Ahead of Dora 2022 this weekend we were able to meet with participant Mia Dimšić. Together we talked about how life has been since she was announced for the national final, her songwriting process, and her plans for Dora this year!
Hello Mia – we are so excited to speak with you today and get to know you better! Why don’t you introduce yourself to our readers and tell us more about who you are?
Thank you so much for having me, it goes both ways! My name is Mia Dimšić, I’m 29 years old and I was born in Osijek, Croatia but am currently living in the capital Zagreb due to my singer-songwriting career. It all began in 2015 when I released my first official single and signed a record deal, and my life’s been a crazy rollercoaster ever since.
Lovely, thank you so much! And of course, you’ve been announced as one of the participants in Dora this upcoming weekend – what has life been like since the announcement was made in December?
It’s been very hectic. I can’t say I’m not used to that, but the amount of little details necessary to make those three minutes on the big stage perfect still took me by surprise. My team and me devoted a lot of time and energy into connecting the visual part of my performance with the song itself and I hope we’ll be able to make it an interesting sensation for the audience in Opatija.
Now this might be a bit of a difficult question, who are some of your musical inspirations or influences and how do they impact the music you make and perform?
There are so many of them it’s hard to make a list. One of the first was definitely Jewel. I discovered her when I was 10 and knew half the lyrics even though I could barely understand English at the time. She is to-date one of my biggest influences, but later on I also stumbled upon bluegrass and country music and started admiring Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson, and Dolly Parton.
My biggest inspiration ever is Taylor Swift. She had her breakthrough when I was 16, so that meant we were close in age and we both played guitar and wrote our own songs, and the way Taylor translates relatable feelings and stuff we’ve all been through to catchy phrases and elaborate descriptions still never fails to amaze me. I am also a huge fan of Ed Sheeran and John Mayer. All of the abovementioned artists are exceptional lyricists, so you could say I have a thing for that.
While doing some research on you I noticed that most of your covers, music, and live performances feature an acoustic guitar. What is it about the guitar sound that radiates with you so much?
I started playing guitar when I was 16 and back then I didn’t feel very comfortable in my own skin, so the guitar not only helped me make more friends at parties and discover a well-hidden extrovert inside myself, it also made me feel more comfortable on stage during my first solo pursuits and pushed me to start writing my own songs which was one of the biggest breakthroughs of my life. By the time I got a chance to start making original music, I was so used to guitar that I felt it was my natural extension. Even though I’ve completely lost stage fright over the years, I still feel most natural when I’m up there with my guitar.
I also wanted to ask you about the songs you write, as I noticed you are listed on the writing team for most of your releases. What does the songwriting process usually look like for you and your team?
It really depends on the song and the mood. Some days I feel best sitting in my room and writing songs by myself, sometimes I meet up with my team and we do it all together on the spot, and sometimes we’ll spend weeks or even months throwing ideas around via e-mail and finishing each other’s thoughts. Songwriting is such a magical process and I can’t picture myself singing songs without having participated in their creation. Having the opportunity to tell stories through music is a huge privilege, and having people sing your own lines back to you during shows is the most surreal thing ever. It’s really no wonder us musicians would do practically anything to have that happen to us.
So let’s transition over to Dora 2022 now – what made you decide to participate in the selection this year?
This year I finally had a song I felt was 100% me and that was the only reason I applied. I could never picture myself trying to write a Eurovision song, I knew it had to be the other way around. I really didn’t think about it much – I initially wrote “Guilty Pleasure” with my team for it to be the lead single on my first English record. We’ve been planning it for a long time, but this year pieces of the puzzle finally fit together the way they should. Somewhere through that process my manager suggested we apply it for Dora and it felt right. I am a huge believer in intuition and when my body feels nice and comfortable about something, I always try to go for it. No matter the outcome, I know I did the absolute best thing applying for Dora in this particular moment in my career.
And you also co-wrote your song “Guilty Pleasure” for the national final. Can you help our readers understand the message and story behind the song?
“Guilty Pleasure” is a quiet contemplation about having dreamed of someone you’re not supposed to be dreaming of and feeling very guilty about it. Still, you can’t help your fantasies even though you’re in a committed relationship. I think we’ve all been there at one point or another. The fact that we find it hard to devote our life to one person only doesn’t necessarily make us villains – maybe it just makes us human.
How have preparations been going ahead of Dora in terms of rehearsals, outfit fittings, staging, etc. Do you feel ready for the big stage?
There’s so much to do and it’s all so exciting and new for me. The performance is all planned out and we have yet to rehearse it to perfection during our final rehearsal week. I also feel very confident about my styling since I feel very comfy in it, but it’s also one step forward and discovers some of the sides of me I haven’t shown to the audience before. I would describe my performance as very intimate, emotional and simple, but hopefully memorable.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a good interview if I didn’t ask you about Eurovision – are you a big fan of the contest?
Some of my friends are completely crazy about Eurovision in the way even I can’t compete with, but I am definitely a fan as well. I’ve been watching since I was a little kid and I discovered a lot of amazing artists through it. I think it’s a platform any aspiring artist can only wish for. It has some kind of rules, but also makes room for complete freedom, creativity and exploration of yourself and that is very precious. I can’t wait to see what this year’s Eurovision has in store for us.
For those who want to connect with you ahead of or after the national selection – where can they find you and your music?
You can find me on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, and all of that is easy to reach through my website miadimsic.com.
Last question – is there any message you’d want to share with the ESCUnited readers?
I just want to thank everyone for supporting us so much. Having an attentive audience like that even before the national selection is so huge for all of us. I hope you’ll all enjoy this year’s Eurovision and discover many cool new artists.
Well Mia, thank you so much for taking some time to speak with us, and we wish you the best of luck during Dora!