Filip Marinkov, better known as Filarri, is one of the freshest faces gracing the Serbian PZE stage this year. This young musician is also a TikToker and an influencer, cleverly grouping his hobbies in a way that ultimately are helping him expand on his musical career. His eccentric style and a self-described androgynous appearance are only a few features that accentuate the overall impression that he leaves on people.

At the moment of writing this, Filarri has 5.5 million likes on TikTok, as well as over 120 thousand followers, which, for an up-and-coming musician, are quite poignant numbers. Today we had an honor to sit down with him for a little chat about his background, musical style, plans and his PZE performance.

Filarri, welcome aboard to ESCUnited, we are very excited to have a chance to talk to you!

Hello, thank you for having me, I am also very happy to be here with you and share some interesting things about me with your audience. Can’t wait to start!

Since you are such a fresh face, we would love to get to know you a little bit better. What can you tell us about your background, how did you decide this was the career direction you wanted to go for, as well as your musical style?

Ever since I realized that I was talented in music, more precisely that I could sing, even though I was very young and didn’t know anything about this business, I remember exactly that feeling I had when I sang. I really love and feel music. So I can say that somehow I always knew that I would be a singer. My musical beginnings actually started quite late. When I enrolled in high school, I enrolled in music school at the same time and graduated with honors. I also enrolled in a private singing school in that period, which I attended for 4 years. After that, I started to get interested in music production and composing and enrolled in sound design and music production studies. Considering that I was very talented, my double bass teacher at the music school had the ambition to enter a music academy in America or Spain. Although we were very much at the end of the preparations and I liked the idea, I decide to give it up, because I wasn’t that interested in serious music and I didn’t see myself in it. I continued with music production studies until my first single Drama on which I am the author of music and lyrics. I originally wrote this song in English and that version was also ready for publication, but I decided to save it for a while. After that, I published my second single Zabranjeno. With this one, I did not participate in the author’s work and the song did not attract any special attention of the audience. At the beginning of 2023, I released my third single U tami where I am the author of the lyrics. This song has become a real hit on social networks, people really love it and they have responded very well. I premiered the song at MAC 2023 in Stark Arena. It is also my first serious performance and a very nice experience. And finally, we come to my fourth single Posle mene, which I submitted for PZE23 and which I will perform at that competition on March 2, 2023.

My musical style? Hmm… That is a question I often ask myself. Modern music has evolved so much and performers are no longer afraid to experiment. I think that declaring music by genre has become totally irrelevant and that there is only a division into mainstream and alternative. So I think that I will never find myself in a genre and limit myself to one genre, because besides the fact that I like a lot of different styles, I like to experiment and it is important for me to enjoy what I am recording, regardless of what genre it is. In short, the musical direction that I am currently presenting can be described as modern and experimental. I am satisfied with the way my career is going and I would like to continue like that, with even more songs and performances. In addition, my huge desire is an international career, so I would like to work on that as well.

Wow, it sounds like you really know the ground you stand on and what you think and feel about music in general. But how about this: when you think of Eurovision, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Have you always wanted to participate, is this something that attracted you from the beginning?

Eurovision is one of the biggest dreams that I have, when we are talking about music and my music career. Ever since I was a child, I watched Eurovision and dreamed of being on that stage. So that is the first thing that comes to my mind when you say Eurovision. Big stage and big audience.

Talking of big stages and audiences… This year’s MAC awards hosted you as a performer! What an achievement. I watched the red carpet event, and I noticed that you mentioned this was your first bigger performance, specifically in a grand arena. How was that experience for you?

Oh my God! MAC performance at Stark Arena was such a great experience and achievement for a young artist like me, that has only started his music career. At first I was afraid and excited at the same time. This was not planned and we had only one day to prepare for that performance, which sound crazy and unachieveable, and made the whole thing even scarier, but we made it somehow. I can’t explain that feeling when you stand on such a big stage. We did the performance without any mistakes and reaction of public was amazing. I will definitely remember this performance for a long time.

Congratulations, Filarri! Sounds like a lot of work, but also very rewarding. Obviously, that being a major success, it is no surprise that someone like you would also be selected to participate in PZE. What was your reaction when you found out that you will be performing shoulder to shoulder with some of the biggest names in the industry?

I can’t say that i didn’t believe this would happen, and honestly I expected it. But you know, you can’t believe in something like that since you don’t see it with your own eyes. So I became aware of it and actually realized I am in the competition when the list came out. I couldn’t stop my excitement and emotions, I was crying, dancing, singing, jumping at the same time.

I bet! Now, let’s talk about your song Posle mene a little bit more. Your voice flows over the modern beat seamlessly, and it’s definitely a song that is easily stuck on repeat. For me at least, it contains subtle hints of nostalgia, too. What can you tell us about the message behind this song, and the creative process involved in putting it together?

Thank you very much! I’m so glad you like the song. A very interesting experience of the song as nostalgic. I never saw it like that. I always look forward to different impressions and how the listeners experience my music in their own way. That’s the most beautiful thing for a performer, if you ask me. I’ve been saving this song for two years and planned it to be a radio hit. Somehow, I couldn’t find a moment when I would publish it and quite spontaneously it happened that I submitted it to PZE23. Now I’m very happy about that and I think this is the best decision for this song. Although at first glance the song doesn’t seem like it has a message, it’s actually not like that. There are a couple of motifs in the song, and as the main one I would single out the motif of the man who destroys. I can easily relate it to the weather disasters that happen to humanity, which are the result of human non-life on planet Earth. I feel like no matter how hard people try, it’s somehow in our nature to destroy everything beautiful. Be it nature and ecological systems or an emotional relationship between two partners.

Very interesting and quite fitting for the occasion. This being an upbeat song, is it wrong to assume your performance will also be dynamic in that sense? Upon checking out your videos, it is clear that you can dance and perform full choreographies. For us curious Eurovision readers, is there anything at all you can reveal about your performance?

That’s right, I always try to have the song accompanied by choreography, because from the beginning of creating the song, I also think about live performances. The song is fast and we have prepared a very demanding choreography. I will have four dancers on stage whit me and of course I will follow through almost everything they do.

How exciting! We cannot wait to see it. You have such a star quality about yourself. What are your plans for the future? Will you continue your influencer ways, or do you plan to completely focus on your career as a musician?

Thank you very much, words like this mean a lot to me and inspire me to be even better. The plan is to fully focus on music, but that does not mean that I will neglect my social networks. However, it is the medium through which I communicate with my audience, and that relationship is very important to me. I don’t want to neglect it. After all, I do all this for my audience.

For our readers who would want to connect with you via social media or follow your music, can you share your handles and your Youtube channel?

Of course! If you want to follow me and get to know me better, you can do it on TikTok: filarri, this is the social network where I’m most active. Then there is Instagram: filarrimusic I try to be more active here, but Instagram is a social network where I post important things like performances, guest shows or the release of a new song. And finally, there is my YouTube channel: Filarri Music where you can watch and listen to all my songs that I have published and that I will publish.

Finally – is there anything you would like to share with our international audience?

I would like to thank everyone who follows my work and supports me. I am looking forward to new people who will hear about me and get to know me only through this article. Welcome to my little world!

Filarri performs in the 2nd semi-final of PZE on March 2 at 21:00 CET.

What do #YOU think about Filarri and his song Posle mene? Let us know on social media @ESCUnited, on our Discord, or on our forum page!

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