Interview with Risto Samardziev: 2015 Macedonian hopeful
Risto Samardziev, a participant of the Macedonian national final “Skopje Fest 2014″ with the song “Sever-Jug” together with Vlatko Ilievski, answered our questions about Skopje Fest and himself.
Hi Risto! Thank you for speaking with us!
Could you please tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in music?
A very, very long time ago. A huge number of my peers had already finished with their musical careers, but I still had the music in me. It has always brought me peace and a sense of safety. Nonetheless, I started with a reggae band in 1981. It was one of the most popular bands of that sort in Macedonia. In 1987 I went solo, and the festivals are a good way to promote my new work to the public and primarily to have fun.
How do you feel about being part of Skopje Fest?
Skopje Fest originates from one of the festivals that set the first stones to the popular music in Macedonia. I already said that I like festivals, and even though I am the most awarded musician and songwriter in Macedonia, sometimes the most important thing is for the festival to be a good celebration accompanied by music. That’s a festival. A musical celebration.
How did you decide to submit a song for Skopje Fest?
Very easy. I like this festival.
How was the song created?
I’ll reveal to you that this composition was meant for a popular boy group that didn’t manage to overcome their disagreements, and with a younger colleague, Vlatko Ilievski, we came to the idea that we could perform that same composition. We’ve already had a duet together, but this time the song is completely different. This is a much more upbeat song and it brings me back to my younger, rock days. It’ll definitely be fun.
Could you tell us a little secret about the song?
The song is cosmopolitan. The title is “North and South”, or in Macedonian – „Север и Југ“, and it refers to an incomprehensible obstacle in this time. It points out how we should be closer to each other, and how it’s always more interesting when people are gathered together. It most definitely has that same message that The Beatles sent 50 years ago. All we need is love.
What are your plans for the performance in Skopje Fest?
It will be really interesting. We have a little surprise and a change in some of the characters on the stage. If it works out it will definitely be intriguing. I’m glad that apart from Vlatko, on the stage beside me will be two more popular and beautiful girls. Their way of introducing themselves will be fascinating.
What do you think of the other participants at Skopje Fest?
It’s a small circle of singers in Macedonia and I know most of the performers. All of them are younger than me but I’m glad they’re still awarding me with their company. Among them are brilliant performers and if the quality of the songs is equal to the quality of the participants, then this will be one of the best Skopje Fest editions. I haven’t heard the compositions, but the challenge “Eurovision’”for many is an encouragement to do their best. And that’s basically the biggest achievement.
What are your future plans if you get to represent Macedonia?
I don’t have any plans and don’t weary my mind with them. I’m glad that this festival is taking place and that I’ll be a part of it with a very good team.
Are you a Eurovision fan yourself?
I see the Eurovision Song Contest as an opportunity for a global Eurovision musical celebration that brings joy to many generations.
Which Eurovision songs from Macedonia are your favorites?
There’s a lot of quality music in Macedonia. I just have the impression that we don’t choose what’s best. In my opinion, out of everyone that has represented us, the song with the most potential was “I love you 100 percent”, or in Macedonian „Сто посто те љубам“. But that song had a horrible performance and that ruined it completely. Elena with “Ninanajna” also was very good. Actually, whether people like it or not, these two songs are still one of the best Eurovision songs.
What did you think of Conchita Wurst, the 2014 winner?
I think it was a good song. That performance was definitely an inspiration for our performance because our girls are going to have a similar voice. They’re going to differ in the style, though.
Do you have a special message for our readers?
Lots of love and lots of reasons for good music and good celebration. Vote for Macedonia no matter who represents it!!!
Thanks again for your time, Risto!
Risto Samardziev & Vlatko Ilievski will participate this week in Skopje Fest 2014.