Monday, 29 April 2013

Monty’s Eurovision Countdown 2013 Part 24 - MACEDONIA (FYR of) Pred Da Se Razdeni by Esma and Lozano

You Tube link

My interest was piqued when I heard Esma’s name in connection with Eurovision. She’s known as the Queen of Gypsy Music and her participation promised much. She’s paired with Lozano, a young Macedonian upstart in an unlikely inter-generational coupling. When their song Imperija was announced it was met with largely positive reviews, but within just a few days we were hearing that it hadn’t gone down too well with some power that is and it was to be changed. This is what we got. Outside of Macedonia it’s been more or less judged to be worse than their original choice, although it does appear to showcase Esma somewhat more, making you wonder where the original dissatisfaction lay. It now feels like they’re both singing different songs clumsily welded together, but the lyrics reveal a call-and-response from Lazano to Esma, he longing for the old days, she soothing him and bidding him stay until the dawn. The disjointedness of the verse to chorus, musically, detracts from the overall cohesion and ultimately from the enjoyment and really you feel they’ve wasted Esma’s talents to a large degree as the thoughts of what she could have delivered solo tantalise you throughout, but she still manages to shine, albeit having diminished their opportunity for a really good placing. Based on her local notoriety alone this should sail into the final, but we’re looking at a mid-table result at best once it gets there.

My score: 7 points

Monty x


  1. Great analysis, Monty. As for the original Macedonian dissatisfaction with Imperija, without going too much into it, let's just say that this is another case of the never-ending Balkan cultural wars. For the powers that be, Imperija was basically too 'turbo folk', a music style that has low-class, negative connotations in the Balkans. Having such a song composed and written by people who work in Turbofolk, and have a gypsy woman performing as an equal to boot, supposedly would reflect negatively on Macedonia's image in European eyes, if you were to believe what was being said in the Macedonian media and forums. Much was said about Imperija's supposedly poor lyrics, like as if the rest of Europe understands Macedonian to notice.
    I, on the other hand, thought that Imperija was a good song, just that it needed to be souped up a little to let Esma display her full talent. Though I gotta say that I was pleased to see a Macedonian ESC entry finally receiving such great first reactions from the rest of Europe. But, trust us Macedonians to shoot ourselves in the foot by replacing it with Pred da se razdeni, which apparently represents Macedonia in a more 'dignified' way. Well, Europe (with no other ex-Yugo countries in Semi Final 2) will be the judge of that come 16 May.

    1. Thanks for that insight, really interesting. I do like to observe the way that Eurovision is considered in different countries; coming from the UK where the prevailing social view is to mock and not take it seriously it's fascinating to contrast the view of some of the newer countries where it's perceived that the Eurovision entry is perhaps more of a 'shop-window' for the international reputation of that country.

      By the way I've often enjoyed the Macedonian entries: I loved Kalliopi and Karolina's Od Nas Zavisi is one of my all-time favourites. But then having lived in the Soviet Union and speaking a bit of Russia I probably have a more Slavic ear than your average Brit :-)

      Monty x