast rock & roll song. The word Blues is a metaphor for life. A woman sings about her relationship and how she deserves better than that. She sings that this life is no blues – It’s a tragical chanson. In a way there is also a touch of criticism towards the financial crises and corruption in Slovenia. Under such circumstances, life is no blues at all. The music and the lyrics were written by myself and Gregor Stermecki, and it was produced by Peter Dekleva who is also the guitarist in my bend Direktorji (Directors).
X: You have already entered EMA in 2012, but as a composer, and your song “Konichiwa” ended up as the runner-up. How did you decide to enter as a singer this year?
B: In 2012 we could only apply for EMA as songwriters, because RTV Slo decided to choose the candidate for Eurovision 2012 with a talent show – Misija Evrovizija. The selection was internal last year, and there was no EMA. This year we were invited to join the competition and I was very very happy that our song was selected for the final.
X: How are you preparing for EMA?
B: We had to finish our song in the studio first, and now I am organising my stage performance and costumes. I spend most of the time in my car and in front of the computer. I will perform with an international ensemble of very talented performers and singers, and I have to organise all the flights and schedules. I am jogging with my husky Ela every single day, and I’m spending at least two hours in the woods. I get the best ideas when I am running. Of course, my singing routine is on the time table as well.
X: Can you tell us a little bit about your stage performance, how is everything going to look like on the 8th of March?
B: I am collaborating with a very special and interesting Slovenian fashion designer, Almira Sadar, so I am sure our look will be special and creative. My song has a lot of vintage backing vocals and one has to dance to the song so I will have a musical ensemble of three men and two women with me on stage. The dancing will include swing and rockabilly elements and a lot of fun. Some of the performers are my colleagues and friends from former musical productions, and I am really looking forward to working with them again.
X: What would representing Slovenia in Eurovision mean to you personally?
B: Eurovision childhood memories bring up a lot of nostalgia. Its a great carnival of different European cultures and I have always been a huge fan. It would be great fun to visit Copenhagen and be a part of the show.
X: Are you a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest, and have you got an all time favourite Eurovision song?
B: My all time favourite Eurovision song is a Slovenian one: Tih deževen dan by 1 X Band. It has beautiful lyrics and melody, and an amazing arrangement.
X: And finally, do you have a message for all your fans, and for the readers of escXtra.com?
B: “Watch out where the huskies go, and don’t you eat that yellow snow!” (Frank Zappa)
X: Thank you very much, and we wish you the best of luck in EMA!
B: Thank YOU! 🙂
You can follow Bilbi on her official Facebook page here. Also, while we are waiting for “To ni blues” to be presented, why not give it a listen to Bilbi’s big hit “Hvala za vijolice”: