Neno Belan: “Alya has international potential.” [Interview]

With EMA taking place tomorrow, spoke to a few of the artists hoping to represent Slovenia in Vienna. First up, it’s Croatian singer Neno Belan! Hey Neno! Thanks for doing this interview! How are you preparing for EMA 2015?
Neno Belan: Hi, regards to your readers! At the moment, we’ve recorded a final version of the song Misunderstandings, and all seems to run according to the plan.
X: Could you introduce yourself and your music?
N: To introduce myself, I am a well-known Croatian songwriter and performer, the owner of many hit songs and musical awards, continuously performing my music on concerts with my band.  My music is a Mediterranean pop, influenced with various styles, including a Dalmatian ethno music which comes from the region where I have my roots.

Neno & Alya Source:
X: You’re going to be singing with Alya. How did you start working together?
N: Misunderstandings  has been composed for  male-female duet to be performed in Slovenia and accordingly I was introduced to Alya by a friend of mine , a Slovenian music producer Zarko Pak. Ayla’s  personality and her way of singing , perfectly matches to what I had in mind when thinking of making a duet.
X:  You’re from Croatia, but now you’re entering the Slovenian national final. Why?
N: First of all, the song is great and Alya has international potential. Besides that, this year my country Croatia does not participate in Eurosong so the idea was simple:  Why not to do it together with the neighbors?  I usually perform concerts in Slovenia, have lot of friends and fans there.
X: Why did you decide to apply for EMA 2015?
N: As I said, this year, regretfully, Croatia does not participate and Eurosong has been a fantastic event for many years, it’s a great opportunity to promote songs and performers. “Misunderstandings”, according to my opinion, is definitely a Eurosong type of the song and Alya and I love to sing it together. Finally, I would love to help my Slovenian friends in this contest, music has no borders!
X: What was your first reaction when you heard you’d be one of the participants in EMA 2015?
N: I was glad and happy, but with both feet on the ground, the “battle” just has begun.
The single cover of the 1989 Eurovision winner! Source: Riva
X: What can you tell us about the song you’re going to sing in EMA, Misunderstandings?
N: Misunderstandings is a common work of me and a good friend of mine, Zvonimir Zrilic, who actually had been a member of the band Riva, who won Eurovision 1989 in Lausanne, Switzerland with the song Rock me. Lyrics are done by Tonci Pajkin, speaking about small misunderstandings in love putting people in a various situations; sometimes difficult ones. The song has a modern pop sound with a light touch of retro music from the 70’s.
X: What would it mean to you if you’d win the ticket to represent Slovenia in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest?
N: I would be looking forward to share this lovely experience with my colleagues and friends in Slovenia and besides, it would possibly bring new possibilities in my, already rich, career.
X: Do you watch Eurovision every year?
N: Honestly, not every year, but I am not missing the opportunity to watch it whenever my busy schedule allowed it.
X: Do you have an all-time favorite Eurovision song?
N: It is the everlasting Waterloo by ABBA, OF COURSE 🙂
X: Finally, do you have a message for the readers of
N: Be happy, be cheerful, enjoy every day of your life and support Alya & Neno and our duet song Misunderstandings! would like to thank Neno Belan for his time and we’d like to wish him and Alya the best of luck in tomorrow’s EMA! 

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