Kaliopi unveils “Crno i belo”
On Wednesday, as Bulgaria went through the process of selecting their song for Baku, neighboring (FYR) Macedonia revealed “Crno i belo”, the song that the internally-selected Kaliopi would be taking to Azerbaijan. Composed by her ex-husband and regular collaborator Romeo Grill, and with lyrics by Kaliopi herself, here’s a look at the dramatic rock ballad:
A version in English, “Black and White” was also premiered, but it appears that the version in Macedonian is the one that we’ll hear during the Second Semifinal on May 24.
When I had heard that Kaliopi was Macedonia’s pick for this year’s Eurovision, I wondered how her voice had evolved since her first attempt at representing her country, back in 1996. “Samo Ti” was a big, dramatic, almost gospel-tinged number that sadly didn’t get the chance to be heard in Norway, due to an un-aired semifinal. Here we are, sixteen years later, and she’s finally made it to the ESC stage. The contest may have changed a lot, but Kaliopi still has a major voice, plus she’s gained the experience to know how to control it (that high note . Also, by adding an element of rock, Kaliopi is setting herself apart somewhat from the stereotypical “Balkan Ballad” that we’re seeing from Croatia and Slovenia (Maya Sar’s song for Bosnia and Herzegovina, as we know, is still to be seen). I think that with some dramatic staging and a higher level of production, “Crno i belo” might benefit from an advantageous draw and make it into the Final, something that Macedonia has failed to do since 2007.