While Turkey won’t be competing in Eurovision this year, San Marino broadcaster SMRTV today announced that their act for Stockholm will be the gravelly voiced Turkish singer Serhat. His song has not been released yet.

There were strong rumours that San Marino would be looking abroad for their act, with Russia and Greece being among the rumours, and in the end, the artist turned out to be Turkish. This is the first time since 2011 that Ralph Siegel did not write or produce the song.

At a press conference today, Serhat wasn’t saying which language he’d be singing, but said he loved singing in different languages and promised that there would be at least an Italian version of the song. He also spoke about having to get the right song for the right year.

Who is Serhat?

Serhat admires San Marino
Serhat admires San Marino

Born Ahmet Serhat Hacipasalioglu in 1964, Serhat is well known in Turkey as a singer, television presenter and producer. He runs his own television production company, and has hosts shows such as the Turkish version of the quiz show Jeopardy!.

Serhat launched his music career in the late 1990s. He has worked with the French-Belgium singer and 1987 Eurovision presenter Viktor Lazlo, duetting with her on “Total Disguise” in 2004.

He says he’s watched Eurovision since 1974, and has been in the audience a few time. While Serhat doesn’t consider himself a Eurofan, he does follow the show and is especially interested in technological advances.

His latest single is “Je M’adore” (I love me), which was also featured at the San Marino press conference. While this is not his song for Stockholm, it does give an idea of his style, with shades of Sebastien Tellier, Rambo Amadeus and even a bit of Electro Velvet in there.

Are you happy with the choice? Do you think San Marino will qualify to the final again? Share your thoughts below.

Read more of our San Marino Eurovision news here

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Alex
Alex
5 years ago

I’m surprised that a well-known DJ (Rico Bernasconi) has actually remixed Je m’adore, though… hmm. It may very well help Serhat that he’s well-connected. We’ll see.

Alex
Alex
5 years ago

This guy has -such- a low voice. His voice reminds me of Gunther’s, except way more serious. I dunno, I wasn’t so crazy about Knez until he put out his song for Montenegro. And then he truly had the best performance in his Eurovision semifinal. But “Je m’adore” would absolutely bomb out in the semis, so it’s a good thing the song isn’t eligible… If the issue is money (which it really seems to be with San Marino), then someday they’ve got to find a jazz-minded music mogul who’s willing to fund Valentina Monetta and a jazz song of her… Read more »

fikri
fikri
5 years ago

turkish guy singing french representing san marino. i can’t even.

i can’t really judge his singing based on the video. it’s too sing-talkish to me. i’m really concerned. is he really the only person san marino’s broadcaster can afford?

Laburnum
Laburnum
5 years ago

They could pull a Norway 1995 and go mostly instrumental.

ESCaddict
ESCaddict
5 years ago

Ugh, I don’t like Je M’adore. I hope the song they send is very different to this.

James
James
5 years ago

Oh my comment was meant to be @ct greece, sorry Sparrow, I got a little mixed up!. 🙂

Sparrow
Sparrow
5 years ago

@James

Exactly. There is nothing wrong with the older generations in Eurovision.

James
James
5 years ago

@Ct sparrow

Dino Merlin received 8 points from Netherlands and Sweden as well as points from Norway, France and Italy.
Also Hari Mata Hari is 3 years older then Serhat. ok its been 10 years since his representation but he was only 7 years younger than Serhat is now when he came 3rd.

Ronnie
Ronnie
5 years ago

Lol it was either this or Valentina….sounds like they should have gone with Valentina.

Graph
Graph
5 years ago

Just listened to the single; I know that’s not the Eurovision song, but if it’s anything like it, it looks like San Marino’s three year streak in my Top 2 is coming to a screeching halt.

blondboybc
blondboybc
5 years ago

Surprising, yet strategic choice for sure! They’re going for something very different here. I’ll hold judgement till I see what he brings to the stage! “Je m’adore” isn’t that bad, actually! Couldn’t be worse than last year!! 😉

Foxreyna
Foxreyna
5 years ago

Sounds like a voice you would hear in a Cars movie..
I hate it.

ct greece
ct greece
5 years ago

@ sparrow

Dino Merlin was only voted by other ex yugoslavians and nobody else.

Montenegro 2015 finished outside the top-10 even though I agree it was great. And I wouldn’t call Zeljiko and Hari Mata Hari “older men”. They are not in the same age group as Dino Merlin or Serhat 🙂

mocosuburbian
mocosuburbian
5 years ago

oh my god
that really is a gravelly voice
this might be bad

Nikos
Nikos
5 years ago

I’m surprised they couldn’t find someone at least half-Italian. The Italian community is large and has a decent diaspora so searching was not limited to Italy.

Graph
Graph
5 years ago

Some how I don’t have a good feeling about this …

CookyMonzta
CookyMonzta
5 years ago

Shrewd move, San Marino! Turks decided (once again) not to participate; why not invite one to compete for them, especially when, among the prospects with any potential this year, they are still convinced that none but Valentina Monetta can make it to the final?

Which brings up the obvious: The song had better be very good, or San Marino’s chances of qualification will again be problematic. If he does very well, I imagine Azerbaijan will return the favor that San Marino gave them in 2014, and award 12 points.

Sparrow
Sparrow
5 years ago

@ct Greece
I’d say Dino Merlin finishing in 6th place was a success.
Not too mention Serbia 2012 and Bosnia 2006 both in 3rd place.
Croatia 2005 in 11th and Montenegro 2015 in 13th.
All older and all with a decent result.

Fenistil
Fenistil
5 years ago

Well, that was quite unexpected. Smart move, San Marino! 😉

I really like this choice personally, but it also has a great potential of being a disaster. We just have to wait for a song and I like the fact it surely won’t be just another old-fashioned ballad.

Racal
Racal
5 years ago

In an ideal world, all the acts should be from the country they represent, with songs written and composed by nationals as well. We all know this has never been the case in Eurovision. A lot of acts had absolutely no link with the countries they were singing for. Just to name a few winners: Celine Dion, Vicky Leandros, France Gall, Anne-Marie David, etc. I personally don’t have a problem with that, as long as it’s not systematic (like Azerbaijan, who send Swedish acts EVERY year). San Marino has sent national singers for the past 5 years, I don’t think… Read more »

Felix Prochain
Felix Prochain
5 years ago

Don’t they have their own singers? Such a disgrace.

ct greece
ct greece
5 years ago

I like what I hear in the video but I don’t think there is a niche in Eurovision for the older guy thing (Bosnia tried it last with Dino Merlin and it wasn’t a raging success). But I guess they are going for the turkish diaspora vote? Anyway, good luck to them. Vicky Leandros was greek when she won for Luxembourg 😉

James
James
5 years ago

@Denis. I would have been just as against Celine Dion at the time, as she had no connection other than being able to sing in one of their languages. In fact, she herself has said in recent times she was asked to represent Switzerland so just said yes, but she didn’t understand it herself and she felt she should have represented France.
But we didn’t have the internet forums then so people’s opinions were not as easy to be heard.

Ben Rafter
Ben Rafter
5 years ago

At least do a duet with Valentina? I’m crying right now????

Laburnum
Laburnum
5 years ago

Could he do a duet with Valentina?

Pastora Soler haha!
Pastora Soler haha!
5 years ago

Valentina 🙁

Johnny from Portugal
Johnny from Portugal
5 years ago

HATE IT ! Now bye.

Hugh
Hugh
5 years ago

My view is that artists shouldn’t be chosen from other competing countries without a reasonable connection to the country they are representing (eg Hadise competing for Turkey is all good, or Gina G for the UK).

Turkey isn’t a competing country, so – all good. It’s obviously not ideal that he doesn’t have any connection to San Marino, but at least (and despite the diaspora…) it’s not like he should be representing Turkey when that isn’t an option this year.

Denis
Denis
5 years ago

Why is everyone so one about his ethnicity and nationality? Where was Celine Dion’s connection to Switzerland when she was elected and won? Except for singing in French she still has no connections to it. Or France Gall when she won for Luxembourg?
Globalisation is a fact even in ESC, especially for small countries like San Marino

This was a decent song and could give San Marino a decent spot in th finale. Could be their best choice to date.

Ethan1994
Ethan1994
5 years ago

I suppose San Marino is likely to become the new Luxembourg at this point.
As in, the small country that is almost always sending foreign acts.

Racal
Racal
5 years ago

@Jake: Azerbaijan is constantly mocked on social media for the exact same reason. They’ve never sent an Azeri song, they’re basically just Sweden 2.0. People do bat eyelashes. 😉

oooops
oooops
5 years ago

But I liked Je M’adore and look forward to hear his ESC song

oooops
oooops
5 years ago

He looks like Dino Merlin

cheesecake
cheesecake
5 years ago

One thing is for sure: It’s gonna be an entertaining act.
So I’m actually looking forward to it, let’s wait for the song.

Jake
Jake
5 years ago

Eurovision is a song contest and ultimately it comes down to good songwriters. How come there isn’t this similar outrage when so many countries pick Swedish songwriters internally. I don’t think Azerbaijan has had many truly Azeri songs and no one seems to bat an eyelash.

Frank
Frank
5 years ago

Why isn’t Valentina representing San Marino again? 🙁

Nicky1991
Nicky1991
5 years ago

Gallagher

this i could like, and he seems quite charming, i’ve listened to his music, could be something good, or could be last place in the semi final, if he disappoints.

but now i’m positive about him

Hippo
Hippo
5 years ago

There’s nothing wrong with discussing his nationality which in a song contest that is all about representing your country. Of course this has happened alot in the past but not all to this degree where there is no connection whatsoever (family, residence,neighbouring country etc). I would bet before this was agreed he had never been to San Marino. It just begs the question on why San Marino are entering, it can’t be to win as I doubt they would host and with this decision they’re not even promoting domestic talent or tourism etc. I’m sure he’ll do quite well but… Read more »

MTD
MTD
5 years ago

And I would very much like a song like “Je M’adore” on ESC. 🙂

He is Turkish, he represents San Marino, sings in French…I mean, this is what ESC is all about nowadays. NOT. But funny good, hahahah

MTD
MTD
5 years ago

San Marino will enter the finals once more. 😉

It’s because of all that Turkish diaspora. 🙂 And I expect from this guys something that will be remembered. At least, San Marino will finally have a decent music video. LOOOOL

Anthony
Anthony
5 years ago

San Marino sending Serhat to Stockholm reminds me of Ukrainian singer Eduard Romanyuta representing Moldova last year.

Erin
Erin
5 years ago

I dont like the conversations about his origin or country. We need to focus on his music and what will he bring to the contest. He looks like have a different style but please dont bring a boring song San Marino 🙂

James
James
5 years ago

et al
Rykka is Swiss – Canadian and has a home in Zurich, with a Swiss grandfather. She might have been born in Canada but at least she does have a Swiss connection and a reason to represent Switzerland.

dutchie
dutchie
5 years ago

@john christian
Are you the same guy who compared Douwe Bob to Gerard Joling?

This Turkish guy will, of course, do very well in the televoting. A place in the final is almost guaranteed for San Marino, unless the juries decide otherwise.

Padraig Muldoon
Admin
5 years ago

My issue is that this is an internal selection. The Swiss public will have a say if they choose Rykka, same if Sweden pick Krista. San Marino is at risk of simply becoming a flag of convenience.

John Christian
John Christian
5 years ago

We’ve seen it all. Netherlands, chosen by Douwe Bob, Armenia, chosen by Iveta Mukuchyan, and San Marino, chosen by Serhat. ALL WEAK AND DON’T WANT A FINALS PLACE FOR THEM! THEY SHOULD BE KICKED OUT! THEY MUST WITHDRAW AND FIND ANOTHER ONE!

random.sage2.5
5 years ago

A lovely change.

Awesome rusty-voiced singer with a Turkish backing! San Marino might love him either way.

PP
PP
5 years ago

Uros

You forgot points from Bosnia-Herzegovina, F.Y.R Macedonia, Bulgaria, and maybe some points from Malta (micro and small countries change votes between them), and western countries with huge turkish diaspora.

random.sage2.5
5 years ago

@Olly Da Svensken

Lol That was a wet fart and some wet chains. Shame two young singers had to performance it… In front if millions!