2016 is being a great year for our interviews section! We are having some fun (and, at the same time, deep) talks with some of our favorite artists. And here we go once again, now to Macedonia, to chat with an artist whose work we really admire. She is one of the biggest and best stars in the Macedonian music scene. These are our 10 questions for Simona Poposka:
Sounds European!: We are always curious about the artists' music background. Who were your music idols when you were growing up? Who are your current idols? How and at what age did you start singing? And when did you start singing professionally?
Simona Poposka: I first started singing at the age of six. I also had my first performance at that age, and grew up listening to Mariah Carey. My current [idol], I don't know, is Rihanna.
SE!: You took part of the Macedonian National Final for Junior Eurovision in two occasions. In 2004, you came second; two years later, you finished third. What memories and lessons do you keep of those experiences? Have you ever considered representing your country on the adult Eurovision?
SP: I learned a lot during those events. Like what it takes to fight for your place – and also how to take advantage of your five minutes to show that you have what it takes. It's a dream to represent my country [on Eurovision] as a professional singer.
SE!: We absolutely love the music you produce. Your single "Ne e najdobro", for example, was on our list of the 50 best songs of 2014. We see your music as pop at its purest state: catchy, contagious, timeless and entertaining. Is it your objective when making songs? How would you describe your own music?
SP: I would describe my music as very heartfelt and truthful. There is no specific formula on creating my music, I am singing what I feel at the time.
SE!: Another thing which really calls our attention about your work is the aesthetics of your music videos. They are extremely beautiful and well produced. Is it a concern of yours to have attractive videos?
SP: In the videos, I want to show that a woman can always present herself formally and still be sexy. I also pay really close attention to the details and coloring of my music videos.
SE!: You are developing a work together with Macedonian DJ and producer Erik Fox, called The Sound Messengers. What can you tell us about it? How did you decide to start it? What kind of music do you produce? And how is it to work with him?
SP: We have been randomly bumping into each other. So we began to talk about what we both could bring to the table. I am a professional singer and he is a very well known DJ in Macedonia. The Sound Messengers is based on house music and vocals. This is something that has been missing in messaging for quite some time. We then realized that this is something that can be taken out of Macedonia and be brought worldwide. We're on a good run so far: we've already made five songs and our most popular hit, "Love me".
"I would describe my music as very heartfelt and truthful" (Picture: official Facebook page)
SE!: You took part on last year's Skopje Festival. Even though you ended second place, you were the most voted by the audience. What can you tell us about your experience in the festival? And what did it mean to you to have such a great acceptance with the public?
SP: It was a great experience overall! I'm very happy that I reached the second place. But, overall, I've got the biggest smile on my face knowing that the crowd really appreciated it and was supporting me all along the way.
SE!: Macedonia is, in continental proportions, a small country. How is it to develop a music career in a country like Macedonia? Do Macedonian artists need to expand their music to other countries to make a living? And do you dream of going international with your work?
SP: Being a professional singer in Macedonia isn't the easiest thing to accomplish. Given the fact that it's such a small country, you have to make sure that you're on your "A" game. It's always been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to have concert tours worldwide.
SE!: If you could choose anyone, who would be some Macedonian and international artists you'd like to collaborate with?
SP: If I could choose anybody in the world, I would like to collaborate with David Guetta.
SE!: What are your professional projects for the near future? What can your fans expect for 2016?
SP: I'm currently working on new songs to release my first album. This upcoming year should be very interesting, as I have two more music videos to be released and a couple of tours during the summer.
SE!: We would like to post a song of yours to close this interview. What is your favorite song of yourself, and why?
SP: Well, my favorite song currently is "Jas ne te sakam". The reason I choose that song is because that's my style of music, in the rhythm that I enjoy.
We would like to thank our Macedonian friend and collaborator Ace for helping us with the research which allowed us to develop this interview.