During a press conference in Ljubljana last week, Slovenia’s national broadcaster RTVSLO revealed the 8 acts that will compete in EMA 2015, Slovenia’s national final for Eurovision. If the list of this year’s finalists has left you scratching your head and wondering “who?”, look no further! We’re here to introduce you to each of the 8 finalists.
Alya and Neno Belan
Alya is a popular Slovenian pop star and she’s no stranger to EMA. She’s already competed five times, finishing as high as third in 2004. Since her music career started back in 2002, Alya has released 18 singles and 3 albums, and is now part of the official anthem for the 2015 World Handball Championships. This year’s EMA will see Alya collaborating with Croatian singer Neno Belan, who once competed at Croatia’s Eurovision national final Dora, finishing 14th in 1994.
Klemen Mramor, best known by his stage name Clemens, is fresh on the Slovenian music scene. He’s got only one song to his name, a funky tune called “Pozab’ na bonton” (Forget About Etiquette). And he’ll be hoping to add to his growing reputation when he performs live for the very first time at this year’s EMA national final.
Formed in 2005, I.C.E. can be thought of as a happy accident. Lead singer Renata needed a backing band in order to embark on her solo career. However, the key fit the lock, and the collaboration continued under the name I.C.E. Their first single, “Na liniji”, was released in 2008, and a second in 2010. After a hiatus, they made a comeback in 2013. Seeing the number of hits they get, we are sort of surprised that they aren’t so prominent in Slovenia, but they sure should come back with a bang!
Just as Maja Keuc did in 2010 before winning EMA a year later, Jana rose to fame on the TV show Slovenija Ima Talent (Slovenia’s Got Talent). Unlike Maja who was ultimately denied by a 7 year old girl at the end of the first series, Jana went on to win the show’s fourth series, which took place last year. She was also a member of the successful Serbian rock band Neverne Bebe (The Unfaithful Babies).
Maraaya is the duo featuring Raay, who’s real name is Aleš Vovk, and his wife Marjetka. Their single “Lovin’ Me” hit high on the charts in Slovenia and Belgium, and they already have Eurovision experience: they both contributed to Slovenia’s Junior Eurovision debut last year. They’ve even covered “Rise Like A Phoenix” with representative Ula Ložar! Marjetka is a singer while Raay is a writer and producer, most notable for being heavily involved with Slovenia’s Eurovision entries as a composer and national selection judge.
You may have remembered her as the lead singer of Slovenia’s 2009 Eurovision entry “Love Symphony” featuring string quartet Quartissimo. However, it is not the first time Martina has appeared on the Eurovision stage. She’s also a backing vocalist on six different occasions! You can find out more about them here.
Rudi Buchar has competed at the EMA national final before, making his debut back in 2009 with Ayla. Their entry “Zadnji dan” (Last day) finished 4th overall. He returned last year with the band Elevators. Rudi’s also been a winner of local song contests and most recently, last year’s Slovenska popevka (Slovenian song festival).
Tim Kores-Kori is one of the members of the band In&Out, which rose to fame when they finished third on Slovenian X-Factor back in 2012. They released their debut album called “Valovi” (Waves) last year. Even though the band are still performing today, two of the members are also working on their solo careers.
Photo: EMA Official Facebook