Knez speaks to escNorge

The very first name to emerge for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest was Knez, who will be representing Montenegro on the stage in Vienna. This is a new name to most people outside the Balkan area, and escNorge’s Wiv sat down to have a chat with him.

Wiv; First of all; Congratulations on being chosen to represent Montenegro in Eurovision Song Contest!! Is this something you have wanted for some time?
Knez; Thank you so much! To be honest, one of my greatest wishes is to represent Montenegro in Eurovision Song Contest. Years back, I competed in the national selection with the song Navika, but I didn’t win, obviously. So after that I was upset because ESC is the biggest music contest in the world, and I believe, a dream of many musicians. So when RTCG called me months ago to take part, there were no words to describe my happiness.

Navika, Knez’ entry in the 2004 Evropesma

Wiv; Knez is a brand new name to most Norwegians. Could you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your musical background and your career?
Knez; I would love to introduce myself. I have been into the regional ex YU music scene for more than 20 years now. My father, Mili Knezevic, was a musician and composer, so he introduced me to the magical world of music. That’s how my first bands were created; Visoka frekvencija, then Moon band and finally Montenegro band, which gathered the best musicians back then. My solo career started in 1992, and since then I have released 10 music albums, music videos, had concerts and gigs, and performed at all regional and national music festivals. The music I sing is mostly pop and pop-rock. My first album called »Kao magija» (Like a magic) was pop, while the latest album The magic of Balkans, is a different music style from what I used to do. It’s a very interesting change, more traditional sound from the Balkans, let’s say it is urban ethno jazz, the sound shows cultural heritage of the Balkan region and it’s countries.

Wiv; In addition to being a singer you are also a songwriter. Will you write your own entry, or at least be part of the team who will write it?
Knez; I am more into composing, so I do have some ideas but not thinking that way much. I would like to hear songs of composers who’s work I love and respect, and of course new composers as I want to give a chance to anyone.

Wiv; You mainly perform in Montenegrin; is it likely that you will sing in your own language in Vienna as well?
Knez; It is too early to say that.

Wiv; The popularity of Eurovision Song Contest varies a lot from one country to another. Is the contest popular in Montenegro? And how about you personally; are you a fan?
Knez; Absolutely. Even people who aren’t huge fans watch the semifinals and final of Eurovision. Personally I am fan and I respect this contest as it is the greatest in the world. Like the Olympic Games are the biggest for athletes, Eurovision is biggest for us singers and musicians.

Wiv; Do you have any Eurovision-traditions?
Knez; Every year I like to sit back at home and watch with my close friends and family. We always have favorite entries, sometimes we disagree about choices and likeability of some songs, but it’s very positive energy after all. Sometimes it happens that I am on business trip because of some concert, during Eurovision nights, so if I don’t watch it live on TV, I check all performances on Youtube after.

Wiv; Our readers like hearing about artists’ Eurovision-favorites; What is your favorite ESC-entry?
Knez; There are a lot of good entries, for example Athena – For real, Loreen – Euphoria, Lena – Satellite, Manga – We could be the same, Zeljko Joksimovic – Nije ljubav stvar and Aram MP3 – Not alone

Wiv; And your favorite Montenegrin entry?
Knez; My favorite Montenegrin entry is definitely Sergej Cetkovic – Moj svet.

Wiv; And since we’re a Norwegian site; do you have a favorite Norwegian entry as well?
Knez; Margaret Berger – I feed you my love, that song is so powerful and energetic, I like Carl Espen – Silent storm, Alexander Rybak’s Fairytale, Secret Garden – Nocturne. You Norwegians have good music scene.

Wiv; Will you be participating in any of the pre contest concerts, for instance Eurovision in Concert in Amsterdam or the London preview party?
Knez; I look forward to it, great way to meet Eurovision fans and other singers who will perform in Vienna, and feel part of positive atmosphere that contest brings.

Wiv; What music do you listen to when you want to relax and enjoy? And which artists inspire you?
Knez; It depends. When I want to relax I listen to smooth jazz. I like Michael Franks and jazz that comes from New York City scene. For other occasions, it is Christina Aguilera, Calvin Harris, David Guetta, Armin Van Buuren…I do like to explore new musicians and songs from another countries

Wiv; Apart from preparing for the Eurovision Song Contest, what are your plans for the near future? Will there for instance be a tour? And if so: will it include Norway (Oslo)?
Knez; The plan for now is to release another song from my new album which is planned for spring 2015, to do some promo videos and music video, and defiantly prepare for Vienna. There might be some promo tour when we choose the Eurovision song. However, I would like to come to Oslo and other cities in Norway, especially northern Norway. Songs from album The magic of Balkans, as urban ethno jazz can be very interesting for your audience. It can be interesting to connect our cultures and we both do respect our culture and tradition.

This is the first song from Knez’ coming album, which will be released in the spring.

Wiv; Apart from singing; what does your life look like; work, hobbies…?
Knez; I like painting, going to gym and doing sports, traveling, going out and spending time with friends. Like all ordinary people.

Wiv; Thanks a lot for taking the time to «talk» to me; I appreciate it a lot. I’m very much looking forward to seeing you in Vienna!
Knez; Thank you Wivian and I hope to see you too and escNorge team in Vienna.

We here at escNorge wish Knez the best of luck in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna!

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