North Macedonia has chosen, and Andrea will be heading to Turin in May to represent her country at Eurovision. But who is this suave songbird following in the footsteps of Vasil and Tamara Todevska? Only one way to find out:
She Had Her Own ‘Harlem Renaissance’
Andrea was born on Valentine’s Day, in the year 2000, in Skopje. When she was five years old, she moved with her parents to Harlem, New York, for one year. It was there that she was first introduced to different genres of music that inspire her to this day.
“I listened to gospel and R&B when I was very young,” she said in a podcast interview last year. “So, what I think happened was I tried to do everything they did, and somehow managed to learn something. I listened to pop, I listened to pop punk, so I absorbed a lot of things.”
She has cited Lauryn Hill as a major source of music inspiration, and a trip down her social media rabbit hole reveals a deep love for the music of American acts like Hayley Williams of Paramore and Panic! at the Disco.
“I’ve been inspired by [Hayley Williams] since I was very young,” Andrea said in an interview. “I would want nothing more than for her to be my friend.”
Her law professor father and a physicist mother were not initially receptive to her growing desire to work as a musician, but her grandfather cultivated her passion. He passed away when she was only nine years old, but she has always carried his influence with her. And, just a few years later, another musical mentor would enter her life and change the trajectory of her career.
She was Discovered by Macedonian Music Royalty
Andrea‘s professional music career began two years ago, when Macedonian music producer Aleksandar Masevski (AKA Sasho Mase) stumbled upon pop music covers she had posted on her social media accounts.
“I was singing and posting videos on social media but still lacking a lot of confidence in myself, because I didn’t think I was good enough to put myself out there more,” Andrea said in an interview. “But then I was called in the studio from Aleksandar Masevski, who’s now my producer. From then on, everything changed. He gave me the a boost of confidence and the ability to believe in myself.”
Aleksander, the son of the man considered one of the pioneers of modern Macedonian pop music, is an accomplished composer and producer who has collaborated with previous Eurovision artists like Martin Vucic (ESC 2005) and Tamara Todevska (ESC 2019). His first song with Andrea, the trance-y R&B track “I Know”, was released in October of 2020.
“Her vocal potential, way of performing and specific color of her voice was the main inspiration to make her a song,” Aleksander said in an interview tied to the release of “I Know”.
The song would go on to achieve unprecedented success for a song from the Macedonian music scene, receiving write ups from international music publications and air play across hundreds of radio stations worldwide. “I Know” would also go on to received hundreds of thousands of YouTube views and millions of engagements on TikTok.
In reviewing “I Know”, renowned British music blog Black Plastic said, “[It] opens up like a bird unfurling its wings, drum & bass percussion and big rave-like synth stabs and acid synths lifting the track to create the kind of transcendent energy that we feel in those moments of weightlessly falling in love.”
Andrea and Aleksander followed up their success with a number of singles over the past year. The music video for “Talk to Me”, released in April, features cameos by American expat basketball player Amir Smith and dancers from the Beatrix Dance Studio in Skopje.
She’s a Cultural Ambassador
Andrea‘s rise on the international music scene has been unusual for an artist from North Macedonia. In fact, she has been more well-known outside of North Macedonia than in the domestic music market, receiving air play on radio stations across Europe, North America, and even part of Asia and Africa.
“I’m coming from a very small country,” Andrea explained in an interview. “You hear people say, like, from bigger countries, ‘Oh my God, it’s so hard to make it in this industry.’ But, coming from where I’m coming is much, much harder.”
A lot of work went into Andrea‘s international success, with her and her team calling radio stations, emailing music publications, and submitting songs to taste makers.
“I am happy with the huge number of views,” Andrea said in an interview. “A lot of effort has been put into what I have done so far, I have a team of six people working literally seven days a week. All those contacts, all the efforts and presentations to famous radio stations, to foreign music portals, to the real addresses, have done their thing.”
All of this has made her a bit of a musical ambassador for North Macedonia to the rest of the world, something right in line with the Eurovision mission statement.
“Every year, I watch Eurovision and I wonder what it is like to stand on that stage and present yourself to the world,” she said in an interview tied to the release of the Za Evrosong finalists. “I want my songs to reach a larger audience … I will prove that, in Macedonia, we have talents with potential for international success.”
She’s a Kick Ass Chick
A scroll through Andrea‘s social media accounts reveals that she’s not one to be trifled with.
For at least this past year, if not longer, she has been a practitioner of the martial art of Muy Thai. She’s been featured several times on the official Instagram account of the gym where she trains and has even shown off her skills on her own social media pages. Take a look at her in action below:
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“I love fitness and working out so much,” Andrea said in a podcast interview. “It requires the same self-discipline as music.”
She’s a Dog Mom
A scroll through Andrea’s TikTok account will introduce you to this most important man in her life: a Schnauzer mix named Moe.
Juggling her demanding music career and upcoming appearance at Eurovision doesn’t leave Andrea with as much time with Moe as she might like, but he doesn’t seem to mind. You can bet he’ll be watching from home in May, cheering her on. Or maybe he’ll just be chewing on the furniture.
Did #YOU vote for Andrea to win ‘Za Evrosong’? How would #YOU like to see “Circles” staged? Sound off in the comments below, in our forum, or on social media @ESCUnited.