Hurricane were due to represent Serbia at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam with the fiery, uptempo number, “Hasta la vista”.
Comprising of Sanja Vučić, Ivana Nikolić and Ksenija Knežević, Hurricane emerged victorious from the 2020 edition of Serbia’s national selection process Beovizija.
And now we’ve compiled 10 facts about Hurricane. Let’s do this!
Serbia at Eurovision 2020: Facts about Hurricane
1. They were formed in the aftermath of a storm
The story of the group’s formation is explained by their founder, Zoran Milinković. After hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated the Caribbean in 2017, Milinković participated in the cleanup efforts on the island of Sint Maarten.
After returning to Serbia, he then formed the group to send a message of support. Hurricane’s first single, fittingly, was named “Irma, Maria”. The music video showed cleanup efforts, whilst the song preached about the strength and will to rebuild after tragedy.
2. They have Eurovision experience
While many of us are focusing on Hurricane’s efforts in 2020, two of the band’s members — Sanja and Ksenija — both have past Eurovision experience. Ksenija was the first to make it to the competition. In 2015, she provided backing vocals for Montenegro. The entry finished 13th. This remains the country’s best result to date.
Sanja sang for Serbia in 2016 with the dramatic ballad “Goodbye (Shelter)”. She qualified for the grand final and came 18th.
Additionally, 2020 was not the first time that Ksenija attempted to represent Serbia in the Eurovision Song Contest. Back in 2013, she took part in Serbia’s national selection with the song “Magija”. Coincidentally, she was a member of an all-female trio then too. SKY’s came fourth.
3. Ksenija is related to Eurovision royalty
Not only do the ladies of Hurricane have a connection to the Eurovision Song Contest through their own personal experiences, but Ksenija is actually the daughter of Montenegrin Eurovision alum Knez. He represented the nation back in 2015. Ksenija was, as mentioned earlier, a member of her father’s team of backing vocalists.
Apparently, Željko Joksimović — the well-known composer of Knez’s “Adio” — jokingly suggested that Ksenija go to Eurovision in lieu of her father, upon hearing her singing voice.
4. They spent Valentine’s Day with Johnny Depp
Aside from their copious connections to Eurovision, the ladies of Hurricane have also rubbed shoulders with Hollywood. Back in February 2019, American actor and star of Pirates of the Caribbean, Johnny Depp, spent his Valentine’s Day in the Serbian capital Belgrade. There he ran into the girl band, and the quartet spent the evening together. It was a dream come true for Ivana Nikolić, who says Johnny Depp is one of her greatest idols.
— IFOD (@ifod_net) February 16, 2019
5. Sanja has experience with many genres
While Hurricane may have established themselves as a band mostly dabbling in pop, their music industry experience is varied, to say the least. This is particularly true for Sanja Vučić. On top of graduating from the secondary music school in Kruševac specialising in solo-singing, Sanja was a member of the church choir Knez Lazar. The group’s trademark is the ethnic, traditional style of Bele vile. However, many Eurovision fans will remember the suffix, and sometimes prefix, ZAA which was attached to Sanja’s name back in 2016. This was a reference to her reggae/jazz/ska/punk band ZAA with whom she performed on some of the biggest stages in Europe, including the massive EXIT festival.
Bonus: Sanja even made an attempt to become an opera singer at the music academy of Belgrade, which she reveals in this interview with our Deban.
6. Ivana is a dancing queen
Not only are Hurricane maestros in the field of singing, but the group also has a trained dancer in their line-up: Ivana Nikolic. Beginning at the age of 14, Ivana joined the Boom 018 dance school in the south-Serbian city of Niš.
She trained at the school for six years, taking part in numerous national and international dance competitions. She picked up quite the collection of awards en route to becoming a multiple-time dance champion.
7. Sanja is multi-lingual
In the highly unlikely event that this Serbian Hurricane were to dissipate, Sanja Vučić would have no trouble finding alternative arrangements as a translator. On top of her impending graduation from the Faculty of Philology and Department of Oriental Languages, Literatures and Cultures in Belgrade, the Serbian songstress speaks a total of four languages on top of her native Serbian — Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, and English. In fact, she holds two certificates in English from the British Council for English language proficiency. Moreover, she has also taken it upon herself to learn Arabic and Hebrew, which she demonstrates in the video linked below. Who knows, we might even be looking at a future career in the United Nations.
8. They’ve had huge success in Serbia
While many Eurofans might just be familiar with their intended Eurovision entry, “Hasta la vista”, Hurricane have been wreaking havoc upon the Serbian music scene. Initially, they only released songs in English. This brought them some success. However, the band soon decided to focus on establishing a career in their home country first before going international.
Their first number recorded in Serbian, “Favorito” was released in September 2019 and became an overnight sensation. It catapulted the band right into the centre of the country’s music scene. It currently stands at over 50 million views on YouTube. The single was one of the most listened to songs in the entire Balkan region last year.
9. They are Serbian trendsetters
As well as earning the attention of the Serbian public, Hurricane have established themselves as respected artists among their fellow musicians. In the build-up to Beovizija, many heavyweights of the Serbian music industry — including none other than Jelena Karleuša herself — came out in support of the ladies.
Despite the unfortunate cancellation of the upcoming contest, the ladies of Hurricane would not relent their journey to the top of the Serbian music scene. Initiating the hashtag #hastalavistachallenge, the girls aimed to get people dancing and spreading the message of their popular number across the region. The fun challenge got the people of Serbia on their feet – including, once again, megastars Jelena Karleuša and Teodora.
@teodoradzehverovic97Prihvacen izazov 🤗❤️🥰♬ original sound – ivanaboomnikolic
10. They raise awareness
In light of the harrowing and ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, Ivana, Ksenija and Sanja are using their new single to remind people to stay at home to protect themselves and others. They’re also sending words of encouragement to all those heroes helping slow the spread of coronavirus.
The video starts with the following text:
“Dedicated to all brave doctors and medical staff, policemen and women, to our military who keep us, our children and elders safe, to all heroes with no capes. For those on the front line, leaving the satefy of their homes, so we would not. For all of us staying home, and for those who could not. For all of us awaiting for the first rays of summer. In loving memory of all unfortunate casualties.”
Eurovision 2021 update
As of 9 April, it has yet to be confirmed whether Hurricane will represent Serbia at Eurovision 2021. However, the trio have expressed an interest in representing Serbia once more.
Would Hurricane have secured Serbia another spot in the Eurovision final? Should they come back next year? Sound off in the comments below.