In December Slovenia’s RTVSLO revealed that Amaya — the singer formerly known as Maja Keuc — would be competing in EMA 2017, its national selection for Eurovision.
But now, following weeks of anticipation and excitement, the singer has decided to change course and is withdrawing from the competition.
“I was very pleased about appearing in EMA,” she said in an RTVSLO statement released today.
“I would have appreciated getting home, but everything happens for a reason and this path is not the only one. Following recent events, my agents and I have opted for a different approach to my career. I don’t exclude the possibility of an EMA appearance one day, but at this time my universe is devoted to something else, and I feel that I have to follow. I wish all the contestants good luck and I believe that this year’s EMA will be great!”
Mario Galunic, chief editor of EMA, regrets Maja’s decision, but fully respects it. He adds that a replacement act is on the way.
“Even after the Amaya’s withdrawal, EMA will have 16 performers,” he said. “We are in final discussions with artists and authors who will be invited to participate, which we also allow for in the rules of EMA 2017.”
Maja’s decision stems from her busy schedule, which has her flitting between Sweden, where she is working with producers and musicians, and South Korea, the market they are currently targeting. The Asian country has one of the world’s healthiest music industries and, unlike in so many markets, music sales remain strong and artists at many levels are well remunerated.
RTVSLO explains that Maja recently signed with Swedish publisher Cow Pow Studios, who have created the songs for Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Westlife, the Backstreet Boys, II Divo, Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry and Christina Aguilera. Their career development plans for Maja conflict with EMA 2017.
Maja, who is currently finishing her debut album, caught up with wiwibloggs at the Hard Rock Café in Stockholm over the summer.
Speaking of the new album, she said: “I would say it’s some kind of mixture between R&B, soul, pop, electronic music. I sort of combined all the styles together to make my own fairytale.”
She also explained how she ended up in Sweden.
“I heard this band called Dirty Loops on YouTube and I was so blown away by them that I just googled the singer’s name and I just realised he’s Swedish,” she says. “So I came here and we fell in love. I started to learn more about Sweden and just felt it was my home.”