Returning to the contest having performed as a child, Dennis Smit returns this year wanting to learn more about the contest itself.
Having been the only singer to have represented the Netherlands at Slavianski Bazaar, Dennis Smit returns to the competition this year to take part in the International Pop Song Performers Contest. As a child Dennis took part in the Children’s Contest, now he returns not only to perform and sing, but also to learn more about the event and how it all works.
It’s a pleasure to talk to you in the run up to the 26th edition of Slavianski Bazaar, can you tell me more about yourself and what is drew you to be a singer?
I became a laureate of International competitions in 14 countries around the world. The turning point was participation in the Music Competition “Vitebsk” in 2010. It was then that I decided to become a professional singer and producer and perform at the Slavic Bazaar in the adult category. I dream of becoming a producer and bringing my students to the Slavic Bazaar.
In 2010 you took part in the Children’s Contest, now you are back seven years later at the Adult’s contest, what are your fondest memories of the contest in 2010?
I met many new people, and most importantly, that I met new cultures, and I approached the Belarusian culture. And I remember that we were one big family, and we had a lot of fun.
Here is another case of what happened in the bazaar. Few people knew that the second day of competition I had a temperature of 40 degrees. The organizers dissuaded me from singing. But I could not fail friends, teachers, parents. Yes, and I was the first participant from the Netherlands in the children’s competition. I was very surprised by the attitude towards me, the little boy. From the place of residence to the place of performance, I was followed by an ambulance and then the doctors were nearby. After my speech, we rejoiced all, including Belarusian doctors. And another contest was for children. And the organizers created for us a fairy tale “Neznayka and his friends.” We all really were like the heroes of this work.
Was it your participation in Slavianski Bazaar in 2010 that made you decide to come back this year and take part in the Adult’s contest?
Yes, it was my decision to return, because I loved the organization, and everyone is so kind, and I can only say good words about this contest. This is my opportunity to study deeper Slavic culture, communicate with people in different languages and, of course, introduce the participants and guests of the festival to the Netherlands, our traditions, songs … And if in 2010, when I was a child, I was looking for new friends, now I hope to meet like-minded people, get acquainted with the professionals of their business, which Belarus is so famous for. After all, in the future we will live, love and create together.
What does it mean to be able to represent the Netherlands internationally at Slavianski Bazaar?
Since the time I sang at the Children’s Slavic Bazaar, the Netherlands has never participated in the Bazaar. Very sorry. I am proud that I am given this opportunity. This, as my Belarusian friends say “It’s unreal cool” (as it is). I want to not only sing well. I would like to understand how the enterprise “Slavianski Bazaar” works. How competition is organized. How to attract as many volunteers as possible and a lot of things. We, the Dutch, have something to learn from the Belorussian’s. Especially I just can understand how to create an atmosphere in which everyone feels comfortable.
As part of the competition, you will be performing a number of songs, can you tell us more about them?
My first song is Mag ik dan bij jou, This is my favorite Dutch song, the translation of the song title (I can be with you), if I’m afraid, I can be with you if I have tears in my eyes, I can be with you . I take it as my Netherlands country, which will provide me, if something happens, I feel safe in the Netherlands
The title of my second song is Tilky ty moja. I sing in the Ukrainian language. This is a love song about two lovers who can not live without a friend, their hearts are glued forever, and they will love each other forever
My third song is Crazy little thing called love, This song is from the band Queen, But my favorite singer Michael Buble made a beautiful cover in the style of Rock and Roll. In this song I have a lot of drive. Hope you like this song in my performance.
When you finish your first performance at the competition, how do you think you feel?
I will have a lot of adrenaline, because I’m glad to know if I’m going to the final. It was my dream to sing with a very good orchestra, such as Mikhail Finberg’s orchestra. It’s my dream to sing with this orchestra!
Finally do you have a message for your fans and our readers?
I have only one great message: love music,
[tw-accordion-section title=”What is Slavianski Bazaar?”]
Slavianski Bazaar has been held annually in Vibetsk, Belarus since 1992. The event consists of two competitive contests, the International Pop Song Performers Contest for singers age 18 to 31, and the Children’s Contest for those age between 7 and 12. The competition is popular in the former Soviet Union, Baltic States and the Balkans. Winners include Ruslana, Zeljko Joksimovic, Donny Montell and Alyona Lanskaya. The Children’s Contest has been held since 2003 and former winners include singers who have gone on to compete in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. This includes former winner Ksenia Sitnik who won for Belarus in 2005.