The Sammarinese entry appears likely to be the most multinational participant of this year's contest, with several countries involved in the project, and shows the real image of Europe: different cultures, traditions and histories under the same flag for the smallest country taking part in the contest.
Serhat fully represents the new Europe: Turkish born with a German education in his home city Istanbul; he has much experience in Germany, Greece and France, and to represent San Marino is another of his artistic career challenges. It was his success with the song Je M’adore that he came to the attention of San Marino RTV, who contacted Serhat through his Italian management
The team behind I Didn’t Know therefore is truly a multinational one. The composer of the song, Olcayto Ahmet Tuğsuz is from Turkey and the lyricist is Nektarios Tyrakis from Greece; both with previous experiences at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Composers have never met
“Some years ago, right after we first began our successful musical collaboration with Serhat through the song Total Disguise (for which I wrote the lyrics and music), Serhat told me about a Greek lyricist and mailed me some of his lyrics. I sat down and at that very first moment - in no more than five minutes - wrote the music for the song Chocolate Flavour with Nektarios’ lyrics. After that, I wrote many more songs which have not yet been published yet, in exactly the same way. I composed Je M’adore, also with the English lyrics by Nektarios, which he named I’m Movin On and that was the final proof to show us we are on the right path. So, when it was time for the Eurovision Song Contest, we did not hesitate for a moment to write a song with again lyrics by him and that’s how I Didn’t Know was created. The interesting side of this lyricist/composer cooperation is that Nektarios and I have never yet met each other in person." (Olcayto Ahmet Tuğsuz)
Tyrakis adds “Serhat, is not only a multi talented artist who I deeply respect and admire.Serhat is like a brother to me…The brother who I didn’t have the chance to have in my life. Serhat has proved, in every possible and impossible way that he is here for me, no matter what…The lyrics of the song are talking about a flourishing love…A love that grows first into our imagination and without our knowledge or permission can become a love that consumes our whole being."
The French musician Cyril Orcel is the arranger of I Didn't Know, which was recorded in Brussels.
Italian and French versions
The Italian version of the song, Non Eroio has been written by Mariella Nava, one of the most prestigious Italian singers/composers with many huge collaborations in Italy and abroad. The French version, Comment Savoir has been penned by Stéphane Laporte.
In addition to the Eurovision Song Contest version, there will also be several remixes with different target groups, under the auspices of the German record label Cap Sounds
The whole artistic team is guided by Manfred Thierry Mugler, who is the Concept and Creative Director of the San Marino entry, as well as the director of the video for I Didn’t Know.
In keeping with the multinational theme, the video of the song was shot in Paris, with a team of 37 people.
A new dandy
Through this music video, Mugler creates a new image for Serhat: A man with strong roots from the ancient past, but projected into the next future. A ‘new dandy’ of the 21st Century with a profile recalling the history and an eye looking at the new world.
“I am delighted to collaborate with Serhat and to accompany him on all levels of creation on this exciting project that is the Eurovision" says Mugler "For the music video I just directed, I have developed for him a new vision of a man: a fun Dandy attitude; sophisticated and strong; but also charming and touching. We have great challenges now ahead, with the creation of fantastic technology for the contest and to show the world the man of the future!”
San Marino will participate in the First Semi-Final of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest on Tuesday 10th of May.