Sebastijan Lukovnjak: “If we all stand up and join our thoughts, we can make the world a better place” (Slovenian finalist – Exclusive Interview)

ESC+Plus has talked to Sebastijan Lukovnjak, finalist of this year’s Slovenian national selection for Eurovision. The singer will perform “Tales of Tomorrow” in the EMA 2016 final to take place on February 27.

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 2016!

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

Sebastijan Lukovnjak is a multitalented artist, who is active in various fields of culture and arts. The young artist from Maribor says that it is important to know what one wants. Once that wish is acknowledged, it´s up to you to actualise it. For him that wish is creating high-quality music. Today Sebastijan Lukovnjak enjoys the role of a composer, songwriter, arranger and performer. Currently, most of his time is dedicated to the pop-rock band LEONART in which his hoarse and energetic vocal comes to the forefront. He´s a singer and guitarist in the Slovenian swing group THE SWINGTONES, very well-known by the swing dance scene across Europe as well as by lovers of jazz, blues and rock’n’roll music. The latter is a great inspiration for Sebastijan. He also plays in a group ZEBRA which mainly plays acoustic arrangements of famous world hits. Positive reviews from the gigs around Slovenia and abroad show that the bands are working hard and moving in the right direction. Courage and authenticity still have their place in music.

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

I´ve always wanted to take part at EMA. One day at the studio Epix Production, Martin Bezjak said if I would like to make a song with him for the EMA. I confirmed, but said that it has to be a great song or else I won´t apply. He is one of the best producers in Slovenia, so I knew that making a great song won´t be a problem. I love to work with him and we made a song that sounds familiar but still fresh and appealing for the listener.

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

We made a great song that has potential to win the EMA. If I wasn´t sure of that, I wouldn´t apply. But there is so much more that a good song when it comes to voting. We hoped for the final surely, and we were given the chance. That proves that the song is great and that we made a good job. Thanks again to my team especially the producer Martin Bezjak for all the nice words and motivation.

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

Of course, I would be honored to represent my country in Sweden. I would meet new people, get to know managers and musical directors and producers which would surely be a great springboard for presenting my work abroad. I would also get to know different musicians and other great people from all around Europe. It would be fun and a great experience that I would remember for the rest of my life.

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

The lyrics are in English and were written by Tadej Jambrovič, a great writter. They talk about our everyday lives and the troubles that we face. And if we all stand up and join our thoughts, we can make the world a better place.

E+: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Stockholm? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?

We have a great song, both melodically and lyrically speaking and my interpretation of it will be straightforward. Hopefully the audience will recognize and appreciate that and vote for me. The key point of the song is in the text that anyone can rely to.

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

Every year I watch the Eurovision with my family and friends. Nonetheless Slovenian competitors are there and we cheer for them. I think that most Slovenians are EMA and Eurovision lovers. Many winning songs were from the Scandinavian countries. Their pop music has great tradition and a lot of “earworms”. If I look through the last 15 years I remember the “Fly on the wings of love” from the Olsen brothers from 2000 and Loreen with Euphoria (2012). They´re both great songs, that stick in your head.

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

Of course I would like to be a part ABBA and their unforgettable Waterloo. But I must not forget to mention that when I was a kid, my country was the winner of the Eurovision – in 1989 Riva won with Rock me for the former Yugoslav republic which Slovenia was a part of and the next year 1990 we all cheered for Tajči, that all the boys were in love with 🙂 Oh, wonderful memories.

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

Huh. I have some big plans for this year. I hope I win the EMA competition and go to Sweden. That would be fantastic. Besides that I´ll finish my PhD, release an album with my band LEONART, act in a Slovenian movie (shooting in July) and probably play around 60 concerts, like last year. It´s gonna be a working year, but if you live for what you do that isn´t a bad thing 🙂

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

I would like to invite them all to take the late afternoon and the night hours off and watch Eurovision contest and most of all enjoy. To those, who will watch EMA, don’t hesitate to vote for me 🙂 Love to all of you Eurovision lovers, Sebastijan

E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!

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