Macedonia has won Slavianski Bazaar twice, but will Stefan Manasievic make it three times this year in Belarus. We discuss more in our interview with the talented singer.
As Slavianski Bazaar draws closer we bring you the first in a series of interviews with some of the participants in the International Pop Song Performers Contest this year. 23-year-old Stefan Manasievic will represent Macedonia next week in Vitebsk, Belarus. Having been performing and interested in music since a young age, he now has the chance to perform in front of millions and represent his country.
Thank you very much for talking to us, we’re just a week away from Slavianski Bazaar 2017, how do you feel?
As the days go by I feel the excitement growing, but I am trying to stay focused and finish my last preparations. It’s a good feeling though, I can’t wait for the plane to land there.
What was it growing up that made you decide to become a singer?
I have always been surrounded with music and stage performing in general. I finished my studies for accordion recently and somehow I swapped on solo singing. I had a spontaneous opportunity and I just took it, without second doubts. That may be my best decision so far, because I love the feeling of sharing my energy and emotions with the audience and I feel complete when I am on the stage performing.
You have been a member of a few choirs, do you think this has helped you as a singer, learning to perform as part of a wider group?
Generally yes, it helped me a lot, but in some parts it’s completely different. By participating in a choir you are improving your vocal techniques, ways of interpretation and you get used to working in a team. On the other hand, when singing solo everything depends on your abilities and you are your own conductor.
You were also a backing vocalist for Loic Nottet who represented Belgium at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015, what was this experience like for you?
I was one of the backing vocals as a member of the professional choir “Pro Ars”. We were working together on his new album Selfocracy which was released on 31st of March this year. It was my honor to cooperate with a guy like Loic, big talent with specific voice.
How did you feel when you were told that you would be representing Macedonia at this year’s competition in Belarus?
At first I was very confused. I really couldn’t believe that I was “the chosen one”. I have always been hoping to be part of a competition like that, but I didn’t expect it right now. Despite of everything, knowing that I will represent Macedonia on Slavic Bazaar feels amazing.
You have already revealed that one of the songs you will be performing at Slavianski Bazaar is “Je T’aime”, can you tell us more about why you selected this and your other songs for the competition?
– In my opinion, “Je t’aime” by Lara Fabien is one of the most beautiful ballades which is a big challenge for me. It allows me to express my abilities in the best way. The other two songs are “Nije ljubav stvar” by Zeljko Joksimovic, which I chose without doubting, and the Macedonian song “Vrati mi go sonceto” by Aleksandra Janeva. I chose “Nije ljubav stvar” because it’s a great Slavic hit that will sound perfectly with the National Academic Concert Orchestra of Belarus. All of the songs are pretty hard but definitely worth giving the time and effort for them.
Macedonia last won the competition in 2011, what would it mean to you to follow in the footsteps of the first Macedonian winner Tose Proeski?
– Tose will always be my number one idol. He was very kind person with big heart. Everything he did was great, not only his singing, so I am more than honoured to perform on the same stage as him and I hope that 2017 will be lucky year for Macedonia as well.
Finally do you have a message for your fans and our readers?
Firstly I want to thank you very much for the great interview. I wouldn’t want to sound boring with all the advices and quotes. I would just say, always take risks by saying ‘yes’ more. The greatest success comes when you take every responsible opportunity. So give a little soul in everything you do and just go with the flow.