It's time for another interview on Sounds European!. We managed to chat with the Slovene artist who was featured the most times on our site – which means, in other words, we really admire his work! So, obviously, it was an honor to be able to have this conversation with him. These are our 10 questions for Nino:
Sounds European!: We like to start interviews getting to know a bit about the artists' music background. So, what artists did you use to listen when you were growing up? Do you feel they have any influence on your current work with music?
Nino: As a child, I listened mostly to pop and rock music. As a teenager, also some R&B and even hip hop music. But in music school, I learned classical music. I have never had just one idol, but I liked songs of different styles and artists. As a little boy, I was fascinated by singer and pianist Oliver Dragojević, so I decided to play the piano. He has had a major impact on my seriously starting my pop music career.
SE!: You are multitalented: you are a singer, songwriter and musician. And you are very young, so we figure you started it all very early in your life. Can you tell us a bit about your first steps? When did you begin to study the piano? At what age did you start singing? And when did it become a profession for you?
N: I started to learn the piano more seriously at the music school at the age of six. I was also singing in the music school choir. I was always fascinated by pop music, so I wrote my first songs during primary school. When I was 17 years old, I released my first official radio single. The stage and recording songs became like drugs – I'm addicted to music! :)
SE!: You are also a very versatile artist. Your songs explore different areas of pop: some are more directed to rock (such as "Zvezdno nebo"), other ones are uptempo and dance (such as "Mi amor"), and some others are delicate and beautiful ballads (such as "Simfonija"). Is it an objective of yours, not to be tagged as an artist with only one style? How would you describe your own music? And is there any genre which makes you more comfortable to perform than others?
N: Generally, I would describe my music as pop. But yeah, pop with influences of rock, funky music, soul and sometimes even jazz. :) I also write music for other artists in Slovenia, and I really like to listen to a wide variety of music styles. As a singer, I know I'm better in pop – that's why I don't write hard rock or hip hop songs for myself. But it's great that I can compose music in different styles for other artists. I think that there are just two types of music: top and bad. In all styles, you can find good and not so good music.
SE!: Besides your music career, you are also a voice actor for cartoons. Can you tell us a bit about this side of yours? How did you start getting involved with it? What characters have you played so far?
N: Cartoons have appeared because of music. A lot of cartoons have great music. Dubbing can be really fun, that's why I see this as leisure and not as work. :) For cartoon movies, I have just done some great characters: I was Patrick Star on "SpongeBob SquarePants" and Theodore on "Alvin and the Chipmunks". I also dubbed some TV series.
SE!: Your music videos are usually very beautiful and well produced. Do you care about having great videos? How important do you think they are for promoting your songs? Also, you have several amazing pictures. Have you ever considered becoming a model as a parallel career?
N: Thanks for the compliments! :) When I record a video or have new promotional pictures, I want a great result because it can make the product as a whole be even better. But if I'm honest, I actually really dislike this part of "music"... videos, photo shootings, you know. :) I got a couple of offers for modelling, but music is my first and only great love. If you want to be not just good, but the best in your career, you have to practice a lot. That's why, for me, it's just music, music, music!
"I think that there are just two types of music: top and bad. In all styles, you can find good and not so good music"
(Picture: official Facebook page)
(Picture: official Facebook page)
SE!: We saw a comment of yours on Facebook, in which you said you already had a favorite for EMA, the Slovene National Final for Eurovision, this year. Have you thought on entering the competition yourself? Would you like to represent Slovenia on Eurovision?
N: I have a favorite, yes. I wrote the song for the band San Di Ego. It is entitled "Brez tebe" (in English, "Without you"), so of course they are my favorites. :) The song is a rock ballad and it has a very strong energy. My career goal is not to perform on Eurovision Song Contest. But if I ever had a song which I would feel appropriate, I maybe would. Why not? :)
SE!: We feel the music you produce is very friendly for European audience. Do you dream of expanding horizons, and exploring an international career?
N: I love my native language, so I want to create for Slovenia, in Slovene language. I still have many challenges in Slovenia. But when I run out of possibilities, I can also try other countries.
SE!: What are your professional projects for the near future? What can your fans expect for this year?
N: Finishing recording my second album. It will be released in spring. There will be so many new and very interesting songs. I cannot wait to introduce them to my fans. I'm really excited because I wrote my best songs ever! :) The first single is out now, it's entitled "Pod tušem" – in English, "Under the shower". :)
SE!: If you could choose anyone, who would be some Slovene and international artists you'd like to collaborate with?
N: There are so many, both Slovene and international ones. It would be too hard to choose just one. Probably great Slovene artists who are known outside of Slovenia, such as Gramatik. And of course Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé...
SE!: We would like to post a song of yours to close this interview. What is your favorite song of yourself, and why?
N: When I love a song, I listen to it so many times! :) All the new songs from my new album, especially the title song of it, "Pod tušem". I currently also really like the song "When we were young", by Adele. :)