ZAGREB, CROATIA – I had the opportunity to talk with a, I can say, Eurovision veteran of new age, Andrej Babic. His songs entered national finals all over Europe 18 times, and six of them went on Eurovision stage.
Hello Andrej, and thank you for talking with us.
Hello to you too Stefan, and also to all oikotimes readers. It is a pleasure talking to you all.
First I would ask for your opinion regarding HRT’s decision to withdraw from upcoming contest. They said that it is because of the economic crisis and the chain of failures. Many other countries are facing the same things but we still see them on stage. Are those reasons valid for you? I think that the decision is very bad. Economic crisis should not be a valid reason for quitting. For example they should withdraw from some football qualifications. We don’t need to participate on every championship.
I don’t know if you heard, but Sigma TV from Cyprus offered to CYBC to organize a national final and pay the entering fee. Is there a capable television in Croatia that can do the same? Do you think, should national broadcaster give rights to private televisions to organize national finals if they are not able to do it? Yes, I did hear about that and I think it is a great idea and all that just they don’t want to see Cyprus out of the next year’s contest. If I’m not wrong, that won’t be the first time. Back in 2010. Pro 7 was involved in German national final, and that really popularized the contest, and we all know how that has resulted. Here RTL and Nova TV, unfortunately, didn’t show any interest for popular pop music. All they did and do are gossip magazines and licensed talent shows. In last few years they didn’t organize any music show, where current hits and popular music should be presented, so I think that there won’t be any help from them.
There is a chance that Portugal will be back in the contest next year. If that happens, assuming they will organize a national final, will we see you as an author there? I really doubt it. They showed that the placement isn’t really important for them. There are also many problems with their approach to the contest, but that is a totally different and long story.
Except Portugal, your songs participated in many other countries, like Serbia, Slovenia, Belarus, Georgia, Switzerland, and of course, Croatia. Will we see you on some of them again, or even somewhere, where you previously didn’t? I still don’t have any plans for it. Currently I am focused on domestic and regional market. I saw that some already have started, but the problem is that I first need to make contact with a performer and then I can realize the ideas. On the other hand, there is no many countries that putting the main focus on the song. That is much easier for me.
Few days ago Severina released a new song entitled Hurem and you wrote it. How did cooperation between two of you started and is it going to be continued? Yes, couple days ago it went out. When I first made it was clear that the song will need a strong performer who will make it all big. There is a story in the song, partly from the popular tv series, partly from the history. With the specific lyrics you got to have a singer that is popular in the people, someone who they already trust. Severina was the first one to hear the demo, and in my luck, she liked it immediately, so I didn’t have to browse anymore. Regarding our further cooperation, I can only say that it will depend upon the new songs and if Severina will find herself in them.
Finally, I would ask you did you do any songs for other singers in the region. What can we expect from your workshop? Well first I have to say that it has just been few days and some people that I didn’t work with before, already have contacted me when they heard Hurem. That song is really important for my career since I made a total twist and approached to commercial music. Before Hurem, I started to work with formed Miss Slovenia, and their representative from Belgrade, Rebeka Dremelj. Our song is called Carnival and it will be out until end of this month. After that many surprises will come, but we will talk about them in due time.
Andrej, thank you very much for this interview. It was a true pleasure talking to you. I hope that Eurovision audience will soon have an opportunity of hearing your songs. You’re welcome Stefan and the pleasure is all mine. I hope that too.
ABOUT ANDREJ BABIC
Andrej Babić is a Croatian songwriter who has written many Eurovision songs since 2003. He is one of the few songwriters who has written for four countries, having written entries for Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia and Portugal.