Samuel & Nermin: “We want to be different from the other participants” [Interview]

Samuel Lucas and Nermin Puškar are two well-known musicians, with both of them having taken part in EMA, or Eurovision – Samuel finished third in EMA 2009, while Nermin was a member of the Bosnia & Herzegovina team in 2011 in Düsseldorf, when Dino Merlin represented the country with “Love In Rewind”.

Even though both of them have their own solo careers, they united for taking part in EMA this year, where they are hoping to win the Slovenian ticket to the Eurovision stage in Copenhagen with their song “Masquerade”. We spoke to them about their careers, their song, as well as their preparations for the show, and more. Check out our interview with them right here:

escXtra: Hello Nermin and Samuel! First of all, thank you for taking your time out for doing this interview. Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves for the start?

Samuel: Hello 🙂 Thank You for giving us the opportunity to say something about us, to all the fans of the Eurovision 🙂 My name is Samuel Lucas and I was born in Koper in Slovenia, where I spent my childhood. I am also a son of a musician, and I am singing and playing instruments on a daily basis and this love of music over the years became bigger and bigger. Even at 6 years, I started buzzing after father’s guitars and also destroyed some of them. Me and the guitar became inseparable so l just played and sang, sang and played. My biggest wish was to have my own guitar and I bought my own first one at the age of 19, when I went to Germany to work as a waiter. Unfortunately, someone stole it from me just half a year later and still l can`t get over it. From the age of 20, I work with music professionally and live from it. This year marks 16 years of me performing abroad. I toured for 8 years in discos in Austria, Italy, Germany and Switzerland, and another eight I sang in Scandinavia (Finland, Sweden, Norway) and then in 2008 returned back home to Slovenia with a desire to introduce myself to a domestic audience. And now I’m here! 🙂 Otherwise, I’m just an ordinary man and my free time, although l don`t have much, try to spend with my daughters Dajana and Arijana and in the company of my loved ones. I am generally a very positive and smiling person and so I prefer to hang out with people who are also positive and full of energy.

Nermin: I am a singer and a songwriter, with one solo album which was published in Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina. I also write songs for other singers so I collaborate with many of them, including Samuel. I have Eurovision experience from 2011, when I was part of the team of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Music is my passion, it inspires me every day and gives me strength to go to the most unknown parts of my universe.

samuel nermin 1X: How did the two of you decide to work together?

S: We know each other for 5 years and I really like Nermin as a friend and a musician. He is also a member of my band now for 3 months and since we started to perform together, the energy inside the band has grown. The idea for the duo was born spontaneously and I am very happy to sing with him in Ema.

N: We are friends and musically very close. Samuel is a performer who is very inspiring on stage and it’s easy to be in sync with him. So when he asked me to play a guitar in his band I was really exited. We were talking about a duet a few years ago, and finally our song was born in a studio of Krešimir Tomec in Ljubljana who is also a producer and one of the authors of “Masquerade”. So we are here now.

X: Can you tell us a little bit about your song?

S&N: The song is an explosion of sounds: our lines and high vibration, and tenderness on the other side. The music is very modern – dubstep adapted populations that we know in our area. It has a little bit of “our” Melos, but at the same time is quite world oriented. It is also a vocally challenging song, but it has its own charm. I think people will accept it well.

X: How are you preparing for this contest?

S&N: Work is in progress on a daily basis and despite the full schedules we take the time to practice. Since we will be joined on stage by sympathetic cellist Zrinka Vlašič, preparations are underway for the team spirit, very relaxed and smiling.

X: Can you tell us a little bit about your stage performance, how is everything going to look like on the 8th of March?

S&N: The name of the song is “Masquerade” and it`s very emotional and powerful, so we started preparing primarily on its implementation, and there will be only the three of us on stage. We will conjure up magic with special lighting effects, so we decided not to have dancers with us. We want to be different from the other participants.

SamuelX: Samuel, you entered EMA back in 2009. How was your experience back then, and what memories does EMA bring back to you?

S: I got the opportunity to present myself to people in Slovenia in Ema that year, and I am therefore grateful. Slovenia recognized me as a soloist and I was very well received. I’ve reached the third place and I was more than pleased with the achievements. Memories of EMA are and will forever be wonderful.

X: What would representing Slovenia in Eurovision mean to you guys?

S: As a child l`ve always imagined about how it would be nice to stand on that big stage and sing to thousands of people in the hall and millions of viewers across Europe in front of TV screens. I believe that this is a dream of every artist and of course a great honor representing your country with your song. Singing in Eurovision for me means no less than the Olympics to each athlete.

N: Definetly a big honor, and also chance to present our work to the millions of Europeans.

X: If you could do a collaboration/sing a duet with any of the other six acts in EMA, who would it be with, and why?

S: I like everyone and each one of them has their own way of singing and performing, so if I had to choose, it would be difficult to decide. Maybe l would sing a song in a collaboration with the band Elevators.

N: ‘Muff’ is a new, very inspiring band with interesting songs and sound and with very powerful lead vocal. So, they would be my choice in case of collaboration.

X: Are you Eurovision fans, and have you got an all time favourite Eurovision song?

S: I can say I am a fan and I like to watch it every year. Hope this time I can be there performing on that stage.

N: I have respect for the festival which is alive for such a long time. Especially nowadays when everything is changing too fast. Long life of Eurovision is a proof of quality and of a wonderful idea that all European musicians have opportunity to show their talents.

X: And finally, do you have a message for all your fans, and for all the readers of

S&N: All who would love to hear and see our performance, Slovenian selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2014 EMA, can watch the show online, and please keep your fingers crossed for us. Hope to see you in Copenhagen 🙂 Thanks for the support 🙂

X: Thank you very much, and I wish you guys the best of luck in EMA!

S: Thank you 🙂 I am sure we`ll need it.

N: Thank you.

You can follow Samuel and Nermin on their official Facebook pages.  And while we’re waiting for their song to be available, let’s listen to Samuel’s entry from EMA in 2009:


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