Vasil Garvanliev was due to represent North Macedonia at Eurovision 2020 with his song “YOU”.
After performing as one of North Macedonia’s backing vocalists in Tel Aviv, Vasil was invited back as a lead performer by broadcaster Macedonian Radio Television (MRT). Vasil’s song “YOU” was produced by the legendary Macedonian songwriter and producer Darko Dimitrov.
But as we have discovered, Eurovision is just one of the many accomplishments of Vasil. We present 10 facts about Vasil. Let’s do this!
North Macedonia at Eurovision 2020: Facts about Vasil
1. He was a huge child star
Legend has it, that Vasil was discovered as a child when, one day, he was singing on the street. A Macedonian composer was captivated by his voice and soon Vasil was a successful child pop star. During this time, he became known for the Japanese-inspired song “Marionka”, which has become one of the best-known Macedonian children’s songs.
2. He has both Macedonian and Bulgarian citizenship
Vasil was born and raised in the Macedonian town of Strumica, but he also has Bulgarian citizenship. A relative of one of his grandmothers has Bulgarian ancestry, which gives him a Bulgarian connection. Vasil told wiwibloggs that he is from North Macedonia but considers “home” to be within himself.
3. He sang as a soloist with the Chicago Children’s Choir
In the late 1990s, following the Kosovo War, Vasil’s mother moved the family to the United States. They settled in Chicago and there Vasil used music to help him adapt to the new culture. This led to him getting a place in the acclaimed Chicago Children’s Choir, eventually becoming a soloist. Vasil still sings with the choir, recognised as a valued alumnus.
CCC (hicago hildren’s hoir) ??•#family #openup #tatkovina •Chicago children’s choir is one of the most important experiences of my life. •It thought me about values, morals, excellence, discipline, expectations, and goals. I got the chance to collaborate, sing, create, and learn with the best of the best. Above all I realised that with focus, determination, and an open heart … NOTHING can stop you. •Thank you for you. Thank you for being my family. Thank you for allowing me to be me and let my Macedonian traditions inspire the tapestry of diversity that you are and stand for. •Tatkovina was arranged for me when my family was deported from the States in 2003 … a humbling moment and lesson from the one above I shall never forget. I love you. •@chichildrenschoir @j.o.s.e.p.h.i.n.e.l.e.e
Posted by Vasil Garvanliev on Thursday, January 30, 2020
4. He’s sung with Nick Carter, Enrique Iglesias and Céline Dion
Once Vasil became established with the Chicago Children’s Choir, it led to all sorts of opportunities performing backing vocals for with established pop icons. This included pop stars Nick Carter and Enrique Iglesias, as well as Eurovision 1988 winner — and international diva — Céline Dion.
5. He was deported from the United States
Just as Vasil was getting established as a young singer and was about to begin serious music studies, he and his family were deported from the United States. This followed tighter immigration requirements in the wake of September 11. But Vasil stayed focused and eventually resumed his music studies in Toronto, Canada.
6. He competed in Skopje Fest 2007
Thirteen years ago, Vasil made his first attempt at representing his country at Eurovision. He competed in the national song competition Skopje Fest which also served as the Macedonian national final. Vasil’s self-written song “Pomogni mi” (Help me) placed 13th in the competition.
7. He worked with Chance the Rapper
In 2016, Vasil performed on several tracks on Chance the Rapper’s album Coloring Book. The album, which incorporated gospel with hip hop, was critically acclaimed and appeared on many music critics “best of 2016” lists.
8. He’s an opera singer…
Vasil studied at La Scala Theatre Academy in Milan and Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music. He went on to perform as a professional baritone singer in Canada.
9. …and he’s a pop singer
Vasil isn’t just restricted to one type of music. While he can hold his own in the great opera houses of the world, he’s just as comfortable serving a contemporary pop performance. Vasil has said that he feels he can express himself more truly when singing pop. Most recently Vasil released his single “Patuvam”.
10. He supported Tamara Todevska at Eurovision 2019
This isn’t Vasil’s first time at Eurovision. Last year he was one of the three backing singers who supported Tamara Todevska in Tel Aviv. And while he was squirrelled away offstage, Vasil played his part in the performance. “Proud” went on to win the jury vote and give North Macedonia its best-ever Eurovision result.
Eurovision 2021 update
As of 7 April, neither Vasil nor the Macedonian broadcaster MRT have released any official statements regarding Eurovision 2021.
How would “You” have done at Eurovision 2020? Should Vasil come back to represent North Macedonia in 2021? Tell us your thoughts below!