Elis Lovrić:”I enjoy singing in my local dialect”

Elis Lovrić is a Croatian contemporary folk singer-songwriter and actress. Her first studio album was released in 2017 named “Merika” and she is famous for having the lyrics of her songs written in Labinjonska cakavica which is actually a subdialect of the Chakavian dialect, spoken in eastern Istria around the town of Labin. Elis competed at Dora 2019 with the song “All I really want” and she was placed 7th. She will be the first competing act to opetn Dora 2020 with the song “Jušto”

Hello, Elis, it is a great to see you at Dora for the second year in a row. What has changed after your performance at Dora 2019?
A lot of good things for which I am grateful have happened. Changes are huge but in them, there is the essence of continuing to do what I like and what I dreamed of. I fought for a long time to achieve that and now it comes true. Last summer I was a guest in Trier (Germany) singing my songs in German, which I consider as my third language I had wonderful concerts, but a special one was “Večeri na Griču” (The nights at Grič) in Zagreb, I won the jury award for the song ” Od kad te poznon” which I performed with choir Brnistra, at the “Večeri dalmatinske šansone” (The nights of dalmatian chansons) in Šibenik that made me really happy and gave me motivation. In Labin as part of the project “CA kantunić” in my former high school “Mate Blažina” they raised a staircase in which the lyrics to my song “Kolor” are engraved to, not long after that Labinjonska cakavica became the protected cultural heritage of Croatia. As a cherry on the cake Zlatko Turkalj host of HRT2 surprised me with the award “Music Pub” for the author of the year. It is the oldest yearly music award which is presented since 1992. I had a lovely year.

“Od Kad Te Poznon” Elis sang at the festival “Večeri dalmatinske šansone”

In March last year, you released a new version of the song “All I really want” sung in your local dialect (labinjonski) with the name “Se ca još željin” how did the audience react and what does it mean to you to release songs sung in your dialect?
I was so happy to hear that the audience wants me to release a version of the song performed in my local dialect. Usually, it can be expected that opposite happens but it seems that both audience and radio editors value authenticity and the uniqueness of the performer, so I released the new version of my song after the audience asked me to. I love all the languages but to sing a song in your native dialect is like flying inside you and flying over the world at the same time.

What has inspired you to apply for this year’s contest?

While I was listening to my old songs at the screen of my laptop I noticed this one too. A couple of my partners had a strong reaction to it so I decided to finish it.

Is the song “Jušto” also in your native dialect (labinjonska cakavica)?

Yes it is! But now they could easily ask me to record an English version of it.

What inspired you to write “Jušto”
I wrote it from frustration and resistance to all the rules which society and family put on us. The song, to everyone who were victims of manipulation of sick and twisted minds. Support to those who went through bullying because of being different, authentic, sensitive, naive. I felt insurgence and it seemed like I yell or I am angry at my steering wheel when I amin my car. The rest of the lyrics were finished in a studio when I decided to apply for Dora 2020.

Regarding the fact that you speak five languages and that on your album “Merika” you released a song “O Canto do Mar” sung in Portuguese in which language do you enjoy singing the most?
Languages are impressing me so much that instead of candies or chocolate as a gift I would rather have a sentence in the language which I don’t know. I get euphoric when I learn new language and it is so funny when you try to pronounce some new words. The answer is that I enjoy singing in my dialect the most after that I can easily sing in every other language of the world. We are often called the Chinese Istrians because no one understands us, so after labinjonska cakavica, neither one language is hard to learn.

Elis performing “All I really want” at Dora 2019

Could you reveal us a bit more about the song “Jušto” and some things about the performance?
I don’t know how much should I tell you but this time I won’t be alone on stage and the song carries something different than what people are used to hear from me and that’s all thanks to Matej Zec with whom I arranged and produced the song. I can’t wait to see your reactions!

Theatre or music?
Both! Inseparable to me. With the music I feel the culmination same as in theatre part, that’s how I write and compose and in theatre are melodic and feeling for rhythm and dynamic crucial for becoming an actor.

Do you watch Eurovision regularly? What is your favourite song and what is your first memory related to the contest?
I watched it regularly as a kid and waited for it as it was New Year. Later a bit less because I don’t manage to follow myself with the things I do. First memory I have is Nicole with her winning song ‘’Ein bißchen Frieden’’ and of course “Džuli” a year after that if I am not mistaken. How much I cheered for it!

What are your plans for the upcoming year?
With the song ‘’Vidim da si tu’’(I see you are there) I participated at Zagreb festival. I am preparing a labinjonjapanese book “Kanat od mora – 海の歌”which will be the first book published in a combination of the two languages. I am also working on the theatre play “Vježbanje života – drugi put’’ (Practicing Life – second time) at Croatian National Theatre in Rijeka where I play one of the leading roles Fanica, for which I already got a valuable Rektor prize. Rijeka is the European capital of culture for 2020 and I am glad to be part of that because of my emotional connections to my first theatre which I stepped into when I was passing an entrance exam for the Academy.

Do you want to share something else or you maybe have a message for followers of escbubble?
I am really happy when people manage to express their personality, their dreams of course without hurting anyone. I think that the world would be a much brighter place if everyone lives with their full, positive potential without waiting for their life to be “served” by anyone else.

Dora 2020 will be held at 29th of February with the start at 19:30 CET

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