It’s our pleasure to release our next interview ahead of this coming Super Saturday, this time featuring Maja Grgić of Croatia.

Maja is an artist who began her musical journey at just six years old when she recorded “Sunce” with the famous choir Mali Raspjevani Dubrovnik, and would write her first song at 14 years old. Her career has spanned a number of genres such as pop-rock while serving as the frontwoman for Zoo Taboo, and Jazz from her studies at the Jazz Academy in Graz, and she has performed in concerts around Croatia, Europe, and even China. And now, she takes to the biggest international stage in Croatia – the Dora final.

Welcome to Maja and thanks for taking some time to interview with us today! How are you all doing today ahead of the Dora final?

Hello and thank you for having me on this interview. Although I am very nervous and super stressed out about preparations, the feeling of excitement overflows everything.

Now this is your first time participating in the Croatian national final, what motivated you to submit an entry this year? Was this the first time you’d thought of submitting a song?

My submission for Dora this year was unexpected and an impulsive decision. My colleague Teo Martinović and I, made a song for the upcoming album. But, when my partner Niko heard the song he insisted on submitting it to the Dora competition. Now, I am beyond grateful that I said yes to his persuasion. 

How would you describe your music and sound to our readers, especially those who haven’t listened to your music before? Are there any artists who inspire or influence you musically?

Well, to start off, I would say that my music and sound is definitely not for everyone and it does not fit into “commercial music types”. To be honest, I am pretty glad about that. My music is a reflection of me and my work. Talking about my song, I believe that it breaks the stereotypes and brings a bit of refreshment to the Dora stage. I would define it as a soft combination of jazz and pop. Al Jarreu, Bobby McFerrin, Dinah, Reeves and Veronica Swift are the artists I admire and look for in singing and vocal points. 

I’m going to ask a few quick questions to help our readers get to know you better as an artist and a person. Looking back on your career, what would you say has been your biggest accomplishment so far? 

Looking back at my career, I would say my biggest accomplishment so far was the “Porin” award for best jazz music composition, where I was the first female composer in Croatia to win this kind of award. Referring to “Dora” it has opened a lot of doors for my career, and I hope many great opportunities will come after. 

If you had the opportunity to collaborate with an Eurovision artist of your choice to write a new song, who would you choose to collaborate with and why? 

That would definitely be Maneskin. I admire them as artists because they brought refreshment to the stage with pure rock and roll. They made a perfect balance of their youth with rock and roll which is considered “old school”… If we made a new song it would be untypical mix of jazz and rock, which could be a fun combination. 

Let’s focus back on your Dora song “I Still Live”, which was written by your long time songwriting partner Mateo Teo Martinovic. What was the songwriting process like to create this song together?

The song “I still live” was originally written for the new album, when I was casually overthinking about afterlife while cooking. The lyrics were written in my sketchbook impulsively, on a regular Sunday and Teo came up with the music for it right after I sent it to him. 

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

Hmm… Let’s say it will be interesting, a bit odd, magical, rhythmic, riveting, expressive, eccentric, deep, different and naturalistic. 

Now I noticed that you have a small tie to the UK having studied songwriting composition and performance at the London Center for Contemporary Music from 2009 to 2012. If you won Dora this year, what would it mean to you to be able to not only go to Eurovision but also return to a country where you have such special ties to? 

Well, UK is really close to my heart, since I spent a good amount of time preparing for what I do full time today; singing and preforming . If I win the Dora competition, it will not only mean returning to UK, but returning with pride and joy of what I have accomplished. I can only imagine the emotions I would feel of my dreams coming true in a country where I was once just an irrelevant music student. 

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?

For anyone that wants to support me and my work you can find me on instagram; @majagrgicmusic, youtube; Maja Grgić or my official site I am super grateful for each individual supporter 🙂 

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

I would like to thank everyone who took time to read this interview, my supporters, our amazing team, and the whole Dora 2023 organization. I hope that you will enjoy our performance! 

Maja Grgić is set to compete sixth during the Croatian national final Dora, which will select the country’s next artist and song for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. The show is set to air at 20:05 PM CET on February 11th on HRT1 and HRTi.

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

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