Our next interview ahead of the second Super Saturday features Meri Andraković from the Croatian national final Dora.
Meri is no stranger to competitions, having participated in the first season of RTL Televizija’s singing competition Zvjezdice where she would make it to the top six overall. After the show concluded, she released her first single “Sve sam tebi oprostila ja” and would then sign a record label deal with Croatia Records. In December of 2020 she released her first album Voli which peaked at number 15 on the Croatian charts.
Hello there Meri and welcome to ESCUnited.com for an interview! How are you doing today in the build up to Dora?
Hello and thank you! Kind regards. So far, the preparations are going as planned, although I have been preparing vocally and on stage since the 11th month. The excitement is there, and the song becomes energetically stronger with each new rehearsal.
That’s great to hear, especially since we’re in the final days now. And you do have some competition experience, having participated in the first season of Zvjezdice back in 2015 and making it to the top six. What did you learn about yourself as an artist during that experience?
Yes, that was the beginning of my musical journey, which I started as a girl. Then I discovered that the stage is my second life, as far as acting and singing are concerned, since I will soon get a diploma in acting and puppetry on Academy of Arts and Culture in Osijek. It’s not easy to step into that big world when you’re young, but you gain a lot of experience over the years, the most important thing is to always listen to yourself.
A diploma in puppetry you say? I’m intrigued and want to know more but we have to move on….I’m going to ask some quick questions to help our readers get to know you better next. If you could collaborate with any Eurovision artist on a new song, who would you choose to work with and why?
Hard question. I think it would be Go_A. She impressed me when she represented Ukraine in 2021 and I think she would do very well in such a musical genre, if I wake up my pagan genes a little.
That’s a wonderful choice – I’m a fellow fan of their music from the contest and post-ESC as well! Speaking of music, when did your passion for music first start, and when did that passion transition into a career opportunity?
My love for music was born from a young age, I performed and sang for the first time at the age of 7 at a school performance. Since then, music has become a part of my life, my medicine, my escape and the means by which I think and feel. At the age of 15, after the finale of Zvjezdice, offers began to arrive related to musical collaborations, that’s actually how Boris and I started our musical collaboration. I say, it’s a hard road from thorns to the stars, especially when you’re young.
What is one thing that our readers would be surprised to learn about you?
In my free time, I study acting and puppetry on Academy of Arts and Culture in Osijek, I write songs, I have a black cat Pablo with whom I live, ten closest people who surround me and family support in whatever I do. I can say that I am a really happy person. And also, I really love to cook, and because I am vegetarian, I love to make all kinds of pastas.
Have you always had an interest in participating in the Croatian national final and go to Eurovision, or has this been more a recent goal or dream for you as an artist?
I’ve been watching Eurovision since I was little and my biggest dream was to one day represent my country. I think that for every musician there is no greater and better recognition for their efforts and work, so this year I would like to make my dream come true.
Your song “Bye Bye Blonde” is certainly different compared to the others because of it’s pop-disco elements. What was the songwriting process like to create this song and is there a specific inspiration or message behind it’s lyrics?
This song has deeper message, deeper than changing colour of my hair. Lyrics and the music of the song are describeing my life path: I started with my career as 15 old girl, and now I am 22. So, there goes that interesting thing: changeing color of my hair, from blonde to dark brown (which is my natural hair color). But, that is only the art motive for my true change, I grew up in much stronger woman, there were many things that changed me and many things that had big influence on my change. It is song about letting go your past, be thankful on the person you were back then, and about letting your true self out. Boris added everything that gave life to a disco-pop sound that grabs you from the first beats.
If I only gave you ten words to describe what we’ll see from you on the Dora stage, what words would you use?
Words from my song: I’m in love with danger, I’m a game changer – period.
Fascinating….I can’t wait to see how those words make more sense on Saturday! 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?
Listeners can hear me on Youtube, Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Tidal.
Last question – is there any message you’d want to share with the ESCUnited readers?
Of course, first they should discover the meaning of the song “Bye bye blonde” and love themselves and let their real selves out and of course – to support me if they think my song could be the best to represent Croatia at Eurovision. Thank you very much for the conversation and I send my best regards!
Meri Andraković is set to compete fifteenth 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.