Kataya & Duncan Kamakana: “We will be surrounded with a few of the best vocalists in Slovenia!”

Just few days before 1st Semi-Final of Slovenian Eurovision National Final, EMA 2017, we spoke to Kataya & Duncan Kamakana, Slovenian – Hawaiian formation, who’ll try to win Eurovision ticket with their song ‘Are You There’.

Hey Kataya & Duncan, thank you for your time for ESCBubble! First of all, what was the main reason for applying your song to EMA 2017?
Kataya: I didn’t actually appy. Our producer submitted us to this competition, so I actually just went with the flow, and it was amazing, it is amazing to be a part of something so grand.
Duncan: I was approached earlier this year by producer Megi Milošević who was putting a team together for an EMA submission. Being from the United States, and Hawaii specifically, we tend to be a little isolated.  While I wasn’t as familiar with the show before beginning this project its only made it a more exciting experience for me as I learn more about the competition as we move forward.

What was your first reaction when you were told that you would compete at EMA 2017?
Kataya: I was extremely happy and shocked since I didn’t expect that.
Duncan: I work with the knowledge that many of the incredibly talented musicians and songwriters that I’ve worked with over the years may never have some of the same opportunities that I’ve had, and for that reason I work very hard to make the most the opportunities I’ve been given. I was very excited about it.

Kataya, you’re returning to the same EMA stage after 7 years, when you performed Kaj in kam with Tangels at that time. What’s the main difference between those two songs?
Kataya: I actually performed the year when Rebeka Dremelj won, I was a backvocalist for a group called Turbo Angels. I was born to perform on big stages, I love doing what I do, its my calling. Our song ‘Are You There’ is so untypical for me actually, so I cant wait to put it out there. Its a classical ballad with some pinches of magic from different parts of the world, America versus Slovenia, in union.

EMA 2017 is about to move to The Exhibition and Convention Centre in Ljubljana this year, instead of staying at the studios of RTVSLO. Is that also an opportunity for an artist for receiving more freedom with creativity on the very stage?
Kataya: Oh, I LOVE performing in front of a big crowd, because only when completely surronded by a big crowd I can give myself fully to music, its beautiful.
Duncan: Music is a great unifier.  It means a lot of different things to everyone, but it brings almost every person joy in some way or another. A performance where musicians can be directly related with the audience, where immediate response happens and natural development of this relationship adds an extra dimension, to the performers and to the audience.

Who’s composing team behind your song and who’ll join you on the EMA stage?
Kataya: We are so blessed. We will be surrounded with a few of the best vocalists in Slovenia and the music was composed by this amazing team Tim Žibrat in collaboration with Klemen Orter, Blaž Vrečko and Samo Jezovšek . I am beyond blessed.
Duncan: I worked closely with producer Tim Žibrat on the writing of the song, he handled much of the music and I focused primarily on the lyrics. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work with a fantastic team, which really starts with our producer Megi Milošević.  She’s the one that brought this unconventional team together, and I’m really looking forward to singing alongside Kataya.

Do you have any idea already how the stage performance of your song will be looking like?
Kataya: Yes, but we are still in the process of rehearsal (laughter). When people come together and make good music, magic happens.
Duncan: The song we were writing is a long distance love ballad about two lovers forced to be apart because of circumstance.  Because, we humans are also visual creatures, we have prepared symbolical visual elements for the stage design which will support the story and the atmosphere of a magical song.

And what about other plans for 2017, excluding EMA (and Eurovision), what are you up to this year yet?
Kataya: I have so many plans, and so little time. I just want to be happy and healthy. These are my humble wishes. Everything else is a bonus.
Duncan: Let’s see what life brings.

Thank you, and for the end, would you have any message for your fans and followers here on ESCBubble!
Kataya: Thank you readers and listeners from all over the globe for all your support. Spread the love and follow your dreams!
Duncan: I’m extremely thankful for the interest the readers of ESCBubble are showing in our work, and I can’t wait to share more of this experience with you all.

Photos: Jani Ugrin (RTVSLO)

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