Junior Eurovision

🇭🇷 JESC countdown: how are things going with Dino Jelusić?

The Junior Eurovision Song Contest is coming our way. Eventhough this will me the most unusual contest we have ever seen, we are still thrilled that EBU and TVP did everything to make the childrens’ Eurovision possible in COVID-times. Are you ready? In this countdown series, we will dig into the life of the 17 previous JESC-winners. Today: Dino Jelusić.

Junior Eurovision 2003 in Copenhagen

On 15 November 2003, EBU and Danish broadcaster DR organised the first edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen. Alongsides 15 other countries, Croatia made its debut. Dino Jelusic had the honour to wave the Croatian flag on stage and perform his song “Ti si moja prva ljubav”. Although he performed in the very unlucky 2nd spot, it didn’t hurt him at all! He won the very first Junior Eurovision Song Contest, which was the first Croatian victory in a Eurovision related competition. Croatia received points from all 15 other participating countries. Dino received the maximum of 12 points from North Macedonia, Norway and Romania. In total, he got 134 points.

Enjoy Dino’s performance at JESC 2003

Life after winning Junior Eurovision

A career of three sections

In a written interview by Dan Roth, which he made in 2017, Dino talks about how his life is going now and how he grew up and stepped into the music world. Eventhough he already made music since 1997, Dino considers his big JESC-win as his big breakthrough in Croatia. Since he has been performing in Europe and Africa since childhood, Dino’s debut album consisted of 10 Croatian and 5 English songs. That album was released in 2011 and is entitled “Living My Own Life”.  Dino adds, “I would put my career into three sections. The first being the Eurovision days, the next being Living My Own Life, and then my current era since 2012.”

A change in music style

In 2012, Dino moved all the way to South Africa as he got asked to take part in the international project “Synkropation”. The project turned out into an album featuring the collaboration of different artists. Other artists joining were legendary kwaito artist Mandoza, rock singer Dilana (of “Rock Star: Supernova” fame), and others. Since then, he started to get really into the rock and metal music, which was visible in his album of 2014.

One of the tracks on Dino’s 2014 album

In the same year, Dino participated in the international contest “Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk, Belarus. He finished second! 2014 didn’t only wear the pink colour though. Right after the competition in Belarus, Dino noticed voice issues. So, he underwent surgery for Reinke’s edema.

Joining bands and Trans-Siberian Orchestra

from 2015 until now, Dino’s music life has been pretty busy. He joined American-Croatian band “Stone Leaders”, he competed in contests in Bulgaria and Russia. Although, at some point in 2016, his music career got in danger in Croatia, he decided to consider the US as his working home land. Thanks to his cover of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On”, American band “Trans-Siberian Orchestra” noticed Dino and proposed him to join.

Late 2017, Dino joined the band “Animal Drive”. Their first album including Dino got released in February 2018, followed up by a covers EP in April 2019. The album “Dirty Shirley” came out in 2020.

We hope you liked reading about our very first Junior Eurovision winner. We now officially kicked off the countdown to the kids contest on 29 November. Stay tuned with ESCXTRA on our social media platforms.

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