Who are Serbia’s Eurovision 2018 entry Sanja Ilić and Balkanika?

67-year-old composer Ilić is making his Eurovision debut

LISBON, PORTUGAL - MAY 06:  Sanja Ilic & Balkanika of Serbia attend the red carpet before the Eurovision private party on May 6, 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Pedro Gomes/Getty Images)

Composer Sanja Ilić and his group Balkanika are Serbia’s entry for Eurovision 2018.

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The group was formed to preserve Serbian medieval and byzantine music traditions – and as such they’re bringing a centuries-old sound to Lisbon. Find out more about Balkanika below…

Who are Serbia’s Eurovision entry Sanja Ilić & Balkanika?

67-year-old composer and architect (!) Sanja Ilić has been making music professionally since age 12, and, though he has written many songs for the competition, had yet to make an appearance himself until this year.

At 16, he wrote the song Baj baj baj which was sung by singer Bisera Veletanlić at Eurovision 1976 (representing Yugoslavia) at The Hague. She came in third. He composed further entries in 1982 and 1984.

He started up Balkanika in 1998, a group of five vocalists, two percussionists, two guitarists and one flautist. They also incorporate old Balkan instruments into their music from time to time to add to their traditional sound.

What is Serbia’s Eurovision 2018 song called?

Serbia’s song is called Nova Deca, which translates as “new children”.

What will the song look like on stage?

The group have already performed the song at the second semi-final – check it out below.

How did Serbia’s entry get on at the semi-finals?

Ilić and his band impressed at the second semi-final on Thursday, and made it through to Saturday’s grand final.

Meet the acts competing in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018

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The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final takes place in Lisbon, Portugal, on May 12th 2018


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