They’re a beloved husband-and-wife duo and the last Slovenian act to qualify for the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest.
And over the weekend Maraaya — that’s Marjetka and Raay — took time out of their hectic schedule to field some questions about “It’s Complicated”, their new collaboration with fellow Slovenes BQL.
This song, which oozes a sense of Caribbean cool with its reggaeton beats, will fare well over the summer. It channels a warm, laid-back vibe, yet there’s so much that’s interesting in the vocals and production that it keeps your attention throughout. We thoroughly approve.
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Speaking to us in the coastal resort town of Vodice, where they were attending the CMC Festival, the duo explained that the song is about modern relationships, and how some people use the phrase “it’s complicated” as an excuse to do whatever they’d like.
The duo say the song isn’t about them, though they aren’t immune to complications of their own.
“It is always complicated when you’re combining business and love and a private life,” Raay says. “But for us it’s a really good complicated. It’s strange sometimes because you argue about vocals.”
“You are arguing with me — I’m not arguing with you,” Marjetka jokes. “I’m always right!”
In our minds the song mixed Caribbean sounds with something strongly Slovene. But Raay sees it more as them adapting global trends — and with a bit of Indian spice.
“It’s been a year since these reggaeton beats have become really popular and mainstream,” he says. “Of course we wanted to change these reggaeton beats a little bit for ourselves…Majetka is always telling me to do something more exotic because this inspires her.”
The song’s tropical feel will have many remembering “Heart of Gold” — the song Maraaya composed for BQL, the Slovenian brothers Rok and Anej Piletic.
A fan favourite throughout the EMA 2017 selection process, the song ultimately finished second behind Omar Naber’s “On My Way”.
“We were all very disappointed, actually, because of this amazing feedback. The whole of Slovenia gets this feedback when people are talking about songs in the Slovenian Eurovision selection.”
“We were aware of the strong vibe that BQL brothers have gotten…it was maybe the right thing at the right time that they didn’t go this year because now it’s kind of BQL mania in Slovenia.”
For “It’s Complicated”, Marjetka and Raay conducted a large search for the male vocals before deciding on the brothers.
“We tested about ten vocals, for the male part — including mine…But when Rok and Anej tried to sing this it was really cool. We also hope that by combining with us we could open some doors for them in countries we are aiming for.”
For their performance in Vodice this weekend, Maraaya have opted to sing the Croatian version of their song, which is called “Sjaj” (Sparkle).
The festival is one of the most popular events on the Croatian music scene, bringing together artists from throughout the Balkans. Eurovision stars Danijela Martinovic and Sergej Cetkovic will also be performing.
What do you think of Maraaya’s new music video? Let us know in the comments section below!