As you might have heard, Lea Sirk is singing part of her EMA song in French. But she's not even the biggest francophile of the bunch!
Meet a woman who speaks perfect French... Nuška Drašček!
La version française est par ici !
Hello Nuška! Can you first introduce yourself?
I was born on the 6th August 1980 and am a veeery typical Leo… I started singing when I started talking (so my parents tell me) and it was my grandpa who taught me my first songs, Slovenian folk songs, which I still love to sing today. I was a tomboy while growing up, played lots of football ;))). I always did well at school and was interested in languages and history. I scored a perfect score at our matura exam (I think you guys call it baccalauréat?) so I had no problem getting into the Faculty of social sciences, where I studied International Relations (wanted to be a diplomat)… I graduated in January 2005 and then enrolled into the Academy of Music in Ljubljana in 2009. You see, I never really thought I could sing for a living… but then I realised it's all I really wanted to do, so here I am :))) I won the Slovenian Idol competition in 2004 and just went from there. I am a musical eclectic, I like all sorts of genres and have different concert repertoires (slovene folk songs, slovene pop songs, Piaf, french chansons, musicals…). I started taking vocal opera lessons in 2004 with my teacher, Matjaz Robavs, and in 2009 I enrolled in his class at the Academy. I obtained my masters just last March and am currently cast as Carmen (the lead in Georges Bizet's Carmen
) and Angelina (the lead role in Rossini's Cenerentola
) for this season at the Ljubljana opera house. We are actually right in the middle of rehearsals for Cenerentola which premieres on the 9th of March :). I really love both worlds, the opera and pop and am creative in both!
What is the story of your song? Why trying for Eurovision?
The song caught me straight away, I could just instantly visualise it on a big stage and I just thought it could really work for EMA! It has a fairytale-movie like vibe, it just takes you away… It’s about overcoming obstacles, about being strong even when the odds are against you, about being true to yourself and coming up on top! I looove it and seriously can’t wait to perform it live!
My previous participations were really enjoyable for me, both were really good songs and I think the people got to know me, vocally and a little bit personally, so this time I really just wanted a song not so much for me, but more for Eurovision. My last participation was in 2009 so things really progressed from then – a whole lot more preparations, the team wants a lot of info about your performance beforehand, which is really cool, because that way we can give the audience an awesome show! I think this years’ selection is going to be tough for people to decide on a favourite, I kind of feel we’re going to hear some great songs! The rules are always changing so I’m not even that concerned about it – I just want to do a good job with the song and hopefully that’ll be enough…the rules are out of my hands!
I’ve been a fan of the Eurovision Song Contest for a long time, though I’m not going to lie – I loved it more when there was a live orchestra. I don’t know, maybe I’m just more that type of a performer, I love the feeling a live orchestra gives you! I didn’t care much for the years when it was all about the “moves” and not so much about the vocals and I feel that it’s been coming back the last few years so I’m again enjoying the music! I just want to feel the crowd once… I want to know what it feels like to have such a vast audience… and I feel I can handle it as a performer so that’s why I applied, hahaha!
We had a few really good entries, I think: Energy
, obviously, Prisluhni mi
, Tih dezeven dan
, No one
, Here for you
What are your musical influences? Your impressions on the Slovenian music industry?
I like all sorts of music, including gospel, blues, r’n’b, jazz, classical, funk, rock… I love a good beat and a story-telling vocal! Elda Viler, Alenka Godec, Hamo & Tribute to love, Omar… we have some good singers here in Slovenia!
Whitney Houston, James Brown, Josipa Lisac, Beyoncé, Elina Garanca, Florence and the Machine, Adele, Tina Turner, Barry White…the list of my favourite artists is looong.
I imagine it works almost the same way as everywhere else – you kind of need to know the right people and also have a little bit of luck. My album, for example, was issued by a Croatian label, because nobody here was interested… I haven’t issued any albums since, simply because I didn’t really feel the need or more importantly, I didn’t feel I found “my sound”, the type of music I want to make… so I just have thematical concerts and work on that!
Tell us everything about your French!
I don’t have any direct links with France, but I’m hoping that will change – I would love to work on an opera in France, I just feel we have the same kind of “joie de vivre”, hahaha! I speak French, though! Some info about that, hehehe – I had it in high school (lycée) as a second language and my professor was insanely good… plus, I have an ear for languages and it just stuck really well ;))) I won the national French language competition (in 1997, I think). I also won 3rd place at a French chanson competition in Split (Croatia) and as a reward I got to go to Avignon during the Theater Festival and I had a blast!
What do you think is wrong in our world today? Is there any remaining good?
I think that lack of empathy on one hand and lack of true leadership on the other contribute to absurd things such as hunger… I mean, come on, in this day and age, for anyone to go hungry is just mind-blowingly wrong…
I think stupidity… meanness… the obsessive need to put people in boxes from which they are not allowed to jump out… divisions into “us” and “them”… I feel strongly about “live and let live” (within the realm of the law of course)… I think that common sense is wildly underrated and I hate that so much of our lives are governed by fear and lack of knowledge… and I think the media has A LOT to do with this. Like Denzel said: “If you read the paper, you’re misinformed… if you don’t, you’re uninformed”.
Oh, the smallest of things makes me smile – I choose to be a happy person by nature, I love to see the sun come out, I take joy in a bird or a flower or a really good cup of coffee in the morning… I love life and am beyond grateful that I get to do what I love for a living!
Nuška, thank you so much for that very interesting and complete interview! It's been a pleasure. With her song Flower In The Snow, she will be part of the second semi-final of the 2017 Slovenian Eurovision national selection, EMA.
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