Ben Dolic was due to represent Germany at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam with his song “Violent Thing”. The song is an uptempo dance-pop tune and marks a distinct change in direction for Germany.
Broadcaster NDR chose Ben Dolic through an internal selection process. The process saw two sets of juries assess all the submitted songs. Ultimately, Ben and his song were presented as the country’s act during Unser Lied für Rotterdam. This was Germany’s first internal selection since 2009.
We’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Ben Dolic. Let’s do this!
Germany at Eurovision 2020: Facts about Ben Dolic
1. He was born in Slovenia
He may be Ben to you or I, but the “Violent Thing” singer’s full name is Benjamin Dolić. And as his surname suggests, he is actually originally from the Balkans. He was born in 1997 in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia.
2. He reached the semi-final of Slovenia’s Got Talent
Ben had his very first casting show experience on Slovenia’s Got Talent 2010. Aged just 12, his audition with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” left a big impression with the audience. He made it to the live semi-finals, where he lost out to the eventual season winner Lina Kuduzović. She came very close to representing Slovenia in 2020, finishing second in the country’s national final.
3. He entered Slovenia’s Eurovision 2016 selection
Six year’s later, a now 18-year-old Ben competed in EMA 2016 — Slovenia’s national selection for Eurovision. Then, he was part of a group called D Base. The band delivered an energetic and dynamic performance. Unfortunately, “Spet živ” didn’t make it to the super final. The selection was won by ManuElla with “Blue And Red”.
4. He lived in Switzerland for four years
Soon after EMA, Ben and his family left Slovenia and moved to Switzerland. It was here that he first learned German while continuing to advance his music career.
5. He was the runner-up on The Voice of Germany 2018
While he was still living in Switzerland, Ben ventured across the border to Germany and applied for the local version of The Voice. His blind audition with Ariana Grande’s “No Tears Left To Cry” impressed the judges — Yvonne Catterfeld and Mark Foster both turned for him. And that was enough. He joined Catterfeld’s team and made it all the way to the final, placing second.
6. He’s shared the stage with Zara Larsson
During his time on The Voice, he also had the opportunity to perform with a major international star — Sweden’s Zara Larsson. Together, the two performed Larsson’s hit song “Ruin My Life”. Their voices worked well together, and Ben received positive feedback from both judges and the public.
7. He recently moved to Berlin
Following his successful stint on The Voice, a move to Germany was perhaps inevitable. However, he only moved within the last 12 months. He’s now settled in Berlin. The relocation also means that he’s closer to his girlfriend who studies in the city.
8. He’s previously released music as Usually Quiet
Before taking the opportunity to represent Germany at Eurovision, Ben released music under a different alias. For a time, he went as Usually Quiet. During this time he embraced electro elements. There are two studio recordings from this time on his old YouTube channel — “Complete” and “No Competition”. He also recorded a cover of Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons” with Slovenia’s Junior Eurovision 2014 sing Ula Ložar.
9. He’s done many collabs
While Zara Larsson might be the highest-profile singer that he’s shared a stage with to date, Ben is no stranger to working with others. He’s done several features. He did “Bounce” and “Dirty Love” with Hyu and “Nebo” with Dravle Records.
10. His Eurovision 2020 song is an international project
As part of the German selection process, Ben had to attend a songwriting camp. He recorded songs with many with well-respected songwriters and producers in London. This is also where things kicked off for his song “Violent Thing”. There Ben met Borislav Milanov, Connor Martin, Dag Lundberg, Jimmy Thorén and Peter St James. Together, they wrote and produced “Violent Thing”.
Eurovision 2021 update
As of March 27, the German broadcaster has yet to release a statement on its 2021 participation. NDR’s Head of Entertainment Thomas Schreiber recently said that a decision will be taken after the replacement show for the contest in May would be staged.
Would Ben Dolic have taken Germany back to the top ten at Eurovision? Let us know in the comments.