• Dale Roberts

Eurovision 2021 North Macedonia profile: 'Here I Stand' by Vasil




North Macedonia in Eurovision


North Macedonia debuted in Eurovision back in 1998 and have achieved just one Top 10 result in their history.


In 2019 Tamara Todevska achieved their best ever result with her song 'Proud' finished in 7th place after winning the jury. In the 2010s they qualified on just two occasions in 10 attempts.



2021 Entry: Vasil - 'Here I Stand'


  • Semi-final: Vasil will compete in semi-final 1 in 6th position in the running order

  • My Eurovision Scoreboard fan ranking: 39th out of 39 entries

  • Odds to win ranking: 26th out of 39 entries

  • Odds to qualify ranking: 15th out of 16 entries

(rankings as of 6 April 2021)



About the artist


36-year-old Vasil Garvanliev has been performing in North Macedonia since he was a a child. Discovered while singing in the street, he soon released his first album aged just 8-years-old. He continued to release music and tour the region up until he became a teenager.


When 13-years-old his family and emigrated to the United States following the Kosovan war. He became a member of the Chicago Children's Choir performing at places like Carnegie Hall and at the White House.

Unfortunately after September 11 and tighter restrictions on immigration he and his family had to return to North Macedonia. He went on to train and perform in Canada for several years as well as Milan and London before eventually returning to North Macedonia.


He has a history with Eurovision where in 2007 he tried to represent his nation but fell in the national finals while he was a backing vocalist for Tamara Todevska's entry 'Proud' in 2019.


He was internally chosen for Eurovision 2020 with his song 'You' and was selected again for 2021.


About the song


Vasil composed the song himself in the wake of the cancellation of the Contest saying: "In the middle of the chaos and whirlwind of disappointments last year, I wrote 'Here I Stand' in one breath without any specific aim or focus. I think it rose out of one of those special and rare moments in life when you are at one with yourself: able to let emotions flow in their purest form without self judgment, freely and sincerely."


To produce the song he also worked with Macedonians Borche Kuzamovski and Davor Jordanovsk.


Controversy


Macedonian broadcaster MRT reviewed the entry following backlash in the nation to entry.


The issues began with the video for 'Here I Stand', which was shot in the National Gallery of Macedonia, an existing artwork appears to show the colours of the Bulgarian flag.


Vasil himself has both Macedonian and Bulgarian citizenship and some people felt this was a promotion of another country he is associated with, which they saw as inappropriate as he is represent North Macedonia.


Despite the removal of the images in the video a petition continued with many users homophobic language.


Vasil responded by saying "The moment I found out that people were affected and that work in the museum was misunderstood, I took a step, the video changed, they were torn off and we published it again. There is no politics in music, no race, no color. There is love, there is humanity, there is energy. If someone is hurt by what I did unintentionally, very accidentally, I apologize wholeheartedly. "I do not apologize for who I am, but if I have hurt anyone, whoever you are, forgive me."


Following the review, the song got the go ahead to compete in Rotterdam from the broadcaster.


Aussievision podcast North Macedonia episode


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