Keni nije mrtav: “South Park was on TV and Kenny died at that same moment, so Matija renamed our group chat to “Kenny isn’t dead.”

Keni nije mrtav (Keny isn’t dead) is a punk rock, pop punk, alternative rock band from Serbia which was formed in a city of Kruševac back in 2017 by three high school friends Mateja, Matija and Sava. Their first album was released in November 2021 and since then they had a chance to tour all around former Yugoslavia and even perform at a concert of Joker Out. Find out what more did the guys from Keni nije mrtav tell us about their music and many other things in our interview below

Hello Keni Nije Mrtav, first of all I would like to congratulate you for being selected for Pesma za Evroviziju 2024 how does it feel to take part at Serbian national selection for Eurovision?

Hi! We are Mateja, Matija, and Sava. First of all, thank you for reaching out. We are super excited to be a part of this year’s national selection. All we can say is that Pesma za Evroviziju is a top-notch, well-organized format. PZE is going to be a great show this year, so make sure to catch both the semi-finals and finals. Keni will perform in the first semi-final on February 27th, as the 14th contestant.

In one interview you mentioned that Joker Out and Måneskin inspired you to take part at
Pesma za Evroviziju 24. Is it true and how did it happen?
The year before Joker Out entered Eurovision, Bojan reached out to Keni via DM and invited us to join their biggest concert at the time in Ljubljana (Cvetličarna hall). We accepted, of course, the show was sold out, and we had a great time. Bojan, Nace, Jure, and Kris are awesome guys. They are currently touring worldwide, and we are extremely happy for them. They deserve every single moment of fame. Also, we are eagerly awaiting their new single ‘Everybody’s Waiting’! 



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The name of the band is a reference to Kenny McCormick from South Park, how did you come up with that idea for the name?
Matija turned on his TV at some really late hours and Comedy Central was on all the time. As soon as the screen appeared, South Park was on and Kenny died at that same moment, so he renamed our group chat to “Kenny isn’t dead.”

Your band was formed 7 years ago and you started by covering songs of Six Pack, Korn, Slipknot and Limp Bizkit. Can you tell us more about your musical beginnings and the musicians which inspired you?
Actually, we had a couple of already finished songs before Keni was formed. All of those artists inspired us, and you can clearly hear their influence in our beginnings. At the first show, we basically didn’t have enough original material, so we decided to cover a few songs. Our taste is changing on a monthly basis because we are constantly looking for new inspiration to enhance our ideas. So if we have a choice, maybe Kanye West would be our pick if he has a vision on how to elevate the RnR sound to an unexpected form.

You’ve released debut album in 2021 and with it you’ve toured all around former Yugoslavia. How was that experience and is there any anecdote from some of your gigs which you’d like to share with our readers?
Before releasing our debut album, we started what we called the ‘Never-ending tour.’ We did approximately 90 shows and then entered the pandemic era. In the meantime, we completed our first album ‘Ajmo da plešemo’, so that was as good a time as any to drop the album. Touring that much, of course, opened up a bunch of opportunities for us to end up in a lot of weird situations haha – like a 4am festival show where we somehow broke our guitar halfway through, so we did a live drum and bass freestyle rap. Once, we arranged a small show with all the back line organized by a Booker. When we arrived at the venue, we saw literally small home amps – kinder surprise-sized guitar amps. For our Croatia tour, we relied on Google Maps to get to the open-air stage, started our soundcheck, only to realize that we were at the wrong event (like 30 kilometers away). Anyways, touring is fun haha.

Can you tell us a bit about “Dijamanti” what does the song mean for you? What can we expect from your performance? Can you give us a hint?
Just take a glance at our socials. Keni is going to be Keni – a powerful, crazy, smiling trio enjoying their time and sending energy and love to all of you.

Technically, your drummer, Sava has two songs competing as he helped with the production of “Duga je noć” by Fiip Baloš. How did that cooperation happen?
Filip was a special guest at one of Keni’s Belgrade shows. We’ve known him for years. Since Sava is an audio engineer, that collaboration was meant to be haha.

Are those two bands the ones with which you’d like to collaborate on creating music or there are other musicians with which you’d rather choosing for a collab?
Keni is really open-minded and can adapt to any kind of sound. The most important thing to us is that we like it. We are currently finishing our second album, and we are really happy that we got a chance to collaborate with the people we wanted, from production to features/collabs. We really enjoy that workflow,and it will continue in the future.

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?
As a trio, we’ve had different favorites, well, except for the last couple of years, obviously. Sanja Vučić is from our hometown, so we have a special connection to that entry. Kaarija and Joker Out had all of our votes last year, and Maneskin blew us away with their strength. We all adore “Gori vatra” from the 1973 finals, as well as a couple of Greek entries. Ruslana was a standout for us in our early music phase. This year, we’re hoping for that lasagna served by our neighboring Croatia

What do you do when you are not singing or creating music? Any hobbies?
When we’re not singing or creating music for Keni, we write and collaborate with a bunch of other artists 😀 Often, we like to go for coffee or dinner together and talk about anything non-music related. We enjoy each other’s company. Very often, we play basketball. On a separate note, Matija is into badminton, Sava is into CSgo tournaments, and Mateja is into books and literature. 



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What are your plans after Pesma za Evroviziju 2024?
Ahh, we’re already multitasking, and we’re ready to continue that multitasking. Keni is heading to Ljubljana with Buč Kesidi on February 17th. We hit the studio on a daily basis for some final touches on the album by night, and during the day, we handle all the preparations needed for PZE – and there are a lot of those, believe us! Our next video single is in the final writing stage, so that’s apparently happening soon as well. Keni already has some summer festivals booked; of course, all those shows take place in late June, July, August, you know, just in case… who knows : )

Thank you so much for your time Keni nije mrtav. 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?
Dear EscBubbles, Thank you for being such supportive fans of all the artists and genres across this beautiful music platform. Make sure to catch the PZE semi-finals and finals, and enjoy the performances that Keni, Filip, Teya, Džordži, Konstrakta, Lena, and all 28 entries have put together for you!

The first semi-final of the show is set to take place on 27th of February with the start at 21.00 CET at RTS. You can listen to “Dijamanti” by Keni nije mrtav below:

Let as know how do you rate “Dijamanti” and leave your impressions about it in the comments and at our social media @escbubble

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