ESC+Plus had the chance to speak with Tajči, who previously represented Yugoslavia in the 1990 Eurovision Song Contest. Over the course of over 25 years, she has played many roles: singer, actor, TV host, writer, speaker, all to tell stories and inspire people.
ESC+Plus: How would you describe yourself in 5 words or less?
Storytelling & life exploring music artist.
E+: You’ve lived in the USA for over 20 years. What would you say is the biggest cultural difference between the US and Croatia?
The US is big and so vast that one can find both space and freedom to be who they want to be and who they are created to be. In the US, one can try new things, fail, start over and succeed a hundred times without being labeled as a ‘failure.’ In Croatia, once you are branded one thing, it’s very difficult to change, grow, expand, or try new things, whether it’s a music career or a life-long job you want to switch from.
On the other hand, in America, life is fast and intense – made for the strong people. There is very little security and support system – unless one builds their own. In Croatia, because it’s small and one is surrounded by family and generations-long friendships, it’s easier when you are sick or unable to run with the rest.
E+: In the past few years you’ve been working on a project, “Waking Up in America.” How would you describe it to people who haven’t followed up on your recent work?
“Waking Up in America” is a talk show series made for TV. It’s a part of a larger project Waking UP Revolution that includes a TV show (as an inspiration); books, blogs, online courses and daily inspiration series (as engaging actionable tools for the audience); and live events (as empowering, connection building opportunities). It explores turning points in our stories (lives) – like the guests I interview – with an intention to help the audience reconnect with their sense of purpose and live it with courage, authenticity, joy and connectedness.
E+: You’ve interviewed people and you’ve also been interviewed. Which do you feel more comfortable doing?
I love both. I love storytelling element in both… the opportunity to share our stories and give value, offer insight, inspire someone and move them into action…
E+: A major theme in your work is discovering or maintaining your identity despite previous constraints from other people. How important is being able to tell this story?
Yup, this has been the theme of my work for the past 25 years. Both my outward work and the inner I’ve done through therapy, coaching, many self-help books, even faith and spirituality. Being stuck in someone else’s expectation or definition of you is the worst way to waste a life. It causes great suffering, and often ends in addictions and destruction. In my life, I’ve met too many people who regret not following their dream, listening to their heart, being the person they always were but were hiding from others out of fear.
This is my life-long goal to help others live out of Love, not Fear. There are many systems in our world that operate from the place of fear – and we have to be awaken enough to recognize if we are letting that Fear guide our steps or we are trusting Love (therefore my project, Waking Up Revolution).
E+: Most of the Eurovision community remembers you as Yugoslavia’s entrant in 1990 with Hajde da Ludujemo, but you’ve also performed in churches, hosted a TV show, and become a holistic life coach. How would you like to be remembered?
I’d like to be remembered as a person who inspired others to live fully and with purpose. I’d also like to be remembered for my efforts to heal those in pain – especially women who suffered abuse. Whether I do it as a singer, performer, storyteller, writer or a mom, through beautiful melodies sung in my voice or a moment of encounter with a stranger who doesn’t know my name – at the airport or the market – it’s simply a matter of a form of expression. Of course, music is my passion and I express myself best through it…
E+: Do you have a favorite Eurovision entry?
I like many… Some of my favorites are Abba (I know, it’s been decades ago)… Carl Espen’s “Silent Storm” (Norway), Marija Šerifović’s “Molitva” (Serbia) and Il Volo’s “Grande Amore” (Italy). I loved Polina Gagarina’s live performance of ”A Million Voices” (Russia) – it was packed by emotion that resonated with a similar desire in my soul – to send a message from within… not moving anything and focusing all the energy into a single voice.
E+: Do you have a message for our readers?
Believe in yourself and your dream. Do the work – both the inner work that will allow you to look into your soul, find the truth, purpose and confidence there, and the ‘outward’ work that will give you skills, discipline and perseverance you need to follow your path. Always choose love over fear. And know that we are all connected – what you give is what you’ll receive – so make sure your dreams and goals serve more than your personal gain. The top is a lonely place if you end up there all alone.
And connect with me on social media. We can uplift the world together…
E+: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us!