Eurovision Eurovision 2023 Serbia

Who is Luke Black? Meet the Eurovision 2023 representative from Serbia

Luke Black was crowned the winner of the 2nd edition of Pesma Za Euroviziju with his song “Samo mi se spava” on March 4th, and will represent Serbia at Eurovision 2023 after winning the grand final despite not receiving the maximum votes from the public and the jury, placing second in both categories. Meanwhile, Nađa and Princ had to settle for second and third place, respectively.

Meet Luke Black (Eurovision 2023 Serbia)

Luka Ivanović, better known as Luke Black, was born on May 18, 1992, in Čačak, in central Serbia. He started writing lyrics at the age of 12 and in 2008 began composing and producing his own songs. During that period, he recorded six albums that only his closest friends had the opportunity to listen to. Later, he moved to Belgrade to study English language and literature. He currently resides in London.

In 2014, Luke independently released his debut single “Nebula Lullaby” along with Kristijan Majić. His next single, “D-Generation,” presented at the Groveland Festival, caught the attention of Universal Music Group, which offered him a recording contract. Luke became the first Serbian artist to sign with Universal Music. He released another single, “Holding on to Love,” before launching his debut EP “Thorns,” which summed up his 10 years of making music.

In 2016, Luke released the single “Demons.” This song was preselected to represent Serbia in Eurovision 2016, but was ultimately not chosen. Afterwards, he went on tour in China to promote the single. In October 2016, he also released the “Demons (Remix)” EP with 5 remixes of songs.

In 2017, he participated in a fashion show at the Berghain nightclub during the Alternative Fashion Week in Berlin. There, he announced a new single “Walpurgis Night”. The song was created in collaboration with Swedish producer Oskar Gofelström. In November of the same year, he released “Olive Tree,” which is a futuristic version of the Chinese song of the same name. This was also his first song (partially) in Serbian language. The song was later translated into Mandarin and performed by Chinese artist Chyi Yu. His third EP “Neoslavic” was released in July 2018.

In 2021, Luke became an independent artist again. In January 2023, he released his latest EP “F23.8,” which contains four singles he released during 2021 and 2022: “A House on the Hill,” “Amsterdam,” “Heartless,” and “238.”

“Samo mi se spava,” his song for Liverpool

In interviews, Black mentioned that he had made the song in April 2020 with the help of a Lebanese friend, Majed Kfoury. Leaving the song aside for years, after seeing Serbian artist Konstrakta win Pesma za Evroviziju ’22 with “In corpore sano,” he thought he could submit “Samo mi se spava” to the contest.

According to Black, the song describes himself isolated from the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he became “very alienated from the world”, only playing video games and watching anime in his bed during quarantine. He also stated that “the song talks about people who need to wake up, because evil multiplies when people keep their eyes closed. Only by waking up it can be defeated”.

Luke Black’s song “Samo mi se spava” portrays the desire to escape reality and retreat into a peaceful state of sleep. The lyrics describe a chaotic world on fire, full of conflicts and struggles, and the singer does not want to get involved in it. The chorus repeatedly emphasizes the singer’s desire to sleep forever, where he can dream and escape from the harsh reality of the world. He wants to sleep so deeply that he can defeat the demons and problems that plague him. The post-chorus suggests that the world is hopeless and full of darkness, leading to an inactive consciousness. Overall, the song describes a deep desire to escape life’s conflicts and struggles by retreating into unconsciousness. The singer portrays himself as someone who has given up fighting his battles and prefers to sleep to escape the harsh reality.

The song stands out for its memorable use of metaphors that reference video game language, with phrases like “I don’t want to choose my fighter, who’s controlling me?” and “Hello? Game over”.

The lyrics describe Luke’s desire to escape feelings of hopelessness and despair. From the start, it paints a bleak picture: “Baby look at the world on fire, it’s all a game to me”. Throughout the song, Luke repeats “I just want to sleep forever, I like it better when I dream” to escape a painful reality. That reality is empty and frightening: a world of war, hunger, and monsters.

When Luke asks “Hello?”, there is no one around to answer him. The phrase “game over” that follows becomes a desperate plea for whoever is controlling him to release him from this terrible game.

LYRICS OF «Samo mi se spava»

Original lyrics

Baby watch the world on fire
It is all a game to me
I don’t wanna choose my fighter
Who’s taking control of me?

Samo mi se spava

I just wanna sleep forever (s-spavaj)
Like it better when i dream
Želim zauvek da spavam (s-spavaj)
Dok svet gori
I just wanna close my eyes
And just get it over with
Želim zauvek da spavam (s-spavaj)
Dok svet gori

Noć je, beskonačni sati
Na ramenu djavoli
Želim samo večno spati
Tako da ih pobedim

Game over
(samo mi se spava)

I just wanna sleep forever (s-spavam)
Like it better when i dream
Želim zauvek da spavam (s-spavam)
Dok svet gori
I just wanna close my eyes
And just get it over with
Želim zauvek da spavam (s-spavaj)
Dok svet gori

Savest spava
Dok svet gori

Voice silenced
Razum spava
Dok svet gori

(samo mi se spava)
(samo mi se ѕpavа)

Serbia in the Eurovision Song Contest

Serbia made its debut as an independent country in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007 with Marija Šerifović and her emotional ballad Molitva, which won with 268 points in Helsinki. Since Marija’s victory, Serbia has not won again, but it has achieved a total of four additional top 10 placements, including a third place thanks to Željko Joksimović in 2012 in Baku.

Out of 14 total participations, Serbia has qualified for the final 11 times, failing to do so only in 2009, 2013, and 2017, but always coming close. In this regard, its worst results would be the tenth places in the semifinals of 2013 and 2017. In addition, out of its finalist entries, none have finished at the bottom of the final, with three more entering the top 15.

The Serbian top 3 completes with the country’s entries in 2008 in Belgrade, thanks to the sixth place of Jelena Tomasevic and Bora Dugic and their Oro, and the most recent in 2022 in Turin by the irreverent Konstrakta and her In corpore sano that reached fifth place.


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