Slovenia, which has always struggled at the adult Eurovision, announced earlier this summer that it would debut in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014. In a complete turn of events, they wrote a wonderful song and chose an amazing singer, 12-year-old Ula Lozar, to sing for her country for their first try at the trophy. Ever since, Slovenia has been one of the favorites to win the whole thing. Our New York correspondent, Sopon, caught up with Ula to learn more about her and her song.
Ula, we want to thank you very much for this opportunity. It is a pleasure to interview you. We know you are a wonderful singer, but how long have you been singing for?
I remember singing since forever, but I started my vocal lessons when I was 7. It’s been 5 years since I’ve taken this seriously.
Other than singing, what do you like to do in your free time?
Singing is one of the things I do in my free time but besides that, I like to crotchet, I like to draw paintings, and I like to go to on long nature walks with my family. My family means a lot to me.
We have heard that you are participating in a cooking contest as well. Can you tell us about that?
Yes, I LOVE to cook as well – at least in school. I was part of the cooking class (it was an extracurricular activity) and we were in finals of a national cooking competition. We did well!
What sort of food do you like making the most?
It depends on what I am able to do. But someday I would like to learn the style of cooking they do in Chinese restaurants. I looooove Chinese food!
Would you like to be a professional singer or chef when you are older? If not, what are your aspirations?
Actually, I would like to have my own crochet shop some day!
It was really new to me at the time and I was so surprised and happy I could sing with our Eurovision representative. Collaborations with adult artists are such a great experience for young singers like me. I have to say I am currently most honored about an upcoming exclusive big surprise cover that I recorded and performed with my mentors, who are also artists known as Maraaya (a portmanteau of Marjetka, my teacher and mentor, and Raay, my producer, co-mentor and co-writer). They are both idols to me and I can not wait until our version of “Rise Like A Phoenix” is released. Not everybody gets a chance to sing with their teacher!
Has Tinkara given you any advice?
We haven’t talked much but I have been given lots of advice! I got lots of help first-hand from my producer, who competed wrote, produced and was a background singer of this year’s Slovenian representative Tinkara Kovach, so I think I understand how things work. Especially not to expect anything… at all… but to go there and to sing with 200% effort.
Do you watch adult Eurovision too? If so, who were your favorite artists this year?
Who is your favorite Slovene artist to ever compete in Eurovision?
That would be Maja Keuc and Tinkara Kovach.
We are very excited to hear the full Slovene version, after seeing the clip of you recording it. Do you think it is more special in Slovene?
I love singing in English, but I also love the Slovene language. A lot of hours during my vocal lessons is about making Slovene, a rough language so to speak, flow nicely and melodically. I believe that my song sounds great in either language. I will be performing this version on November 8th, just before I go to Malta, on the top national television show, Moja Slovenija.
Would you also consider making a full version in English?
It’s written and half recorded, but no time to finish it as of now, unfortunately.
I don’t travel too much, but Malta is not one of the first countries I will visit.
Have you listened to any of the songs from the other countries yet? Do you have any favorites?
Oh yes, of course I have! We know all the songs and I believe that everybody performing at JESC knows all the songs. It is a part of our adventure. Out of respect, I won’t tell you my favorites. I know how much work is put into that!
Are you looking forward to meeting the other singers?
Yeeeeees! I can not wait to meet them all! And we are all in the same hotel! Sooo great.
The theme this year is “extreme sports”. Do you participate in any extreme sports?
I don’t think so.
Finally, you have been a favorite to win ever since your song was released. Slovenia has yet to win a Eurovision event. If you win, where do you think the contest should be hosted to show off your country?
Oh, thank you! Well it is really hard to even imagine such a great result but if I do happen to win, it would probably be in Ljubljana or maybe Bled.
Thank you very much for this interview! You are a very interesting girl, and we are glad to see you representing your country. Do you have a message for wiwibloggs and its readers?
Wiwibloggs, thanks for your support, you really gave us smiles on our faces after you wrote your thoughts on my song when it was released!
Ula Lozar will be singing “Nisi sam (Your Light)” in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest this November. You can read our interviews with Malta’s JESC contestant, Federica Falzon, and Georgia’s JESC contestant, Lizi Pop, as well.