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Serbia calling: Hello? Luke Black?

01 May 2023 at 11:48 CEST
Luke Black from Serbia in the Eurovision 2023 studio Corinne Cumming / EBU
Luke Black is playing the Eurovision game, representing Serbia at the 67th Eurovision Song Contest with his song ‘Samo Mi Se Spava.’ However much he wants to close his eyes, there won’t be much sleeping in Liverpool.
Luke Black rehearsing Samo Mi Se Spava for Serbia at the First Rehearsal of the First Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena Sarah Louise Bennett / EBU

The ‘Serbian pop alchemist’ took his place in Serbia’s national selection, Pesma za Evroviziju, with his synth-pop song winning 10 points from the jury and 10 from the televote. Even though the contest was tight, it was game over for the other 15 finalists. Luke advanced to the next level, life bar full.

Luke’s first rehearsal was a dream, but a trippy one at that. He arrived at the arena on Sunday 30 April, and electrified the whole room. Flashing video walls overlooked a giant alien pod and some pleasantly unnerving choreography, as the experimental electronic sound came to life on stage with four dancers. We like it better when Luke’s awake.

Luke Black rehearsing Samo Mi Se Spava for Serbia at the First Rehearsal of the First Semi-Final at Liverpool Arena
Chloe Hashemi / EBU

In the centre of it all was the official Eurovision Live Blog, documenting every flashing light and foot stomp. It commented: "With the pulsing bass and video game graphics, the whole thing is dark and surreal and hypnotic - definitely a performance viewers won't forget."

The Serbian singer’s promo photos have featured something a bit unusual — a lobster. Hello? May I speak to the crustacean of the house? He claims his most used emoji is, right on brand, a lobster. But there’s another important creature in Luke’s life, and they don’t live under the sea. He describes his dog Zoi as “the smartest and cutest pug in the world” and has a secret wish that she’ll live forever.

Luke’s music draws from a whole range of genres, and it’s easy to see some of his influences within his playlist of top tunes. Take Lady Gaga’s Marry The Night, which has definitely got a pipeline directly to Samo Mi Se Spava. He’s also inspired by tunes that vary as widely as Elton John’s Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word and Amy Winehouse’s You Know I’m No Good. The singer says he uses classic pop influences as his canvas, then paints over with experimental, electronic sounds.

Luke chatted with the Official Eurovision Song Contest Podcast, and explained that between the Serbian national final and the Liverpool stage, “There’s loads of things changing, but the spirit of the performance is remaining the same… It was a really quick inspiration but it stemmed from my original music video idea.” He said he’s going to do his best to elevate the performance for Liverpool and blushed at the idea of being described as a successful popstar. He’s much happier talking about his video game obsession.

There’s more from Luke on Episode 13 of the Official Eurovision Song Contest Podcast.

You can learn more about Luke Black from Serbia right here.

You can listen to all 37 songs of Eurovision 2024 via your favourite streaming service or watch the music videos on our YouTube channel.

The Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Malmö, Sweden on Tuesday 7 May (First Semi-Final), Thursday 9 May (Second Semi-Final) and Saturday 11 May (Grand Final) 2024.

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