We’re back with another national selection interview, this time featuring Dora 2023 debutant Eni Jurišić!

Eni is a Croatian singer who’s career began back in 2015 during her time on the second season of The Voice Hrvatska (Croatia), and her 2017 debut single “Prije nego nestane” quickly rose to the HR Top 40 chart in Croatia. To date she has had five songs chart in the top 40 within Croatia, with her latest “Trebaš li me” winning her two awards for Song of the Year. Now she turns her eyes towards the Croatian national selection with hopes that she can represent her country at Eurovision in Liverpool!

Welcome to ESCUnited.com for an interview Eni, we’re so happy to have you! How are you doing today?

Thanks for asking, I’m doing great actually. I just had the most wonderful week the previous week, I received 3 awards for my last single “Trebaš li me” in the category song of the year and hit of the year on Croatian charts. So generally speaking, it’s a very exciting period of my life right now.

Oh that is amazing news, congratulations on all your new awards! 🙂 Now you competed on the second season of The Voice Hrvatska back in 2016, which really catapulted your career as an artist. What did you learn about yourself while competing on the show?

The Voice experience was amazing, I met so many talented people, mentours, and it helped me expand my views and hone my vocal skills. Primarily, it taught me that talent is just one piece of the success puzzle, and that hard work is what really matters. It just made me realize that I had to invest everything I had in order to succeed. So I learned both about show business and about myself. 

And of course, through that experience I learned that love comes when you least expect it. I met my husband Vjeko (also a singer) at The Voice auditions, and we have been together ever since. 🙂 

And now seven years later you’re in a new competition Dora, competing for the chance to represent your country in Eurovision. What made you decide to submit an entry this year? Have you tried or thought of competing prior to 2023?

I just recorded “Kreni dalje” around the application period for Croatian selection, so I figured why not? I would have released it regardless of the competition, but the whole selection process and the hype about the Dora song contest is always fun. I’ve never applied before so I decided to take on a new challenge. 

It’s also something I wanted to do since I was a kid because I spent my whole childhood watching my mom prepare for live shows and compete as a singer at various festivals. She also competed at Dora in the early 2000s so participating in Croatian selection has a special place in my heart because now she is watching and supporting me in this year’s competition. So it would be great if I qualify for Eurovision.  

Alright now it’s time for some rapid fire “get to know you” questions. First up, if you could perform a one-night only concert anywhere in the world you wanted right now, where would you choose to perform and why?

In fantasy terms, I would have loved to perform at the original Woodstock festival, but in real-life terms, Arena Pula in Croatia is such a unique venue. I got goosebumps just thinking about the performance there. 

When you’re not performing or recording music how do you spend your free time?

When you’re a musician your personal time gets occupied by music as well. I spend a lot of my free time rehearsing, listening to new music and watching recordings of live shows. 

I’m into fashion, 90s TV shows, I often attend concerts, plays and exhibitions. When I meet up with my friends, I enjoy going bowling. I love to take trips and explore new places with my husband. When we find the time, we go sailing, and especially enjoy Croatian islands, and that’s when “Do not disturb” mode goes on. 

If you had the opportunity to record a Eurovision cover album and you got to pick the songs for the album, what entries would be on your track list and why?

This is a great question. My cover album would probably be a mini-cover album made of my all time Eurovision favorites:. 

  1. Tout L’Univers- Gjon’s Tears
  2. Molitva – Marija Šerifović
  3. Think about things – Dady Freyt
  4. Zitti e buoni – Maneskin
  5. Rock me – Riva
  6. Salvador Sobral – Amar Pelos Dois

Speaking of songs, your Dora entry “Kreni dalje” was written by Matija Cvek (backing vocalist for Croatia 2017) and Vlaho Arbulic – what was it like working together with this songwriting team, and can you tell us what the songwriting process was like?

The song was written by Matija Cvek, who is a dear friend of mine and with whom I collaborated on my previous single and performed live many times. He writes such beautiful lyrics. He and Vlaho composed the melody together. Afterwards, we figured it would be perfect to add just a snippet of strong beats to make the song sound more contemporary. I love working with them, and the producer Filip Majdak did an amazing job. Even though the song is more of a nostalgic power ballad, we had such a positive work atmosphere full of laughs. 

If I only gave you ten words to describe what we’ll see from you on the Dora stage, what words would you use?

Emotion, nostalgia, vulnerability, power, grace, confidence, fashion, minimalism, transformation…

As we wrap up, for those who want to connect with you ahead of or after the selection– where can they find you and your music?

My music is available on YouTube, Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music. To all my international fans who fell in love with “Kreni dalje”, I would recommend they give a listen to my previous single “Trebaš li me”. “Kreni dalje” is basically a sequel (both lyrically, and instrumentally)  to “Trebaš li me” so I think they might enjoy that song as well. 

Last question – is there any message you’d want to share with the ESCUnited readers?

Actually, I would like to say a couple of words about the song “Kreni dalje”. “Kreni dalje” is a beautiful and nostalgic pop ballad. The song title translates as “move on” or “get over it” so it’s basically a breakup song written from the perspective of a woman who is ready to forget about her ex-partner. The message of the song is that being emotionally vulnerable doesn’t necessarily mean being weak or powerless. 

In my performance, I intend to give the audience a glimpse into a sensitive feminine side of me, which basically represents the sadness and melancholy everybody goes through after a break-up, and opposite that a strong image of a woman who is ready to turn the page and start a new chapter.  In other words, I would like my song to act as an empowering message to women all around the world going through difficult periods in their lives and trying to find and use their inner strength. We are sensitive, and we are wounded but we are strong and will continue to fight whatever obstacles life throws at us. 

I think that’s it. Thank you for having me and I wish all of the contestants the best of luck in their national selections.  🙂

Eni Jurišić will compete in Dora 2023 this coming Saturday, February 11th at 20:15 CET via HRT1. The winner of Dora will go on to represent Croatia at Eurovision and will aim to bring the country back to the Grand Final for the first time since 2017. 

Are #YOU team Eni Jurišić for Croatia? Let us know on social media @ESCUnited, on our discord, or on our forum page!

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