In recent years, Croatia had been on a slide at Eurovision, having last qualified to the final in 2017. This year, however, the country put their hopes on twenty-nine year old Mia Dimšić, a country-pop singer who won Dora with the song “Guilty Pleasure”, 78 points over the runner-up.
While she studied translation studies at university, Mia’s musical journey started with her playing the tambura, a traditional Croatian stringed instrument. She performed with the Džentlmeni orchestra, where she traveled around the world. Afterwards, she committed herself to songwriting; she has released two bestselling albums and a Christmas album which also hit #1.
With “Guilty Pleasure”, she tells a story of a hidden temptation, one where somebody longs for someone they can’t have because she’s in another relationship. The song not only won Dora, but also became another #1 for Mia in Croatia.
We’re honored to have her here on eurovisionfam.com to answer some questions about her musical journey and her song!
—What were your first memories of Eurovision? Are there any songs you like from previous contests?
“Eurovision is such an integral part of entertainment culture in Croatia that I can’t even remember the first time I watched it, I must have been very little. There are many Eurovision classics I’ve been singing along to for years, and the most popular is “Euphoria” by Loreen. One of my favorites is also “No no never” by Texas Lightning.”
—Who is your dream duet partner?
—What was the songwriting process like for “Guilty Pleasure”?
“I came up with the melodies first and then the lyrics followed. That is my usual creativity order. I come up with a melody and then I wait till the right story or feelings come into my day.”
—How did you shift from traditional music through playing in an orchestra to pop music?
“It’s all music and emotion and I try not to divide music genre-wise too much. Playing in a tambura orchestra was a very special period in my life. I got to travel with my bandmates all around the world and play music which is so precious, and then as I switched to a solo career I just did the same with a smaller band as a vocal soloist. I really like both.”
–What life lessons did you learn from playing the tambura?
“I learned a lot about flexibility, teamwork, being tolerant and open to new concepts, cultures and ways of living which is so useful for my current job and for me as an individual.”
–What drew you to country music?
“I love the storytelling. Lyrics are always more important to me than the music itself, and I try to incorporate that in my own songwriting as well. Country music is so relatable and down to Earth and it’s inspiring to see how much alike we all really are. No matter where we are or what we do, we all go through the same emotions and milestones in our lives.”
–How would you like to see acoustic/country music grow in Croatia?
“I would love to see the increase in country music fans in Croatia, since that would also mean that a lot of my country heroes would start touring around here as well, and that would be amazing.”
—What was your favorite song from this year’s Dora, other than your own?
“Mia Negovetić’s ballad “Forgive me (Oprosti)”, it was so heartfelt and she sang it beautifully.”
—Since you like taking up social causes, if you ruled the world, what thing would you like to change the most?
“I would introduce the concept of law of attraction, meditation and frequent conversations with yourself to the school curriculums from a very early age. The lack of openly communicating with oneself is the cause of most of the world’s problems, I would say. Also, if people were taught to believe from a very early age that doing harm to others means getting harm back at yourself with a mathematical precision, they would think twice before doing a lot of things they do to each other.”
—What do you want to say to your non-European fans?
“Thank you so much for supporting me on this insanely beautiful musical journey and I hope you will enjoy my performance in Turin and the whole of this year’s Eurovision!”
Mia will perform eleventh in the first semi-final on 10 May. If you want to know more about her, you can follow her on Twitter or Instagram, and watch her videos on YouTube.
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