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Raiven: “My song shows my vocals and I will give my best at performing it” (Slovenian finalist – Exclusive Interview)

ESC+Plus has talked to Raiven (Sara Briški Cirman), finalist of this year’s Slovenian national selection for Eurovision, “EMA 2016”.

ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Icelandic national selection for Eurovision 2016!

E+: Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?

I am a 19-year old singer and harpist. I started my musical path at the age of 4 at the music school in Ljubljana. When I was 6, I started playing harp and, at the age of 15, I got accepted in the music and ballet Consevatory of Maribor. There, I learned harp, opera singing and jazz singing. Last year, I graduated and now, I am attending a music Academy in Ljubljana.

I have a lot of experience performing and competing in classical music contest, since I attended many competitions here, in Slovenia, and in other European countries, getting great results. In 2014, I started making music for the first time as Raiven. Since then, I released two songs, Jadra and Bežim, that I made with Tadej Košir and Jernej Kržič, great Slovenian musicians.

E+: What impelled you to take part in “EMA 2016”?

I wanted to take part at Ema, because I saw it as a great opportunity to challenge myself. I also think it will be a great chance to promote Raiven as a harpist and, of course, because I watch Eurovision every year and I always wanted to be a part of it.

E+: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the final? Did you expect it?

I felt like there was some kind of a weight lifted of my shoulders. We really worked hard on this song, so I knew I deserved to be a part of the final, but, of course, you can never be sure.

E+: What it would mean for you to represent Slovenia?

It would mean a sort of confirmation, that I am making good music and that people like it. At first, when I applied for EMA, I said that I would be happy if I just get the opportunity to perform. But now, I must admit I am really hoping to win it.

The song that I will perform is very dear to my heart, since I wrote the lyrics myself. I decided not to talk much about any of the songs that I write, because it can ruin what people listen. Everyone listens to a different story in my music, and I don’t wan to change that. All I can say is that the song is full of contrasts.

E+: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics? 

My song is special, it shows my vocals and I will give my best at performing it. If it is suitable for Eurovision is not something that I can decide on. I stand behind it 100%, but if it is chosen, I would be even more proud.

E+: What are your strengths to reach the top in the competition?

I think my strength is that I am a professionally trained musician and playing harp is not something that you can see everyday. Also having pink hair makes me stand out even more, so I would say I have many strengths.

E+: Have you started to prepare your stage performance for “EMA”?

Yes, my preparations for the performance have already started and I can say it will be special. I will have an interesting outfit, that I visualised not so long ago and I hope my seamstress will be able to pull it off.

E+: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What are your favourite songs in the history of the competition?

As I already said, I watch Eurovision every year, usually with my family. One of my all time favourites is last year’s song “Love injected” from Animata. Her performance, song and the vocals were absolutely amazing. I also really liked Euphoria.

E+: If you could choose an Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?

I would probably have to decide between our Maja Keuc and Nightwish. Nightwish are one of my favourite bands of all time and Maja is a great singer, that has always been my inspiration.

E+: Besides Eurovision, what are your plans for this year?

This year I would like to finally finish my album and, in general, just make some good music and play with good musicians.

E+: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?

Thank you for reading the interview! If you liked what you read and want to know more about Raiven, you can check me out on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!

About Tony Rodríguez (Spain)