Frajle:”The song was written as a result of Nataša’s research of the traditional music of the entire Balkan.”

Serbian national selection “Pesma za Evroviziju 23″ will take place next week with the semi-finals scheduled for 1st and 2nd of March while the final is set to take place on 4th of March. Eight acts will be qualifying from each semi-final and ahead of those we had a chance to talk with The Frajle who will be competing as 5th act of the second-semi-final on 2nd of March. This trio is marking their 14th year of creating music and performing at many stages including some unconventional ones such as a monastery, European parliament, kindergarten and an airplane. They received many awards and their audience was used to see them perform while being seated on a bar stool. In our interview below they announced some changes to their performance and also told us what are they working on as well as how their entry “Neka, neka” came to life.

Hello Frajle, first of all I would like to congratulate you for being selected for Pesma za Evroviziju 2023. How does that feel and what made you decide to take part at the show?
Hello, and thank you very much! The decision to participate in competition “Pesma za Evroviziju 2023” happened spontaneously and it was in accordance with the natural flow of how we planned our spring to be. The plan was to release this particular song, and the circumstances were arranged so that we applied with it for the contest. We started our preparations, choreography and everything that comes with it, and we are very glad to be a part of such a big show.Of course, we were thinking about how awesome it would be to go to the Eurovision Song Contest and gain that kind of an experience. It is definitely a good decision for any artist to be a part of something like that, since it’s being broadcast all over Europe. Everyone should get the experience of performing on such a big stage and being a part of such big production.

You have been present at the Serbian music scene for 14 years and you toured across Europe and USA and had performances at some interesting places including: a monastery, European parliament, kindergarten, in an airplane. What was the craziest memory or experience you had while on tour? Can you share with us any anecdotes?
During this 14 years of our presence on the music scene, there were a lot of memorable moments and experiences. Most definitely, one of the most unique was a gig we did on the quite special “stage” – the plane. In 2010, we were at the Exit Festival’s Zero Stage, which was actually on the plane for England. The concert was for the passengers traveling from London to Serbia, who were visiting the festival. Their reaction was amazing, they were very surprised and very happy because they were greeted with a concert. We were singing to the flight attendants’ microphones, and just all of it was such an extraordinary experience on 10.000m up in the clouds.

The Frajle was formed as a quartet back in 2009 and since 2021 you are performing as trio after Marija Mirković left the group. Have you thought of finding another member and continuing as quartet or you made an instant decision to become a trio?
Yes, we have been active on the music scene for 14 years and it has been a very dynamic and a wonderful journey.It is quite normal for changes to happens and for energy allocations to occur over such long period of time. Marija decided to leave the band in 2021. and go her own way. We moved on as a trio, and we never thought of looking back or adding another member. The change brought us new energy regarding creativity, song writing, singing… After all, 3 is a lucky number!

Can you tell us a bit about “Neka, neka” what does the song mean for you?
The music was written by Nataša Mihajlović, and the lyrics were written by Nataša Mihajlović and Nevena Buča together. The song was originally written back in 2015, as a result of Nataša’s deep research of the traditional music of the entire Balkan. She was listening to various songs, lyrics, performers, which was a great source of inspiration.

The song is very significant for us, because it is also a beautiful collaboration with Barcelona Gipsy Balkan Orchestra, who added their passion and a special touch to the song. Nataša heard them live in a concert and immediately felt that they are going to be the perfect match. She was right! So, the song was partially created and played in Barcelona, but the musicians are from Serbia, Spain, France, Greece, Italy. They all contributed to the phenomenal sound and shaping song into the best form.It is also special for us, because with it, we entered into a different rhythm (9/8) which is typical for traditional music of the Balkans, and is rarely used today. The song sounds “organic” and the instruments are completely natural. It was supposed to be a part of one of our albums and our management at the time was not in favor of it, so the song met it’s time and shape today.

What can we expect from your performance? Can you give us a hint?
As our audience already knows, we have been “tied” to bar stools on stage for years, but what will be interesting to everyone, is that, that we will, for the first time, have a choreography standing up. We will be dancing, and showing the concert whole potential of our band. We’re working on it with the director Višnja Obradović, who helped us organize our movement, acting and the entire visual effect.

Given the fact that you three speak 7 languages will the song “Neka, neka” have versions on any other language than Serbian?
The lyrics already exist in Spanish, because of Barcelona Gipsy Balkan Orchestra. We like to experiment with such things, we already have songs that are translated into other languages, like Italian and French, for example. So, yes, there is definitely a plan to translate the song into some other language and we look forward doing it.

Your songs received many awards including 2 MTV awards. Which prize are you the most proud of?
Awards are great things for any artist, to be recognized and honored for what they do. We appreciate all the awards and recognition equally, but if we have choose one it would be award “Runjićev galeb” (Runjić’s seagull prize) as one of our favorites. We got it in 2013. in Split,Croatia, when we were singing “Meni trebaš ti”, it marked us as performers in such way that people perceive it as our song, not a cover. In general, that made a great impact on our career.

Do you watch Eurovision regularly, if so would you like to share a memory which you have of it or a favourite song from the contest?
It is always exciting to see what is happening on the Eurovision stage, there are always some innovations, new interesting performances. Speaking of our local performers, that have represented us, that would definitely be Marija Šerifović with her song “Molitva” and Željko Joksimović with his song “Lane moje”. If we speak about the foreign ones, “Bandido” by Azúcar Moreno is now considered an evergreen. Eurovision Song Contest really created a lot of hits and drew attention to a lot of artists and beautiful thing is many of them are still remembered and being listened to by the audience.

If you had a chance to make a duet with any Pesma za Evroviziju /Eurovision participant, who would you choose?
We already have a great duet with one of the this year’s participants, our dear colleague Tijana Dapčević. It might be interesting in the future to do a duet with one of the young rising stars, maybe Luke Black or maybe Dzipsii? We like their performances and energy, so, you never know, we’ll see.


Where do you find inspiration for the music you create?
We find inspiration in people around us, the people we already know, and people that we meet for the first time. They all inspire us to draw something from our souls and write something new. That is what makes art so elusive, you never know when you will be prompted to write something.Also, traveling and new places are very inspiring too. That is why artists need to experience change, change of places specially, in order to discover new things and new sources of inspiration.Places also affect the style, for example, when we are next to the sea, the melodic lines will be softer and milder, and then when we are on the land sound can be little bit rough.All of that contributes to our sound and characteristic of our expression. We have three authors here, who write both music and lyrics, and when all of the above mix together – we get our “Frajle Style”.

What do you do when you are not singing or creating music? Any hobbies?
What is specific about our job is that it is also our love and passion, and when you deal with that – it pulls you in entirely. We don’thave much time for hobbies, because we are absolutely dedicated to music, and we completely invest ourselves in it.Of course, each one of us has her own preferences in the free time – Jelena loves to write, she wrote a book “Kako sam postala Frajla” (How I became “Frajla”), that was published in 2021. Nevena is a psychologist so she did some TV shows on that topic. Nataša loves yoga, meditation, animals, nature and spending time with friends.

What are your plans after Pesma za Evroviziju 2023?
Well, the plan is to go to Liverpool, the hometown of the Beatles!We have a standard route that we follow, we have a tour, which is slightly different now because we stood up from the chairs and we will have totally different organization and production. A lot of concerts are scheduled, so is the publishing of the second part of Jelena’s book. We are planning to expand our brand, that each one of us get activated separately, to get to as many places as possible, hopefully – worldwide.

Thank you so much for your time Frajle. We wish you the best of luck at the Pesma za Evroviziju. Do you want to share something else or you maybe have a message for readers of escbubble?
Thank you very much for this interview, we really enjoyed it. We want to wish to all of you and to all of the readers more laughter and more fun- because that’s why we’re here! We wish everyone to enjoy the music, to kiss and hug someone, to travel more, eat good food and not forget to slow down and enjoy the moment.

You can listen to “Neka neka” by Frajle below:

If Frajle are one of your favorites in the Serbian national final, make sure to vote for them and your other favorites in our poll right here:

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