This year, EMA (Evrovizijska Melodija or in English, Eurovision Melody) will be a 3 night event as two semi finals and one grand final. Semifinals will take place on February 17 and 18 while the grand final bringing an exciting spectacle the following week on February 24th. There are 16 participants this year with some familiar faces such as Amaya ( known by most of us as Maya Keuc) and Omar Naber.
A quick review of participants and what to expect during this 3- night -event is as follows:
There are 4 female vocalists, three bands with completely different styles and one male vocalist who happens to be our one and only Omar Naber. Lets review each of them individually.
Amaya: This is actually Maya Keuc who everyone will remember from ESC 2011 where she finished at 13th place in the grand final with her song “ No one”. This is one of my favorite Eurovision songs which is still on my playlist. I especially enjoy the karaoke version where you can appreciate how powerful the melody is. I am definitely expecting a similar if not more powerful piece from her this year.
King Foo: This is a four member pop rock, acoustica fusion band who has a contemporary feel in their songs but does not seem to have a specific charisma of their own that much. Let’s wait and see.
Lea Sirk: This will probably be a pop act by a female vocalist who apparently is a two times EMA veteran. By judging her with her video clip “ Tako je”, I can say this will be an average act.
Nika Zorjan: This is another young female vocalist who has pop dance style. I think she may have a chance if she brings a catchy upbeat dance number.
Omar Naber: Yes, he wants to go to Kyiv again. I think he was one of the most underrated acts of ESC 2005 and deserved to qualify for the final but surprisingly did not. After watching Deen from Bosnia Herzegovina evolve from a blond twink to bald otter since 2004, I am curious to see how Omar grew up since 2005. On the other hand though, ESC is known to be not very nice to returning aging artists.
Sell out: This is a band with reggae-ska-punk highlights. Based on the song, this can sail out in a wide range of hardcore winner to another joke entry.
Tosca beat: This is a female ensemble of “opera meets with urban beat”. I am sure they will be very strong vocally but “ Love Symphony” already in their portfolio, would Slovenia really go for another similar act?
Zala Duric Ribic: She is maybe the most interesting performer of this semifinal. She is not only a singer but also a song writer and an actress. Her resume includes graduation from NY Film Academy in 2014. It will be very exciting to see her on EMA stage.
Semi final Two:
This semifinal again has 4 female vocalists, one male vocalist and 2 or possibly 3 duo acts.
Alya: She is a very popular pop singer in Slovenia and hit the top of Slovenian pop charts many times. She also participated in EMA many times but couldn’t make it to ESC yet. Maybe 2017 will be her year.
BQL: This is a folk-pop duo with two young boys who are apparently brothers. They will most probably get the tele-votes of Slovenian highschoolers.
Ina Shai: This is a female vocalist with pop /soul style. Her style is not very Eurovision but definitely very contemporary.
Kataya and Duncan Kamakana: This looks like a Slovenia –US collaboration. Kataya is a Slovenian female artist who has pop/RNB/dance music style who also happens to be a playboy model. Duncan Kamakana is a Hawaiian hunk who was a competitor in the Voice US. If anything, they will at least look good on stage.
Nuska Drascek: Another female vocalist who has opera credits in her resume and veteran of EMA twice in the past. She does not stick out among other female vocalists in the game though.
Raiven: This female act has great potential with her outstanding voice, charisma, aura, outrageous hair color and resume of being the superfinalist in EMA 2016. Watching her videos, I thought Cher reincarnated already.
Tim Kores Kori: He is probably the only nemesis of OmarNaber ,being the only other male vocalist in the competition. He’s known to have rock/ metal/pop rock style and he is also a radio show host.
United Pandaz & Arsello feat. Alex Volasko: I am not sure how this will turn out. My understanding is there are two young men who name themselves United Pandazand Pandaz consist of DJ Arsello and vocalist Alex Volasko. If there is more, we will see when things get more clear.
At the end, I would like to say EMA is one of my most favorite shows. It is very modest, cozy and gives you a feeling of a national selection happening in your own living room. This year it has many colorful artists raising my hopes for Ljubljana 2018.