26 July 2015

Slovenia #1: Time to dance

Here is a country that has gotten pushed back for a while: Slovenia. I have meant to blog about Slovenian music for already few months now, but for one reason or another, the post has never made it to the schedule. But now it is finally time for that post.

Wikipedia: Slovenia

Slovenia has a population of only 2 million people, so you would not expect the country to have very vivid music scene. To my surprise, I have kept coming across great artists from Slovenia. There you once again see, that size does not always matter. I knew Slovenia had many great artist, since I have watched their Eurovision Song Contest representative selection shows, but I was still surprised by the amount of artists I found while looking more deeply into Slovene music. And of course I knew few artist prior to that too. In this post, I will feature two artists; Both of these two are singers I have known a while. So the newer finds will have to wait a bit, but there will definitely be more Slovenia posts in the future!

Let's go...

First up we got Nina Pušlar. Nina was born in 1988 (I share a birthday with her! Though I am three years younger.) in a small town called Ivančna Gorica (one of those posts, where I can not write all the letters with my keyboard, it seems). Nina started singing from a young age, performing in choirs and musicals. She studied in a music school and was a member in two groups, before taking part in a TV contest show called Bitke Talentov 2005. She ended up winning the contest and released her first studio album a year later, aka in 2006. So far Nina has released four studio albums and she has participated in multiple contests with good success. Besides being a singer, Nina also writes songs.

The first song of the post is Nina's song called Tik Tak Tok. The song was released in Nina's 2011 album and it received a music video next year. I am now going assuming that the title does not require a translation. I am not sure what she sings about and since Google Translate's Slovene skills are just okay at best, we are left wondering. But the video gives an approximate idea. The song is quite catchy and fun. It is a party feeling to it, but it is a bit lighter than usual club songs. I really like the music and Nina's voice sounds nice with this type of music (though perhaps not quite as nice as with the next song).

The other song from Nina is called Pozdrav Z Ljubeznijo. The title means 'Greetings With Love'. I find this song very easy going and soft; It is nice to listen to and feels somewhat nostalgic, though yet again I do not know what she is singing about. It is quite simple song. And by simple I do not mean boring or uncreative, but rather like simple way of living and not having too many gimmicks and such. This gives the song that soft feeling and harmony. There is actually quite many similar kind of songs to this in Slovene and nearby countries, but Nina's songs stand out from the crowd. Perhaps it is Nina's voice or something in the music, but there is definitely something special in here.

Tik Tak Tok and Pozdrav Z Ljubeznijo can be found from Nina's 2011 album Med Vrsticami.

For some reason both of the songs from Nina ended up being from the same album. This does not mean that other of her albums do not have great music; It is just that these two are my favourites from her. Having the artists' songs from one album only, makes me think that it seems like that they only have one good period of music. That is why I usually try to pick the songs from different parts of the artists' careers. But sometimes my favourites just happen to be from the same album. This matter actually could be made into a separate blog post, so I am now writing it down to my notebook (the blog post will see daylight who knows when). I just always feel the need to explain this matter, but now that is out of the way so let's move on...

My favourite singer from Slovenia: April. And once again it is the same old story: I am not able to find much information on the artist. So some of the information following is coming from my memory of things I learned about April through the years. April is the stage name of Spela Papez. She was born in a town called Domžale, which is near the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. April started studying multiple instruments as a child, but eventually switched to singing. According to her website April felt like there was not much trendy club music in the Slovene radios, so she decided to fill this gap. Her music is definitely trendy dance-pop. She has been called "Lady Gaga of Slovenia", mostly thanks to her interesting fashion style, but to me her sound is quite different (how different can you even get in the same field of music anyway) from that of Lady Gaga's.

This first song from April is called Ladadidej. The song was released in 2011 and April participated EMA 2011 (Slovenia's Eurovision representative selection show) with it; She finished second out of the ten songs competing. Ladadidej is a very catchy dance-pop song. It is a strong music and couple repetitive parts, which make it a perfect dance song (in my opinion that is, of course). The song is interesting and sounds a lot of fun. Those are things that I always love most in a dance song: catchy, interesting and fun. This song fulfills those and even after more than four years, I never seem to get bored of this song. And I have been listening it a lot. Definitely my favourite song from April and also my favourite song from Slovenia.

To not much a surprise, I first came across April when she performed in the EMA 2011. Obviously, she was my favourite then. Back then she did not have many songs out, but to my joy she has released many songs since then. And even more to my joy, songs that I really like. I have read that April became a mother recently and because of that she is currently taking a break from her career. Hopefully she will eventually start releasing music again, because I truly enjoy her songs.

One of her songs that I like the most, is called Ujeta Na Netu. The title means 'Caught On The Web', though I am not sure if it means web as internet or spider's web. The first one supposedly. The song was released in 2012. It is a dance-pop song and a very catchy one too. I actually really love some of the elements in the music (I am sure you can guess which). This song too has the factors needed for a great dance song: catchy, interesting and fun.

The last song of the post goes to April: Paše Mi. The other two songs from April have been dance songs, but this one is different; I am not sure if it qualifies as a ballad, but at least it is slower and ballad-like. Paše Mi was released in 2013. The title means 'Fits Me', which does not much help on figuring out what she is singing about. The song does sound beautiful nevertheless. The music sounds a bit dream-like and April's singing is very pretty. I have mentioned like zillion times, that I do not care too much for ballads, but this is the kind of slower song that I like: it has the stylishness of a ballad, but catchiness of uptempo song. To me this song sounds very beautiful.

Due to the lack of information available, I do not know on which albums these songs are available, if on any.

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