MARKO LOUIS, Musician: Troubadour of Tragedy With a Happy End

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Marko Louis has just embarked on the promotion of his third solo album called “EURIDIKA” which came out. The new album has 12 songs, including 3 duets. Last summer, the audiences had an opportunity to hear two of the songs from his new album – the eponymous „EURIDIKA“ and the single „KADA JE NOĆ“.

Marko, we noticed that you like collaborations with other artists so this album also has wonderful duets such as those in the song „SANJAO SAM“ which you sang with one and only, Božo Vrećo, the song „IDI“, which you recorded with a young band from Sarajevo, Helem Nejse, and a duet with your sister Maja in the song „SVET JE TVOJ“. How did these collaborations come about?

— These two collaborations – with Božo and Helem Nejse – are just a continuation of our friendship. This is the third single that I recorded with Božo, and I also produced some of the songs on his last album, as well as his new album „Melek“. It comes natural to us to have a duet every year and I am glad that the song „Sanjao Sam“ is on both of our albums. Regarding the collaboration with Helem Nejse, „Kabadahija“ was the song that got us together and made us closer. We became really good friends, and in terms of music, we collaborated on several levels. Tihomir Klepić wrote lyrics for several songs on my new album, I help them with producing their album, and last by not least, we are also friends who drink copious amounts of coffee. For some time now, Maja and I wanted to record a song together. And now, we have this premiere. We collaborated on songwriting in the past, and I am really glad that the same can be said for my new album. Together, Maja and I write and arrange our songs and she also writes lyrics. Arrangement-wise we made an innovative step forward. I cannot wait to share this album with everyone and sing live the songs from it at concerts.

You did manage to go a step further compared to the music your father used to make. You even took his last name which is considered an iconic stage name both here and abroad. How did you come up with that idea and this fusion?

— Allow me to correct you. I did not take the stage name „Louis“ as my surname and this is a general misunderstanding. My surname is actually Stojanović-Louis, which I share with my father and my sister. We grew up in Germany and everybody had trouble pronouncing our surname –Stojanović – there so we went by „Marko Louis“ and „Maja Louis“. When I entered the world of music, I started using that name too. Musically speaking, I wanted to combine different genres that some people might think are incompatible. I love to set my own musical boundaries.

Why did you name your album „Euridika“? Do you consider yourself to be a modern-day Orpheus?

— The song „Euridika“ came about when my friend Maja Radivojević was inspired by music and wrote lyrics to my song that was influenced by that well-known Greek tragedy. Basically, the lyrics are very relatable – this is a tragedy,
but we have interepreted it as a tragedy with a happy end. I named my album after it with the first single sending out a message that despite something being tragic in the beginning, it always ends on a happy note.

You were quoted as saying that, as a kid, you listened to hiphop and soul. Your dad Ljubiša probably instilled in you the love for the Balkan ethno music and jazz that he mixed. Is this the direction that your future music will take?

— Yes, I did grow up listening to hip-hop, but my father, both directly and indirectly, influenced me to love the sounds of the Balkans and gypsy music, their interpretations and melodies. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it
will determine the future direction of my music. Every album is a new discovery and a new mix for me. Maybe one day I will record something totally different; a techno album, for instance.

You became known by singing at big festivals like EXIT or Arsenal Fest, where I performed too. What is the difference between performing on a big stage and performing at a club? Do you have a different approach? Do you have any plans regarding performing at both types of venues?

— It is quite different to perform on a big stage, in front of the audiences that came to see just you. When you perform at a club, people who come to see you are there mostly for fun. At festivals, they came to see you and listen to your music. I don’t think much about the difference between the two. I try to enjoy myself from the beginning to the end, dance to the music and connect to the audience. It is very important for me that I enjoy my performance, because when I enjoy it, so does the audience. I want to continue in this direction and perform in front of crowds of people, on big stages. There is no greater thing then hearing a chorus of people in the audience singing your songs.

THE FUTURE IS IN GERMAN AND ENGLISH?

Future plans?

— My plan is to promote my new album throughout the region at concerts and festivals, but anyone who knows me also knows that I will start recording something new soon. At the moment, I plan to record something in the German language – could be one or a few songs – and maybe something in English. But for now, the most important for me is to promote „Euridika“ in as many venues as possible.

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