Welcome to our new series of posts – “The Looker” where we will share our wish list of artists participating in Eurovision.
But before we start, let us remark that our recommendations will not necessarily come true (as for example some countries select their artists by reality shows)
The previous chapters in the series are available as well:
1st post (Belgium, Israel, The Netherlands)
2nd post (Denmark, Iceland, North Macedonia)
3rd post (Finland, Norway, Sweden)
4th post (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany)
5th post (Bulgaria, Greece, Romania)
6th post (Australia, Ireland, the UK)
7th post (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania)
8th post (France, Portugal, Spain)
9th post (Moldova, Russia, Ukraine)
This time we will concentrate on 3 countries: Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia
#1. Marko Kutlić
Marko Kutlić is a 26 year old Croatian singer and songwriter.
He was born in Slavonski Brod, eastern Croatia and moved to Zagreb with his family at the age of 6. There, he started singing in a choir. As a teenager, he used to upload his covers to YouTube, one of the songs was “Someone Like You” (originally by Adele).
In 2014, the band Pravila igre was formed, and Marko was its lead singer. In 2017, the band released their debut album, “Nebo na mojoj strani“, which later on entered Croatia’s top 40 chart.
Afterwards, Marko decided to focus on his solo career, namely because of disagreements with the band’s members.
In 2017, he released his debut single “Srce se spasilo” (Eng: The heart was saved). In 2019, the singer released his debut album “U kapi tvoje ljubav” (Eng: In a drop of your love). The album was a huge success in Croatia and peaked 7th in Croatia‘s albums charts.
In November 2019, Marko participated in the 67th edition of Zagreb Festival. He performed his song “Samo Nek” (Eng: just let) and won the festival. The song was his first number 1st song in the Croatian music charts.
In 2019, he released the song “Sreća” (Eng: Happiness):
In 2019 (the official video clip was released in 2020) , he released the song “Samo Nek” (Eng: just let):
In 2021, he released the song “Zaplesala je s ljetom” (she dances with the summer) with Matija Cvek:
With raspy and beautiful voice, Marko Kutlić build the bridge between the foundations of traditional Croatian music and contemporary pop rock music. He is an excellent performer and charismatic. Therefore, I’m sure he would be a good fit for Eurovision as well.
Marin Jurić-Čivro is a 26 year old Croatian singer. He rose to fame after participating in the first season of “The Voice Hrvatska” (The Voice of Croatia) in 2015. Marin ended up in 3rd place in the grand final, while the winner was Nina Kraljić (who represented Croatia at Eurovision 2016).
In June 2015, the singer released his debut single “Dobro jutro svima” (Eng: Good morning everyone).
The singer hasn’t released any albums yet, but he keeps on creating new music.
5 of his singles have peaked in the top 40 on Croatian chart, inclding 2 of them in top 10.
In 2020, Marin participated in “Dora 2020” (the national selection for Eurovision 2020). He performed the song “Naivo” and ended up in 15th place:
In 2018, he released the song “Tvoj Lik” (Eng: Your Face):
In 2020, he collacorated with Nina Kraljić (who represented Croatia at Eurovision 2016) on the song “Zima” (Eng: Winter):
In 2021, he released the song “Krijesnica” (Eng: firefly)
Marin is a talented rock singer who has shown veratile abilities as a singer. With the right song, he can take Croatia to a very high place at Eurovision
Sanja Šiljković (stage name: SUN U) is a Croatian multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, composer, and producer. Sanja was a member of different bands like Lollobrigida, Shoxx and Headswitch. While being part of the band Lollobrigida, they released their 2nd album “Lollobrigida Inc” (2008). When she was only 20 years old, Sanja received the Status of the Music Union award for being the most promising young musician.
Later on, the singer decided to focus on a solo career under the name SUN U.
In July 2019 she signed a contract with Aquarius Records and was recently featured on a compilation of female singer-songwriters—Femme Nouvelle—which brings together 11 Croatian singer-songwriters, all distinguished musicians and artists.
In 2019, she released her debut album as a solo artist – “Discover“
In 2018, she released the song “Hurricane“:
In 2019, she released the song “Double Trouble“:
In 2020, she releaed the song “T.R.A.G”:
Sanja’s music can be identified by soft voice and sophisticated electonic beats. Croatia has never sent anything like this before to Eurovision, and it seems like she will have jury support as well as public attention. In fact, her music is international and sometimes it is an advantage at competitions like Eurovision.
#1. Anja Kotar
Anja Kotar is a 25 year old Slovenian singer and songwriter.
She started training to dance at the age of 5 and has started learning classical piano since the age of 6. Over the years, she has participated in several national and international piano competitions, at which she has been awarded several times. In addition, she has played piano in the group Allegria for 3 years (alongside a cellist and violinist). In 2004, she won a worldwide dance competition with her dance group.
In 2012, she moved with her family to the USA (following her father’s work). Anja enrolled in the Valley Christian Conservatory, majoring in piano. She began working in musical theater and jazz. Kotar performed in the following musicals: “You’re a Good Man”, “Charlie Brown and Guys and Dolls”, “Drowsy Chaperone”, “The Woods”, “Anything Goes” (as Reno Sweeney), “C-Shrek the Musical” (like Dragon and Humpty Dumpty). She has written and directed her own musical – “Valentine’s Day”, while directing 2 other musicals: “English Made Simple” and “Godspell“. Anja has also studied musicals at the Broadway Artists Alliance in New York.
She has participated in several jazz festivals and has been awarded several times:
- San Mateo, November 2014 – Outstanding Soloist Award;
- Folson, January 2015 – Award of Excellence:
- El Cerrito, February 2015, and Reno, April 2015 – Outstanding Musicianship Award.
She performed at the Honors Recital of the Valley Christian Conservatory in both 2013 (with “Feeling Good”) and 2014 (with “I Will Always Love You”) and both times received a $ 2,000 scholarship. She also received the prestigious VC Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement.
In 2016, Anja released her debut EP – “Nomad EP” – under the label Universal Music Group in L.A.
In the same year, she participated in 2 days of “Dnevi slovenske zabavne glasbe 2016” (Eng: Days of Slovenian Pop Music Festival). In 2016, she particiapted in “EMA 2016” (The Slovenian selection for Eurovision 2016). The singer performed the song “Too Cool” and didn’t qualify for the super final (top 2 entries).
In 2017, she released her debut album named “Nomad” (however it includes different songs from the EP with the same name).
In 2019, she completed her studies of music production at Berklee and received the title of “master of music in music production, technology, and innovation)”.
Since Covid-19 arrived, Anja used to release plenty of songs, so we will probably get a new album soon.
Let’s listen to some of her songs
In 2018, she released the song “Coltrane“:
In 2019, she released the song “Kids“:
In 2020, she released the song “Bottle It Up” together with Joza:
In 2021, she released the song “Movie“:
Anja Kotar is a talented pop singer who is also in charge of the production of her music.
Although Slovenia can suggest wonderful music with Balkan influences, Anja gives fresh Western music which can be described as well produced and contemporary.
Sara Briški Cirman (better known as Raiven) is a 25 year old Slovenian singer, songwriter and harpist. Raiven grew up in a family that raises falcones (there you can regularly find birds in her artwork). At the age of 4, she entered Glasbena matica and started her studies in harp playing.
After finishing lower and upper school, she attended Maribor Conservatory of Music where she specialised in harp, jazz singing and solo singing.
In 2015, she attended Ljubljana’s Academy of Music, where she studied opera solo singing. In 2018, she graduated after she had won several awards in classical music.
In 2014, she released her first single, “Jadra” (Eng: Sails), while her second single “Bežim” (Eng: I’m Running), was released in 2015.
In 2016, she competed in “EMA 2016” (the Slovenian selection show for Eurovision). She performed the song “Črno bel” (eng: Black – White) and ended up in 2nd place:
In 2017, she released her debut album “Magenta”.
In the same year, she participated in “EMA 2017“. She performed the song “ZAŽARIM” (Eng: I’m Burning) and ended up in 3rd place:
In 2018, she was of the hosts of “EMA 2018”.
In 2019, she returned to the national selection once again (this time “EMA 2019“) with the song “Kaos” (Eng: Chaos) and ended up in 2nd place:
In June 2021, she graduated master degree in Opara singing.
Let’s listen to 3 of her songs:
In 2017, she released the song “Povej” (Eng: tell)
In 2019, she released the song “Širni Ocean” (Eng: The Vast Ocean):
In 2019, she released the song “Ti” (Eng: You) :
Raiven is a brave artist who has already created futristic music. She combines elements of classical music into electronic beats and on top of that, adds some unique instruments. She has participated 3 times in the Slovenian selection for Eurovision, and therefore we can ensure how important Eurovision is for her. Personally, I think she is one of the most talented artists in Slovenia.
#3. Joker Out
Joker Out is a Slovenian rock band that was formed in 2016.
The band members are:
- Bojan Cvjetičanin – vocals
- Jure Maček – drums
- Kris Gustin – guitar
- Jan Peteh – guitar
- Martin Jurkovič – bass
The band was formed in May 2016, after the break-up of the group Apokalipsa, in which Bojan Cvjetičanin, Matic Kovačič, and Martin Jurkovič played. These were joined by Kris Guštin and Jan Peteh from the group Bourgeoisie and the Joker Out was formed.
Their first public appearance was at the Grove Festival in May 2016. In November 2016, they released their first single “Kot srce, ki kri poganja” (Eng: Like a heart that drives blood).
Thereafter, they performed in several concerts: “Spiel League”, “Bežirock”, “Šubafest” and “the Big Foot Mama” concert.
In 2017, they participated in the 4th season of “Spiel League” and were awarded the winners.
In the summer of 2019, they performed at the Škis Market and the SWITZERLAND and Žirfest festivals. In November 2019, they had their first completely independent concert, at Ljubljana Castle, and in December they performed again at Rhythm of Youth
In 2020, they won an award “Golden Flute” for best newcomers and their song “Gola” (Eng: naked) was nominated for the song of the year.
So far, the band hasn’t released an album, but they release new songs each year.
In 2020, they released the song “Vem Da Greš” (Eng: I know you’re going)
In 2020, they released the song “Umazane Misli” (Eng: Dirty Thoughts) :
In 2021, they released the song “A Sem Ti Povedal” (Eng: And I Told You):
Joker out suggests rock music in the Slovenian language. They have their own unique stamp and they are to stay and stand out. I’m sure they are able to be a sweet surprise for Slovenia at Eurovision.
Iva Mišović (better known as LORENS) is a Serbian singer, songwriter and producer.
She started writing songs at the of 9. She was in college in Berlin, Germany.
Her songs follow themes of jealousy, disharmony and melancholy, encrypted with lyrical metaphors and secret messages. She mentions Depeche Mode, Kate Bush, and Goldfrapp as artists who influenced her music.
In 2020 she released a debut EP – “I Guess It’s About You“.
In 2019, she released the song “Close“:
In 2020, she released the song “Never Get Better“:
In 2020, she released the song “Just Because” :
LORENS brings a unique flavour composed of electronic beats alongside dark nee age pop. Every song by her carries a quality stamp that you can’t ignore. Moreover, Serbia has never sent an artist like her to Eurovision, so it can be pretty interesting.
#2. Luke Black
Luka Ivanović (better known as Luke Black) is a 29 year old Serbian singer-songwriter and producer. After finishing high school, he moved from Čačak to Belgrade where he moved to study English and Literature. Luke gave his first public performance at “Gruvlend Festival” in 2014.
He has received the attention of Universal Music. Right after that, he signed a contract with the company and became the first Serbian pop singer to sign a contract with an international label.
Before he started working with Universal Music, the singer released his debut single in 2014 – “Nebula Lullaby“.
So far, the singer has released 5 EPs:
- Thorns – 2015
- D-Generation – 2015
- Holding On To Love (Remix EP) – 2015
- Demons (Remix EP) – 2017
- Neoslavic – 2018
Over the years, he has managed to perform in different countries, even in China.
In 2016, he released the song “Demons“:
In 2017, he released the song “Olive Tree“:
In 2021, he released the single “Amsterdam“:
Luke Black has international quality. His songs are delicious dishes made of melancholic dark pop with electronic motives and light ethnic influences. I’m sure he will surprise us all if he represents Serbia at Eurovision
Anastasija Raznatovic (or just Anastasija) is a 23 year old Serbian singer. Her mother is the singer Svetlana Raznatovic. Anastasija started working on music at the age of 20.
Her first single “Савршен пар” (Eng: the perfect couple) was released in 2018. In 2019, she released her second single “Rane”. All of her songs became a huge success in Serbia, achieving millions of views on YouTube.
In 2019, she released the song “Rane“
In 2020, she released the song “Volim Te” (Eng: I love you):
In 2021, she released the song “Izvini” (Eng: Excuse me):
Although Anastasija is quite a new singer, she has achieved a lot in a few years of activity. She is well known for well invested video clips. She brings contemporary Balkan pop that lies in the heart of the mainstream, maybe that’s what Serbia needs to go with at Eurovision.
What do you think about our recommendations? Which artists would you like to see representing those 3 countries?
Stay tuned for more recommendations to come, next time we will travel to other countries