Damir Kedžo was due to represent Croatia at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam with his song “Divlji Vjetre” (Wild Wind).
A beautiful ballad, the lyrics see Damir ensure that his special one will be loved and cared for even when things don’t go well. The singer is asking the sky to leave the autumn leaves and raindrops of sorrow on his doorstep. The chorus paints a picture of a stormy autumn, while Damir mourns for the days he felt their love was forever.
National broadcaster HRT chose him through the national final Dora. He tied for first place with Mia Negovetić. Since he won the televote, he was deemed the winner of the national final.
But what about the man behind the song? We have compiled 10 facts you need to know about Damir. Let’s do this!
Croatia at Eurovision 2020: Facts about Damir Kedžo
1. He’s from an island
Damir Kedžo is originally from a town called Omišalj. With a population of around 1,800 people, it is situated on the island of Krk — one of Croatia’s many islands dotted along the Adriatic coast. The town is known for being one of the oldest settlements on the islands, dating back to Ancient Roman times.
2. He had a jaw operation
A few years back, Kedžo had to undergo surgery on his jaw. Damir explains the operation to our William: “The procedure is called double jaw surgery. Which means that my lower jaw was in front of my upper jaw for one and a half centimetres”. As a result, he had problems with eating and speaking. In 2015, he made the life-changing decision to have surgery to correct those issues. In an interview, he stated that this surgery changed his quality of life for the better. However, there was a difficult recovery period afterwards. He couldn’t speak or eat solid foods as his mouth was wired up.
3. He’s a Eurovision fan
If you have a look through Kedžo’s work, you’ll realise that he is actually a huge fan of Eurovision. He’s even covered a song from Eurovision 2012 winner, Loreen, “My Heart is Refusing Me”. After winning Dora, he was interviewed on the Dalibor Petko Show about his Eurovision journey. During the programme, he played a game with the host. The interviewer held up the flags of Sweden, Russia, the UK, Serbia and Croatia. Damir had to sing a Eurovision song from each one. Watch the clip below to see him smash the challenge.
More recently, he told our William about an early Eurovision memory — “In 1998 when Eurovision was in the UK and Danijela Martinovic was singing her song “Neka mi ne svane”. And I heard it… it was close to my birthday. My mom and I had a birthday party. But I didn’t care about anything — it was Eurovision! And I was watching in my room and I just came downstairs and said ‘One day I’m going to go to Eurovision’. So for me, it’s a full circle”.
4. He used to be in a boy band
Damir’s breakthrough within the Croatian music scene came in 2003 through the music reality TV show, Story Super Nova Music Talent Show. A year after, he formed one-third of Croatia’s very first boyband – Saša, Tin i Kedžo. Their single “365” topped the Croatian charts for six weeks. Despite the fame, they disbanded a year later, upon which Kedžo’s solo career took flight. Can you pick out a young Kedžo in the music video?
5. He is a mutli-award-winning artist
Kedžo is one of the hottest names on Croatia’s music scene today. In fact, he was the most listened to male singer of 2019 in Croatia. Not only that, he has won various music awards both in Croatia and internationally. These include Splitski Festival, Zagrebački Festival in Croatia, Russia’s New Wave in 2015 and Belarus’ Slavianski Bazaar in Vitebsk in 2010. Of course, he can also add Croatia’s national selection for Eurovision — Dora 2020 — to the list.
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Predivan je osjecaj pobijediti na @zagrebackifestival , jos veci kad te publika podrži kroz cijelu pjesmu. Hvala publici u dvorani. Svima koji slušaju ovu pjesmu i daju joj da živi. Hvala žiriju. Hvala odlicnom bendu i @zvonimir_radisic na raspisu zbog kojeg se ?ovjek i uzivo naježi. I najbitnije hvala Anti na predivnoj pjesmi i Shalli na produkciji van pameti. Hvala vam svima ??. . . #zagrebackifestival #srcemiumirezanjom
6. He tried to represent Croatia at Eurovision before
Damir tried to represent Croatia at Eurovision once before. Back in 2011, the broadcaster decided to revamp its Dora selection. The show undertook a reality show format with eliminations to find the winner who would represent Croatia at Eurovision. Kedžo was one of the 24 acts shortlisted for the selection. Unfortunately, was eliminated in the first heat of the competition. Here is Kedžo auditioning for the national selection with his interpretation of Robbie Williams’ “Angels”.
7. He is known for his love ballads
If you have a listen through Kedžo’s previous songs, you’ll notice that many of his songs are love ballads. Some examples worth listening to include “Vojnik Ljubavi”, “Poljubi Me Sad” and “Srce Mi Umire Za Njom”. These are intense and full of emotion. You can feel Kedžo giving his all with every track he sings. Upon winning Dora with “Divilji Vjetre”, he said “I feel this song. I felt it at the moment I first heard it.”
8. He won the Croatian version of Your Face Sounds Familiar
Back in 2016, Damir took part in the reality TV show Tvoje lice zvuči poznato, which is the Croatian version of the Your Face Sounds Familiar. Kedžo impersonated artists such as Lady Gaga, Britney Spears and Ariana Grande. He was able to pull off impersonating artists week after week consistently scoring high with the judges. He ultimately won the whole competition!
9. He participated on Dancing with the Stars
That wasn’t just the only reality TV show Damir entered. In 2019, he also took part on Ples sa Zvezdama, which is the Croatian version of Dancing with the Stars. He was partnered with dancer Helena Janjušević and was the fifth contestant to be eliminated for the competition.
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Odradili smo #be?kibezpomfrija ? a sada – molim Vas glasajte! Glasajte za nas na broj 061/5502 ili SMS na 666888 sadržaja PAR02. Hvala vam ljudi unaprijed jer nas upravo vi držite unutra i za vas plešemo. ? Tim #Hedžo ? #plessazvijezdama @plessazvijezdama @helenajanjusevic
10. He has a pet dog
About a year ago, Damir welcomed Gigi the Jack Russell terrier into his life. She often features on his Instagram. Recently in one post, Kedžo explained that “Having a dog was one of the best decisions in my life”. We are sure during these tough times of self-isolation, they give each other good company and are the best of friends.
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Poštuju?i mjere samoizolacije Gigi i ja upoznali smo prirodu oko Rijeke i sve skrivene ljepote koje zbog užurbanog života i svih obaveza nismo ni znali da postoje. Imati psa bila je jedna od najboljih odluka u mom životu. Koli?ina sre?e i bezuvjetne ljubavi koju dnevno dobijam je nemjerljiva. Uz Gigi i Koronu i karantenu lakše prolazim..
Eurovision 2021 update
Croatia has not yet revealed its plans for Eurovision 2021. However, Damir told our William that he and HRT are talking. “We have a great relationship. But it’s not a topic right now. Because everything is in lockdown. And it would be really selfish is I said ‘Yeah, coronavirus… what about my Eurovision performance?’ So I’m waiting for the situation to develop”. Damir says he would even consider entering Dora again but he’ll only enter if he has the right song. If internally selected, he vows to search for the best song.
Would Damir have given Croatia a good result at Eurovision 2020? Do you feel the emotion of “Divlji Vjetre”? Let us know in the comments.
I love his songs too….
Fact Number 1: He is very handsome ?
Honestly, he needs a better song. I like the 2020 one but it wasn’t competitive enough to get a spot in final.
In semi final 1, I dont think he could have reach the jury’s top 10 so let’s not talk about public. But he’s a great artist and he could do a nice score with a good song.
He’s such a handsome sexy man. Those arms that face <3
I want to know how he speaks perfect English. Did he live in the UK, US or CAN for several years? His interview skills are great. He’s a delight to listen to.
Despite this fact his opinion is that every country should better sing in its own language and I absolulety agree with him. I hope he will come back next year at ESC.
This isn’t related to this article but, are the hosts of ESC 2021 already confirmed? Chantal Janzen has stated in her Insta bio that she will be hosting in 2021!