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In the spotlight: Vasil

14 April 2020 at 10:05 CEST
In the spotlight: Vasil Bojan Stoilkovski
With his song, 'YOU', Vasil was chosen to represent North Macedonia in 2020. In light of the unfortunate cancellation of the 65th Eurovision Song Contest, we wish to highlight the impressive acts that were set to appear. This is 'In the spotlight', our feature honouring the artists that would have made up this year's edition of the world's largest live music event.

Macedonian Radio Television, North Macedonia's public broadcaster, chose Vasil to represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam through an internal selection process. No stranger to the Eurovision experience, Vasil was part of Tamara Todevska’s Eurovision team as a backing vocalist at last year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv.

Who is Vasil?

Vasil Garvanliev started his musical journey at age 7, performing at some of North Macedonia’s most popular children’s festivals. Soon thereafter, he moved with his family to the United States, where he continued his career as a soloist at the Chicago Children’s Choir.

From child pop star to over 50 operatic roles and recitals at music festivals across the world and collaborations with some of the world’s most prolific artists, Vasil’s motto in life is simple: wherever words fail, sing.

Since his return to North Macedonia in 2018, Vasil has released 3 highly successful singles: Gjerdan (Necklace), “Patuvam (Travelling) and Mojata Ulica (My Street). His first solo concert in his native Strumica in November 2019 was sold out and showcased his vast musical experience from across the world.

North Macedonia's Eurovision 2020 participant Vasil Bojan Stoilkovski

YOU was composed by Nevena Neskoska, a Macedonian composer and producer who was born in the city of Ohrid but raised in Chicago. Nevena also contributed to the song’s lyrics, alongside co-writers Kalina Neskoska and Alice Schroeder. Music producers and arrangers for the song are Nevena Neskoska, Darko Dimitrov and Lazar Cvetkoski.

Vasil (North Macedonia 2020) on the set of his music video for 'YOU' Natasha Velickovska

The video for YOU was directed by Milena Vitman, recorded and edited by Gjorgi Vacev and produced by Jellmaz Dervishi. The message behind YOU is an invitation for everyone to connect, open up, dance, and celebrate the moment, and the video represents just that message: "It’s 7:00 AM, after a crazy night out. You’re at a bar choosing what to do next when in walks a person who shows that it takes just one look, one connection, to make a difference and start a beautiful change for the better."

About the feeling of his entry, Vasil adds: "We’ve all been there. The moment when that unexplainable thing happens and sensations take over you. The choice is yours: let go, put your dancing shoes on, celebrate, and just dance." As the lyrics tell us, "We May only have tonight, hold me tight and let’s ignite ... and for the moment I ... just wanna dance with YOU."

Vasil recently participated in the second episode of Eurovision Home Concerts where he sang his 2020 entry alongside a mashup of Helena Paparizou's My Number One and Netta's Toy. The voting between the 2 songs on social media was extraordinarily close, and Vasil was excited by the opportunity that presented.

Of the experience, he said: "Had a blast creating my little heaven with allll the little chacki that mean the most to me, including the very special gift I am holding in my hand. (Given to me by the postcard team on the day of my shoot) Thank you for inviting me! Hope you enjoy the episode!!!"

You can follow Vasil on the following social media platforms:

LISTEN: Stream YOU and other Eurovision 2020 songs on Spotify

North Macedonia in the Eurovision Song Contest

North Macedonia first appeared at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1998. The country previously attempted to join the contest in 1996 but failed to qualify from the pre-selection round. Until 2019, the country participated under the name F.Y.R. Macedonia.

READ MORE: North Macedonia's country page

Prior to 2019, North Macedonia's best result was a 12th-place finish with Elena Risteska in 2006. Having qualified from the semi-final round only once between 2008 and 2018, North Macedonia achieved its best result of the 2010s when Tamara Todevska finished in 7th place in the Grand Final after winning the jury vote.

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