Serbia’s 2016 Eurovision Entry
Meet Sanja. She started out in a band called “Who is the Best” which I initially assumed was a tribute band that performed covers of “My Generation” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. Oddly enough, “Who is the Best” was instead part of the surprisingly fertile and complex Serbian Hip-Hop movement.
I don’t detect any residual hip-hop elements to this “Goodbye Shelter” song though. Sanja Vučić ZAA has a fair set of pipes on her, and belts this big ‘ol ballad out creditably. She’s a big fan of Aretha Franklin (who isn’t?) and she speaks fluent Arabic. It seems a bit disappointing, therefore, that none of this sort of cultural hybridity makes its way into this song – which doesn’t even carry any vaguely Balkan signifiers with it. Unles you count the costume.
The story of Serbian hip-hop is probably fascinating. Secreted within its eclectic rhythms, its acknowledged dissonances and unexpected consonances you will probably find the long term solution to peace in the Balkan region. I hope someone else is researching this. Because I’m not.
But Sanja offers no clue to as to this remarkable and ongoing tradition. She’s dressed, like many Eurovision singers in this and other years, as a sort of GameofThronesy warrior queen. She’s the sort of person you don’t so much meet as get dragged in chains in front of.
She’s really working the fingers in this performance though. This kind of gesticulation feels meaningful – not random. Dark magic is afoot.
Then again there’s Ivan from Belarus, who may or may not be dancing naked with wolves…
In the meantime, here is Israel:
You might prefer this GameofThronesy offering from Switzerland
Here, on the other hand, is Poland.
And here’s cheery Latvia,
Someone else who doesn’t look cross at all is Malta’s representative –
Meanwhile, I found Bosnia and Herzegovina somewhat intriguing this year – see below…
More interesting than Montenegro, anyhow
Far, far more conventional is Azerbaijan
More chillingly, here is Estonia
But here, by way of some (but not much) relief is Cyprus
On a lighter note, see the Czech Republic’s offering…
San Marino – folks…
Meanwhile, here’s the Netherlands…
Here’s Austria by the way…