We’re so glad and thankful that we had an opportunity to have special Skype interview with an amazing Maraaya, this years EMA contestants. They talked to Eurovision Ireland about their work in the past and about their participation in EMA 2015, Slovenian Eurovision national selection.
Eurovision Ireland: Maraaya, Hi! Thanks for talking to us today.
Raay: No problem. It’s not like we have anything better to do. (smile) No, really, not kidding. We both ended ill this week – stuck up in bed so – thank you for invitation! Nice to see how many Eurovision related websites are so enthusiastic already about pre-selection of various countries.
Eurovision Ireland: You created the Maraaya project last year, when you guys released the huge radio hit “Lovin’ me”, and attacked all the radio stations in Slovenia and around the Europe. What can we expect from your EMA’s entry?
Marjetka: The “Lovin’ me” single is still being in promotion, for now it was released in Italy, Belgium, Poland, Germany-Austria-Switzerland territory and of course – in Slovenia. We build step by step and are truly happy that the first results are already showing up after releasing our first single outside the Slovenian borders as well. But the domestic market – Slovenia – is also really important to us. And we didn’t expect this kind of positive feedback to be honest. After all, Raay is usually focused on mainstream and pop-hits and the music taste that is already known – but with Maraaya we’ve chosen a different path. A little bit more mysterious, a bit alternative, something new – and this is usually a risk in music business, but you gotta take risks if you wanna stand a chance outside of your own country. People in Slovenia also accepted this style and the whole project was really well accepted.
Raay: The song we have on EMA was actually chosen from the 4 singles that we have prepared for our EP. Those singles will be released in 2 upcoming years. So on one side we had an easier job since we “just” needed to select the most appropriate single for EMA but on the other side we had to choose from 4 singles (not album tracks) and it was really hard to decide. We asked people we trust and people that we believe were reliable to share their opinion with us. In the end we all agreed which one is THE ONE. As for the song – the most important thing is again Marjetka’s distinctive vocal, the song isn’t a ballad nor a party song. I would describe it as a mysterious indie-pop song with catchy melody and a bit alternative-pop production with soulful elements.
Eurovision Ireland: This won’t be your first Eurovision experience. Raay, last year Tinkara Kovač performed your song “Spet / Round and round”, and Slovenia finally passed into the Grand Final. But how many songs have you composed for the Slovenian Eurovision pre-selection in the past?
Raay : Considering I am creating music for more than 12 years, I don’t think I was a part of EMA as many times as some may think. These were “my” writer-producer’s entries that got INTO the show EMA 2004 (Maja Slatinšek – qualified for EMA final – ended up 6th, Žana – didn’t qualify for EMA Final) EMA 2008 (Manca Špik – ended 9th in EMA finals, Turbo Angels – ended 6th in EMA final) EMA 2010 (Tangels – “Kaj in kam” was one of my favourite entries… it ended 12th in EMA final but surprisingly became most airplayed song of EMA from that year… and still is, Saša Zamernik didn’t qualify for final) EMA 2011 (April – Ladadidej – ended 2nd in EMA final – Maja Keuc beat the hell out of her in super-finale of EMA (smile) but Ladadidej became one of the biggest hits of 2011 overall)
EMA 2014 (Tinkara Kovač won EMA last year and qualified for the final in Denmark… the song was declared as the No1 Slovenian hit of 2014 just few weeks ago) Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014 (Both of us “Maraaya’s” were co-writers and part of the team supporting and managing first Slovenian Junior Eurovision representative Ula Ložar with Nisi sam / Your light) Overall approx 300 songs I wrote or produced over the past 12 years, 9 songs that were connected to Eurovision Song Contest in all these years in one or the other way – isn’t really that big.
Marjetka: But he loves statistics, obviously… (laughter)
Eurovision Ireland: We cannot really go by the fact, that you both composed the first ever Junior Eurovision entry for Ula Ložar, “Nisi sam / Your Light”. Did you feel any pressure doing JESC entry?
Marjetka: The biggest challenge was to compose a song with a kid. We both knew Ula has a great sense and feeling for music, but still – we didn’t know how things would work out writing a song together. Especially since she had never composed a song before. But regarding several co-writes we did with so many people from either Sweden, Japan or Slovenia in past 3 years, we knew we’d get along and create something great…
Raay: And that is exactly what happened – Marjetka and I got some ideas, some harmonies and really soon Ula fell in with her ideas, basically singing over the piano and telling us what she likes what she could sing differently and creating her suggestion of melodies… with all the ideas we got this great song that she recorded for JESC 2014…As for the pressure of being first song ever competing for Slovenia – we didn’t feel it … But we took the Junior Eurovision with the same responsibility as if it was “adult” Eurovision.
Eurovision Ireland: Eurovision Ireland noticed that Charly Mason is also a song-writer for your EMA entry (Charlie wrote lyrics for “Rise Like A Phoenix”), but that’s not really your first collaboration with Charlie Mason, am I right?
Marjetka: Raay has connected with Charly three years ago. He was impressed he met a guy that co-wrote Italy’s representative that year that was Nina Zilli – L’amore femmina, cause we both loved this song.
Raay: First collaboration released was a song from Slovenian Alpine Skier, Olympic Gold medal winner TINA MAZE – ‘My Way Is My Decision’. We did some other songs together as well but the most important was our current single “Lovin’ me” as Charlie did the lyrics for our first single with Maraaya so we are glad to have him as well on the EMA song
Eurovision Ireland: We are really looking forward to see you both performing in 28th of February at EMA – do you have any message for our readers?
Marjetka: Well – let this year be the year of good music and all the best to Eurovision fans fighting for those tickets again! And please cross fingers for Slovenian representative in Austria no matter who it is.
We want to thank Raay and Marjetka aka Maraaya for talking to us today even though they are not well. We wish them a speedy recovery and look forward to hearing their song in the Slovenian National Selection for Eurovision 2015.
Author/Editor in Chief Jan Vehar
Source : Eurovision Ireland