IF the winning of Eurovision was based on fame and on experience Montenegro’s Knez would win hands down.

Nenad Knežević Knez, 47, was born in Cetinje, into a family of musicians, and is in his own right, one of the country’s most popular artistes having success with 10 albums already, and with another one on the way His solo career started in 1992 with a performance at the prestigious Yugoslavian music festival MESAM.

When we caught up with Knez he went into a bit more detail about his life, his singing and his influences.

“My career is very, very long and at the age of six I won first place in a famous children’s festival with a very good song.

“I am from a musical family and my parents and my grandfather was a very famous Montenegrin musician. My first performance in pop music was with my father Milija who was a drummer.

“I was very good at drumming and for many, many years I was also the lead vocal in my band. It’s a very interesting combination “It very difficult to play drums really well and my roots are jazz, rock. My favourite drummers are Billy Cobham and Steve Gett. And my favourite singers are Stevie Wonder, Gino Vanelli and Al Jarreau.

“I started my career with jazz and after that I made some different music with bop and with a little jazz harmony and a bit of ethno, a little bit Mediterrainean and Italy, because it is very close to with Montenegro.

“To do all these things you have to have a great passion and I have been in many music festivals but Eurovision is my big joy because I’m a big fan of it.”

Asked what he thought Eurovision could provide for his Balkan style of music, he explained: “I am not sure but what I hope is it will be a crowning moment of my career because it’s one of the biggest contests in the world.

“So many people watching the show and it’s a big stage. Okay I have been on big stages before, that’s no problem, but this big like Eurovision, no. It’s an honour to be here to represent my country.”

However, Knez has another mission in mind when he takes to the stage on Thursday and that is to remember his father Milija.

He adds: “My father died six years ago and right up to his final day he was involved in music. And my performance here in Vienna, I want to dedicate to him, as he tried two or three times to qualify for Eurovision, and because he was a huge, huge fan of Eurovision, and just by standing on that stage I will help realise his mission.”