In Tel Aviv he was one of three backing vocalists who helped Tamara Todevska win the Eurovision jury vote en route to securing North Macedonia’s best-ever finish. Now, as we look toward the 2020 song contest in Rotterdam, Vasil Garvanliev is coming into sharper focus with his new single “Patuvam” (I’m travelling).

Vasil has been on our radar since Israel when the delegation from North Macedonia first introduced us to him backstage. His voice melds the spiritual and the sensual. It would work equally well in a Gregorian chant, on an operatic ballad or even as part of a contemporary dance track. Equipped with power and control, Vasil can deploy his gift in any umber of guises.

With “Pauvam” he takes traditional Balkan sounds but builds a contemporary track — one that comes with flourishes of dance and pop. It lifts our spirit while nourishing our soul. If you watch the video, you’ll see it carries an important message whether you understand the language or not. From the male voguing to the bright face paint to Vasil’s crown to one man’s pink hair, the video suggests a hard-fought celebration.

Scroll down for full lyrics.

Vasil explained it to us like this:

“‘Patuvam’ or ‘I’m travelling’ is a song about a journey. A journey from the heart … to endless possibilities. It is a journey where color, race, religion, and politics do not matter … but love always finds a way.”

“‘Patuvam’ is a celebration of love through dance and voguing. Getting in touch with your inner child who is made of pure curiosity and love, ready to take on any challenge in the world. The lyrics go like, ‘I travel with an empty backpack but a full soul. I travel where the dream is a dream come true.'”

“In Macedonian media many critics are already reviewing this as the first brave and bold move in queer culture and freedom. Thank you to all the Wiwi readers and hope to see you in the very near future!”

Vasil at Eurovision 2020?

When North Macedonia’s delegation first introduced us to Vasil in Israel, they suggested explicitly that he, along with Antonia and Aleksandra, were potential Eurovision stars of the near future. In more recent conversations I’ve had with people connected to the Eurovision team and the broadcaster, it’s become clear that Vasil remains the hot favourite to pick up where Tamara left off. It seems increasingly likely that he could compete at Eurovision 2020 in Rotterdam.

During our interview in Tel Aviv, Vasil oozed a quiet confidence and self-assurance. He seemed largely unfazed by all the hoopla surrounding their entry and was focused on the music.

“Everyone keeps saying it’s a feminine song — women, women, women,” he said. “So from a guy perspective,  it’s much deeper than that. Be proud of who you are, where you come from, what you have to say. I always say if you come from truth, this truth inside of you, no one can touch you.”

His own truth has been marked by upheaval and a constant need to adapt. Vasil began inching toward celebrity as a child, having made his professional stage debut at the age of seven. But during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s his family fled to the United States. He eventually established himself as an opera singer in Canada.

Opera Canada magazine summed up his resilience like this: “Rather than be deterred by life’s crises, the Macedonian-born baritone has used his adaptability to different cultures, languages and singing genres to make himself a singer to reckon with on the Canadian opera scene.”

What do you think of Vasil’s latest song? Do you think that he’s got what it takes to stand on his own at Eurovision? What type of music do you want him to deliver? Let us know down below!

“Patuvam” lyrics in English — Vasil Garvanliev

From the Sun
I’m a warm magical captivating ray of light
From the River
I’m a clean glittery drop
Big enough to shade the sea and get you drunk.

From the eye
I’m a hot tear with a sincere story
From my hand
I’m a gentle, velvety, and soft touch
Which warms your heart and caresses you

I travel I travel
Where my night is warm and light
Yes, I’m travelling
Where my day is long and bright
Yes, I’m travelling
Where the dream is a dream come true

I travel I travel
With empty backpack – full soul
Yes, I’m travelling
Where the heart has peace and quiet
Yes, I’m travelling
Where the dream is a dream come true

From the sky
I steal flight from a falcon in flight
On a soft cloud
I lay my head to rest
Patch my soul then spread my wings

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TRENT
Guest
TRENT

Cool video – but dear-o-me – musically – what a anti-climax after last year’s North Macedonian triumph (and in my view the rightful winner of ESC 2019).

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

Call me strange, but I actually think their song this year is their most boring one ever! 🙂

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

on the other hand…

DEPI EVRATESIL IS BACK!

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

I like the song. I just dont get why the gay thing is SOOOOO big on this site and in ESC? All men in the audience i thought was just weird when i was there live. ESC is for all. Its not a gay club but when i was there it felt like gay club only for for men. My friends thought so to. I hope it changes,

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

That’s why it is so important to speak out against self-righteous wannabe opinion dictators like this insufferable, humorless Jonas person on here.

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

who is that? i hope you didnt meant me. I just think its werid with all men in the ESC audience. no children or women. just men.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

No, I actually agree with you on this point. Eurovision desperately needs new, fresh and diverse faces to show after the performances.

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

i see. was a litte worried haha. Im a big ESC fan, so i just dont get the all men thing in the audience. it was not like that a couple of years ago. In Israel it was 99% men.

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

People put FAR too much attention of it. Lots of fans are straight men,….or straight women too. It’s such a silly stereotype!

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

are they? In that case i didnt see many of them in the audience in Israel were i was. They were at home. Some guys even looked for new hookups under the show. So how ESC have become now in the audience. I hate. This is just my opinion becuade i was there.

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

Rasmus – Maybe many gay fans who watch it live…you forgot on importuant thing though. Most fans DON’T watch ESC live….and probably more gay than straight fans want to watch it live…..My experience 🙂

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

i suppose. but still to many many men i felt. i was a little shocked.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

How do you see if one’s gay or straight?

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

haha it was easy there. They kissed other guys and i saw 2 of them with grinder app during the songs…. horrible, just horrible. I was there for the competion.

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Welp
I don’t know why someone would use Grindr during Eurovision but ok xD

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

Exactly. they were there for wrong reasons. and its why i didnt like it there.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

I agree. When the slogan is “Celebrate Diversity” and then they show the least diverse audience on television, something is wrong. I think the general audience is actually a more varied demographic – it’s just the standing fan area at the front, which is literally the same faces every year. It’s past time for a change.

Ignore whatever Mr. Vanilla Bean says – he is starting to become obsessed. I hope he seeks help.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Having said that, this article never once mentions anything to do with being gay, so I don’t know know what you are referring to. He may be gay (?) but that in itself is a non-issue. Can’t he just be?

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Oh, I do wish you could ignore whatever I say, so there’d be no pathetic and pointless responses on your part anymore, of which there have been many. Time to take your own advice because dealing with you is no fun and has no value. People like you are the reason why Trump happened. So I do hope you seek help. 🙂

Toinousse
Guest
Toinousse

If you don’t like seing gay men in the audience, then just ask your hetero besties to buy more tickets. That’s just it, it’s not eurovision shoving gay people in the public, it’s just that gays love eurovision and buy more tickets, and it’s their right to do so. I see straight people everywhere in the street and don’t complain, you’ll survive.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

You are so right, Toinousse. My issue is more with the fans being rammed into a separate section up front, while the local (more diverse) crowd are seated at the back and sides, and get no camera-time.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

I dont get why having a gay may represent an eastern European country would be stereotyped? Everyone is saying below “no ESC doesn’t need more sterotypes!” But Vasil’s song isn’t a gay song? Like he soungs grest an I just don’t get why he getting the backlash. Its not like hes coming out in a pink feather boa an glitter.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Homophobia.

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

Some gay fans call EVERYTHING homophobia….it’s NOT that!

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Yes, it is. You lack the self-awareness to realize it.

Peter
Guest
Peter

Why push this gay/drag music all the time, William? No problem with the occasional gay/drag act, but survival of ESC is more likely when it is in essence mainstream.

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

I think Wiwi is a good site…but they put far to much emphasize on the “gay bits” of ESC….It’s not Pride….

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

What emphasis? Being gay is never mentioned in this article. You are imagining things.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Peter. Being gay is mainstream. This is the 21st century. Get used to it, or retreat to your cave. No problem with the “occasional” gay act? How nice of you. I have no problem with the “occasional” hetero act. Nobody is pushing anything on you, they’re just existing. If you don’t like it – tough.

Toinousse
Guest
Toinousse

It’s crazy how people are intolerant here. 99,99% of straight basic white men and women? No problem! 1 gay act? OMGGG they’re shoving them in our faces.

Generalen
Guest
Generalen

“All the time”? Most articles published on wiwibloggs are not about gay acts or topics. Why do the few gay-related posts stand out so much for YOU?

Richard
Guest
Richard

Nice song, a traditional feel with a tongue in cheek pastiche of all those silly dance moves and voguing. Fun

Tom
Guest
Tom

Yes i gonna like it, yes i gonna like it,lets break the rules ……
(No i don’t like it, this song needs to go and bring Jana Burceska!!)

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

Just when you though it could not get any worse…..then this!

Escaddict
Guest
Escaddict

I love the song. Vasil has the vocals, the moves & the look. I hope he goes to Rotterdam.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

He got potential, And if he Is selected, it’ll be interesting to see how the tables will turn. However, it’s a matter to find and produce a good song. This one is honestly a bit uncomfortable.

(anyways, I remixed ‘Proud’ :https://youtu.be/N1A39zUSMeU)

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Your comedy character persona is starting to get a bit tired. Work harder.

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

I’m expecting Vasil to be selected. I hope he sings in their language, in case he goes to Rotterdam,

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

the song is interesting and it would be a bold move from North Macedonia to send him but lets be real, they got their best ever result due to Tamara. They dont know how to stage a perfomance and a dance song perfomed by Vasil can end up a hot mess on stage

Fionn
Guest
Fionn

Your point?

Fionn
Guest
Fionn

Gay is good. It is Eurovision after all.

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

ESC doesn’t need gay stereotypes!

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

They’re not sterotypes, they’re actual human people.

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

Just have to read two lines to know….PLEASE NOT HIM IN ESC!!!

Gorilla716
Guest
Gorilla716

“In Macedonian media many critics are already reviewing this as the first brave and bold move in queer culture and freedom.”
Based on this statement, I’m a bit skeptical as to whether Macedonia would be willing to send Vasil given the fact that it is a pretty conservative country that isn’t particularly friendly towards the LGBT community compared to Western Europe. But then again, Montenegro (another conservative Eastern European country) sent Slavko to Eurovision a few years ago so who knows.

Rasmus Bording Irlind
Guest
Rasmus Bording Irlind

imma say it’ll be him for north macedonia in 2020 bcus backing vocalists tend to end up representing their countries the year after

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

I feel he would be a great choice, great sense of music and style! I think this would be a great step in the right direction.

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

As if ESC needs MORE silly gay stereotypes…..

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

Then dislikes to this comments say a lot about the people who disliked it…NOT nice things!

Trash KAN
Guest
Trash KAN

Nooooooo. I want Lozano or Daniel Kajmakoski to return.

Frenkc
Guest
Frenkc

How to appear in a Wiwibloggs article in two steps.
Step 1 : be homosexual
Step 2 : say the word «Eurovision» once in an interview

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

He was a backing vocalist for Tamara at ESC, amd along with her other two backing vocalists are highly tipped BY THE BROADCASTER themself! You do know that the owner an chief editor of the blog are LGBT right? If you have an issue, pleas take a seat about an LGBT artist being at Eurovision.

(Btw Duncan Lawrence is Bi so please your comment is based in ignorance.)

Frenkc
Guest
Frenkc

I don’t care if a singer is gay lmao, I’m just pointing out the fact that articles here are made about some singers BECAUSE they are what could be called stereotyped gay acts.
I know Duncan Laurence is bi, and so am I. So to say I don’t say it out of homophobia.

Rockfan
Guest
Rockfan

word! Seems like some fans treat ESC as if it was Pride….

Meme
Guest
Meme

And then again, even when you know the formula of how to… you never did

Rasmus
Guest
Rasmus

Its like the opposite now. if you arent gay you cant like Eurovsision at all, It feels like this now a days……

Dawid
Guest
Dawid

Honestly, I’m shocked people haven’t attacked you that much. It’s sensitive topic here apparently.

Generalen
Guest
Generalen

You’re cherry picking. If you were a regular wiwibloggs reader you would have noticed so far this year NONE of the other acts rumoured for 2020 are gay. Unless Kalomira isn’t telling us something. Why did the one gay act stand out for you?

Frenkc
Guest
Frenkc

There was an article about British drag queens like three days ago Generalen

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I do not like his voice unfortunately …

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Not impressed. When it comes to Macedonian expats, they should aim way higher and fish in Australia – Bella Paige and Bobby Andonov. Now with those two, they could actually go for gold.

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

Bobi*

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

My apologies to King Bobi.

Gorilla716
Guest
Gorilla716

I’m pretty sure Bella and Bobby would much rather represent Australia than Macedonia if either of them were to participate in Eurovision.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Both of them represented Macedonia in JESC already. If Macedonian tv made a real effort, who knows. Anja Nissen represented Denmark, too.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Bella Paige represented Australia.

Thanos
Guest
Thanos

Well he seems like a good choice from what I have read, although I have not listened to any of his songs yet. The fact that he is also an opera singer means that he is able to deliver a great song to us! Let’s see if he will get selected!

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Mrs. Ernman is also an opera singer.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

With a lame popera song that was giving us a terrifying expression of pain. The song used in an article i think is great.

Virtu
Guest
Virtu

He’s bttm. We need top!

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Not really. But I definitely want a much different bottom.

Hrvatska
Guest
Hrvatska

On the one hand, it would be an interesting choice, but on the other hand, I do not know if it would be well perceived in the country, it means that the leftist government is in this country, but parliamentary elections are approaching, but from what is known, a song called fire , there are also producers responsible for the song, for Eurovision children, and they also make music and music videos for Lozano, so I think his MRT television will decide to choose him as a representative, it would be great to hear the ethnic ballad in Macedonian, because… Read more »

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Lozano is the number one pick for Macedonia, no doubt.

pepe
Guest
pepe

The guy with the leather crown who was in the green room. I wondered who that was.

Joe
Guest
Joe

Yes! This would be an excellent way to keep the momentum going and keep Tamara from being a fluke.

Joe
Guest
Joe

And hey, with Bozo Vreco not being an immediate possibility due to Bosnia’s budget issues, it’s nice to have some Balkan LGBT realness finding its way to Eurovision.

Gorilla716
Guest
Gorilla716

Maybe Tamara might be a fluke.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

oh wow macedonia is the most homophobic country west of the ex soviets in europe, that’d be groundbreaking if he got selected!

Joe
Guest
Joe

If you send a song called “Proud,” regardless of what it’s actually about, it indicates a move in the right direction.

Joe
Guest
Joe

And Tamara performed at Skopje Pride so it’s even more direct than that.

Idan Cohen
Guest
Idan Cohen

do me a favor. “million voices” rings a bell for you?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

yuh they also outlawed anti-gay discrimination this year (sumthin some european union members still don’t have) so they’re clearly goin in the right direction…. there’s a long way to go but things are clearly gettin better for the gays there. ‘proud’ was about female empowerment tho

Milan
Guest
Milan

I don’t see why. Dignity, yes. But being proud of something that one has (arguably) been born with to me has always seemed rather stupid. Pride should be about something that you have achieved. I’m just saying that to me it’s a wrong choice of word, nothing more.

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

it’s more bout being able to celebrate sumthin that until a few decades ago was considered hellish n disgusting in almost all developed countries. it’s like, ‘thank goodness i can freely be myself n i hope more ppl will accept that gays deserve equal rights with time’ got it?

Milan
Guest
Milan

I’m perfectly OK with people celebrating it – so call it celebration, whatever – just “pride” is a really wrong choice of word. I (had) “got it” perfectly, thank you, no need to be rude.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

You don’t get it. The opposite of pride is shame – something that many gay people have been conditioned to feel over the course of their lives…the word “pride” is the perfect choice to overcome that. Surviving homophobia is an achievement.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

You don’t get it, either. Something you were born with that is completely natural is neither something to be proud of, nor to be ashamed of. It just is. And a big part of this so-called pride culture is actually furthering homophobia, as well as promoting a gay stereotype. I refuse. Being into dudes doesn’t mean I have the least bit in common with any other guy who happens to be into dudes.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Ah, so it’s not just the actual word “pride” that you take issue with. It’s what it represents. That’s a different argument. If they were called Self Respect Parades, you would still hate them.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Case in point. I am certainly glad I do not seem to have anything in common with a tiresome, self-important SJW such as yourself. Hallelujah for that. I reject your accusations of hating anything and once again putting words in my mouth. But that is of course how people like you operate. I do not hate, my energy is way too precious to hate on anything. I argue for my views and reject agendas I disagree with, as opposed to forcing a “one size fits all” mindset on everyone.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

People like me? I see…it’s only you that is a special individual, one that resents the implication they might have something in common with others – and yet has no problem categorizing others with such broad brushstrokes. Such hypocrisy. Also, I take SJW as a compliment. Thank you. It’s for sure preferable to being a fatuous FPÖ flunky.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

No hypocrisy, I’m just giving you a taste of your own medicine. Since you seem to be so fond of dishing it out. Also, I am nobody’s flunky and your continuous insults are just making my point about you. Frankly, I cannot imagine anyone enjoying your company. All those so-called minorities you love to play the self-important martyr for are probably the first ones to run away from you. And not that it’s any of your business: I didn’t vote for anybody. All options sucked. Not as much as you suck, though. Watch the news. Obama just cancelled you like… Read more »

Milan
Guest
Milan

I must say I actually agree with this point, I hadn’t looked at it that way at all. I still think that “pride” as a choice of word is an unnecessary poke in everyone else’s eye (and it is quite likely furthering homophobia), but at least I see now where the achievement is. Thank you for explaining it politely.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

You’re welcome!

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

100% correct. People in general don’t seem to understand language anymore.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

Consult a dictionary. The word has deeper meaning than that one narrow definition.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

True. It can also mean arrogance and hubris. But look who I am telling – you are the authority on those things, after all. Consult your mirror.

Per Zoso
Guest
Per Zoso

Stonewall Riots

Gigii
Guest
Gigii

Macedonia wasnt even in the Soviet Union… it was in Yugoslavia

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

who ever said that lmao learn how to read “west of the ex soviets”

Gigii
Guest
Gigii

I read the rest of ex soviets.. xD my bad..

KESC
Guest
KESC

Ex soviets? You mean Yugoslavia right?!

Katariina
Guest
Katariina

What are you not understanding? “West of the Ex-Soviets” = not Soviet, to the West of the Soviets.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

Tijana (2014 Macedonia) is also LGBT? So it wouldn’t be groundbreaking.

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

ESC don’t need more LBGT acts! No more stereotypes pleace

James
Guest
James

Netherlands 2016 and 2019?

MusicIstheKey
Guest
MusicIstheKey

So a singer should be chosen because he is gay…oh come on! Gay chauvensim alert