She topped an incredible field of incredible songs to win the Eurovision 2019 jury vote. But for Tamara Todevska the summer was anything but smooth sailing.
Over the summer the “Proud” singer performed her country’s national anthem at the American Embassy in Skopje, but accidentally left out part of the official version of the anthem. The omitted section referenced Macedonian revolutionaries Goce Delcev, Pitu Guli, Dame Gruev and Jane Sandanski. The omission became a national controversy. Tamara has repeatedly apologised for the “unintentional mistake”.
On Thursday evening, ahead of her performance at the prestigious Kenga Magjike song festival in Tirana, Tamara caught up with us in her hotel room to discuss the scandal, her Eurovision jury win and more.
Tamara Todevska and the national anthem
“They thought that somebody told me to do that, that somebody paid me to do that,” she says of the anthem incident. “I was there singing for free because my father’s student works in the American embassy.”
Tamara says she was nervous about the performance and, about twenty minutes before her spot, her father begged her to review the lyrics. Amid the stress of getting ready she forgot the country has had more than one anthem over the years.
“I checked it on Safari and I actually checked the wrong one,” she says. “I was checking the old anthem.”
“I messed up the lyrics and the hate starts. They hated me so much. That period when I was supposed to be happy of everything that happened, be proud of myself…I was locked in four walls and I was like WTF happened.”
Kenga Magjike 2019
— wiwibloggs (@wiwibloggs) December 7, 2019
Kenga Magjike — that’s Magic Song — is perhaps the most prestigious of all Albanian song festivals. Past winners include Eurovision alums Juliana Pasha, Aurela Gaçe and Jonida Maliqi. The festival brings together top international talent and established and up-an-coming artists from the host country. Just search Kenga Magjike, and you’ll find endless videos with view counts in excess of 1 million. This is a national event that’s been running for more than two decades. Feel the passion!
In the competition Tamara is singing “Monsters” — an incredible follow-up to “Proud” that shows her ability to appeal to listeners at home and abroad.
“Monsters” escapes the clichés and platitudes of so many songs about love. Rather than taking us on a journey through euphoria, Tamara takes us somewhere darker and therefore more real. Her babe has left her and it’s cutting deep. He’s left her with the titular demons she sings about.
You’re my nervous breakdown
Who’s gonna cry for me now?
What do you think of Tamara’s “Monsters”? Are you excited to hear her at Kenga Magjike? Let us know in the comments box down below!
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#JAWS ? #Eurovision jury vote winner @tamaratodevska just gave us a lovely interview from her hotel bed ? We discuss @kengamagjikeofficial, the #esc2019 jury vote, the national anthem controversy and more ?? Interview coming soon to the #wiwibloggs #YouTube channel ???? #kengamagjike