He won the Dora 2020 and was elected to represent Croatia in the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam. This was not his first success, as Damir Kedžo is one of the most popular singers in his country; Best Debuting Artist (2006) and Best Interpretation Prizes (2007 & 2012) at Melodije Istre i Kvarnera, a song contest in Croatia running since 1964; Grand Prix in the International Festival of Arts Slavianski Bazaar 2010; First Prize in the 2015 New Wave festival for young artists; winner of the 2016 Tvoje lice zvuči poznato TV show in Croatia… He also writes music, what makes him share his feelings. If the Croatian broadcaster asks him to represent his country in the Eurovision Song Contest 2021 he will say… yes! This is what Damir Kedžo answered to our questions.
Eurobloc.- How has your quarantine been? Did you scheduled some time to sing, rehearse and to take care of your voice…?
Damir Kedžo.- The schedule was crazy. I was doing interviews, online concerts and home recordings non stop. So quarantine for me was like being in a studio for almost 2 months. But in home conditions. I was taking care of my voice by singing non stop. So it is still in top shape. But I have to say that I miss mi vocal lessons at Husar&Tomcic school of singing in Zagreb.
Eurobloc .- What do you think about the fact the 2020 entries will not be allowed to take part in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest?
Damir Kedžo.- It is sad that are not going to be able to put the performance we were working on on that magnificent stage. But at the same time I’m worried that songs that are more than a year and a half old are going to be a bit boring to listen to. So I understand the decision from a Eurovision as a TV show that needs to be exciting point of view.
Eurobloc.- Tell us about the story of ‘Divlji vjetre‘. It seems the song had been waiting for the most suitable performer to appear…
Damir Kedžo.- Yes. And I’m glad it came to me. I felt it right away. And I told Ante, the composer, that it is a gem and we need to go to Dora with it. And that’s what we did.
Eurobloc.- What did you feel when heard the song for the first time? How would you define it?
Damir Kedžo .- I felt goosebumps all over my body. It was an instant connection. I love it when that happens. It’s so special. When you know right that you have something to give and when you feel that the song is yours.
Eurobloc.- The song tells us about a sad story that any person could feel identified with in any moment of our lives; it sounds like pure poetry!
Damir Kedžo.- It is. Croatian is such a beautiful language. And lyrics are poetic. I love it when lyrics are not too literal. Then they leave you the space to paint pictures in your mind when you listen to the song.
Eurobloc.- The song was also revamped thinking about the Eurovision. It seems it was a short time but also a very intense job…
Damir Kedžo.- It was so intense. Right after Dora I had so many interviews to give at home. And we started working on our performance, light, camera angles, backdrop, what we were gonna wear… And by the end of the week we flew to Stockholm. To work with Moh Denebi. Someone I admired for a long time. Ever since he wrote ‘My heart is refusing me’. We were close to a deadline but I felt like I was in heaven. Moh really gave a sense of calmness midst the drama of the song. It started flowing so much better. Shalla and Matroda who produced the Dora version really gave good foundation and Moh just polished it all. I’m so happy with the final result.
Eurobloc.- Can you tell us how your performance would have been in Rotterdam?
Damir Kedžo.- I wanted to follow internal emotional monologue that I’m going through while I sing it. Going from confused and sad to angry to relieved. And I wanted to translate it visually to a storm in all of its stages. For girls I wanted earthy tones. Shades of desert. Morocco meets Middle East esthetic. With silk and of course wind machines. I wanted to remain simple. With white T-shirt and black jeans.
Eurobloc.- We still don’t know if you will get the chance to represent Croatia in the 2021 ESC. Would you accept it? Have you already got in touch with the HRT to discuss about the issue?
Damir Kedžo.- Currently everything is on resolving the coronavirus issue. When everything settles a bit I hope we will have a chance to sit and talk. I would definitely accept. It would be my honor to represent Croatia, as I was supposed to.
Eurobloc.- Are you thinking about some songs in case you were appointed for the Eurovision 21?
Damir Kedžo.- I would love to work just on that. To find 20 songs I love and narrow it down to maybe 10. If there is a decision that I’m going to Rotterdam, then I would give my best to find a song that would suit me the best and has a potential to win.
Eurobloc.- Are you a Eurovision fan? Which are your favourite songs in the Contest, and, of course, your favourite Croatian entries and singers in the show?
Damir Kedžo.- Yes I am. So many! ‘Molitva‘, ‘Lane Moje‘, ‘Euphoria‘, ‘Where are you now‘, ‘Every way that I can‘… Croatian? ‘Marija Magdalena‘ and ‘Neka mi ne svane‘.
Eurobloc.- Which are your professional challenges in a near future?
Damir Kedžo.- I have a single in both Croatian and English coming out. And of course an album. So plenty of things to do and I can’t wait.