ESC+Plus has talked to Omar Naber, 2005 Slovenian representative and semifinalist of this year’s national selection for Eurovision. The singer will perform “On My Way” in the first semi-final of EMA 2017 set to take place on February 17th.
ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Slovenian national selection for Eurovision 2017!
Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?
Omar Naber: I am 35 years old, I have been a professional musician for 12 years now, I have performed in 27 different countries so far, recorded five albums so far. And the biggest achievement must be my participation at Eurovision 2005 in Ukraine.
ESC+Plus: What impelled you to take part in EMA 2017?
Omar Naber: I just thought I had a fitting song for Ema – and Eurovision as well. That simple 🙂
ESC+Plus: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the semi-final? Did you expect it?
Omar Naber: I think I would be a little disappointed if I had not qualified. I think it’s my biggest song in Ema so far.
ESC+Plus: What would it mean to you to represent Slovenia in Kiev for second time?
Omar Naber: I would embrace in gratefully and lead this mission to represent Slovenia proudly in the best way possible.
ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
Omar Naber: I wrote it as I felt a bit lost in my life few years ago, it’s about being disappointed and leaving your place and life behind, but not losing hope. I think everyone feels lost at some point in life, that’s why I think many people could identify with it.
ESC+Plus: How do you remember your participation in Eurovision 2005?
Omar Naber: I have the best possible memories. I had the time of my life and I felt very proud. I also think I was a bit too young to fully understand the importance of Eurovision and responsibility that comes with it. That is why I’d go for it again, as I am older and wiser now. I would do even better than the last time.
ESC+Plus: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Kiev? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?
Omar Naber: The song is very instant, it gets you the first time, but it is not shallow though. It has a big and glamorous arrangement, very modern. It is also a sing along tune, with lyrics that people would easily identify with. Those I think are my biggest strengths.
ESC+Plus: Have you thought about your performance for EMA 2017?
Omar Naber: Not yet. But it is going to be quite simple.
ESC+Plus: If you reach Eurovision again, will you keep the same method of working you followed 12 years ago?
Omar Naber: I would take it with more responsibility and be 100% prepared. I don’t think I was back then. It would be my absolute priority to be ready for representing Slovenia on the biggest stage in the World.
ESC+Plus: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What is your favorite song in the history of the competition?
Omar Naber: Sure I watch it. Ever since I was a little boy. My favorite entry of all time is ‘Insieme’ by Toto Cotugno.
ESC+Plus: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Omar Naber: Celine Dion, for sure. She is my favorite female singer of all time.
ESC+Plus: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
Omar Naber: I wish to all who follow Eurovision, that the quality of music & songwriting would go back to the level of the 80’s and 90’s and that it would be a little less about the show. The songwriting quality is actually rising again anyhow. Back then, all songs were absolutely brilliant, all singers were awesome and you could not pick the best song, as they were all good enough to win the festival. Hope you like the answers 🙂 Cheers & greets from Slovenia, Omar