Klemen Slakonja: “When I saw how the Žižek video went global, it became clear to me that these comedy music videos have a lot of potential” (Slovenian host – Exclusive Interview)

ESC+Plus had the chance to talk to Klemen Slakonja, who hosted Slovenia’s national final in 2011, 2012, and 2016 and whose interval act at EMA went viral throughout Europe this February.

ESC+Plus: Hello Klemen! First of all, thank you so much for taking your time to talk with ESC+Plus!

Could you describe yourself in 5 words or less?

Actor, TV host, singer, songwriter from Slovenia. Sorry, that was 7 words.

E+: How did you get started in doing impressions and comedy?

When I was a kid I tried to impersonate characters from my favourite TV shows. It didn’t go so well, because I had quite a high and squeaky voice. But when it mutated I realized that I could actually do it. And then I continued doing it, performing at high school events, on local radio, and later on Slovenian national TV. At 22 I first started as a sidekick on a famous Slovenian comedy show with impersonations of Slovenian singers. When I got my own TV show I continued doing impressions, kept upgrading my comedy videos, and started doing some in English, uploading them to YouTube and slowly growing my subscriber base.

E+: You’ve performed impressions on Pope Francis, Goran Dragić, Slavoj Žižek, and even Shakira. How do you select people to parody?

Based on how much they are interesting to me as characters and from inspiration I get.

E+: Your “Putin, Putout” video from the MockingbirdMan Project currently has over 8.39 million views on YouTube. How did you get into this project?

Well, when I saw how the Žižek video went global on YouTube, it became clear to me that these comedy music videos in English have a lot of potential. That’s why I decided to focus on international celebrities. Because of the foreign language, the ratings of my TV shows were dropping when my comedy music videos were on, but on YouTube they started to go global. That’s why I decided to go independent and make videos exclusively for my YouTube channel.

E+: You’ve hosted the Slovenian national final multiple times and delivered the points in 2011. Have you ever considered writing an entry for an artist in EMA or participating yourself?

After having Eurovision on my mind for so many years, it struck me one day that I really want to participate. But only if I’d strongly believe my song could win. Right now I’m not even thinking about it.

E+: Slovenia hasn’t won Eurovision yet. But if (or when) Slovenia wins, would you like to host? And would you like to co-host with?

Yes, I’d like to host it. But I haven’t given it any thought. I’ll start today; I promise!

E+: Do you have a favourite Eurovision entry? Favourite Slovenian Eurovision entry?

My favourites are “Euphoria” and “Rise like a Phoenix”. And my Slovenian favourite is “Samo Ljubezen” by Sestre.

E+: You mentioned in your “One Man Band-Aid/Slovenia Will Win” video that Slovenia is not Slovakia, and that Slovenia has “LOVE” in its name. What would you say is the biggest difference between the countries?

I don’t know Slovakia as much as I know Slovenia of course, but I would say that the main difference is that they’ve won one more Hockey World Championship than us. We haven’t won any.

E+: Do you have a message for our readers?

Yes I do. Please give Slovenia 12 points. Well now it’s 24. I’m begging you, please. On my knees. 🙂

E+: Thank you so much for talking with us!

The pleasure is all mine.

About Penny Kuang (USA)

Penny Kuang (USA)

Hi, I’m Penny and I’ve been following the contest since fall 2010, when I ran into Alexander Rybak’s winning entry on YouTube. I’d love to go to the contest live someday, but for now I’m sitting in front of my computer trying to look busy.

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