Exclusive UMD Interview with Tijana Dapcevic, Macedonia’s Eurovision Star

Europe’s Superbowl of music, Eurovision, is currently taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Macedonian-born pop singer Tijana Dapcevic with her funky white glasses is taking Macedonia to a whole new level. Using the latest techniques of social media, Tijana is really getting her and Macedonia’s name out there. Her song #ToTheSky, which you can hear by clicking here, has drawn a lot of positive reviews, including 2nd place by a Norwegian TV jury, and raves by Eurovision Ireland and MTV Europe. We, at UMD, have been following Tijana’s wonderful promotion of Macedonia and are extremely pleased to bring to you this exclusive interview prior to her performance at tomorrow’s 2nd Semi-Finals at Eurovision.

UMD wishes Tijana best of luck tomorrow, and hopes all you friends of Macedonia in Europe will vote for her to go to the Finals on Saturday. Of course, we’re hoping Tijana will be this year’s Eurovision winner, and finally bring this contest to Macedonia in 2015.

UMD: As a Macedonian-born artist now living in Serbia, you are a part of the Diaspora. How has your Macedonian heritage helped you get to where you are today as a successful musician in the Balkans?

Tijana: Both of my parents are musicians, so I was surrounded with music literally from the first day of my life. It helped me a lot because music was part of my every-day life. I started playing cello at the age of 7, and later on in my life, I graduated in cello, from the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje. Music doesn’t know anything about geographical boundaries or discrimination.

UMD: With more and more Balkan countries leaving Eurovision, especially this year, Macedonia has consistently maintained a presence, including in 2007 when your sister Tamara performed representing Macedonia. You must have been proud of your sister, and now you are the second member of your family to represent Macedonia at Eurovision. Why is Eurovision important for you, for Macedonia? What different styles will you bring to Eurovision? What are your expectations for Thursday’s Semi-final performance? How can Macedonians and Balkan people in Europe help you achieve success?

Tijana: When Tamara was representing Macedonia, back in 2008, I was the proudest person in the world! It is important for me because this is a completely new experience, being part of the Eurovision Song Contest is like being on another planet, really. I will try to bring some innovative approach and to make everyone who believes in me and supports me proud. There’s no reason not to make it through the finals but we’ll see. We have a huge diaspora, so I’m sure they will support me.

UMD: No other Macedonian Eurovision contestant has maintained such an active social media presence like you. On Twitter, you have over 40,000 followers, and on Facebook over 94,000. This is impressive! How important is social media for Eurovision? What message would you like to send to all your fans on social media?

Tijana: It is extremely important because the Internet gave me the opportunity to communicate with my fans all over the world. Even if I could visit each and every country on the planet, I could never talk to all of them like I can on the Internet. Of course, nothing could ever replace the awesome feeling of seeing all of them in person but that’s why it is good to have the combination of both, like we do today. Without my fans I would be nothing. I feel very blessed to have all of them.

UMD: Young people in Macedonia and the Balkans look up to you as a role model. What message would you like to send to aspiring musicians and singers?

Tijana: My message to them would be to believe in themselves and never let anyone talk them out of their dreams. Just chase them! If you believe and work on them, only the sky is the limit.

UMD: You have done an excellent job at uniting Balkan people through your music, as evident by your success and popularity in many of the countries in the region. In your opinion, what role does music have in bridging people together?

Tijana: Music is a universal language and I’m happy I can “speak” that language. Music unites people because it doesn’t know anything about discrimination and boundaries. It doesn’t care about the pink lines between countries. That’s why music is the perfect language for everyone. It makes people dance and feel happy.

UMD: What’s next for Tijana after Eurovision? Will you go on tour in Australia, North America? Where do you see yourself in 5, or 10 years?

Tijana: I will probably record a new song and I will definitely continue with my acting career. It’s hard to tell where I’m going tomorrow (in the final? hahahaha) but let’s say I see myself walking down the red carpet and winning an Oscar, in 10 years. 🙂