North Macedonia’s Tamara Todevska & the Heritage She Never Knew Existed

It may not come as a surprise that Tamara Todevska, this year’s Eurovision contestant for North Macedonia is 86% Balkan, but it’s the remaining 14% where things get interesting: she is also 3.4% Scandinavian, 1.7% Finnish, 3.3% Ashkenazi Jewish, and 5.6% North African! We found 785 of her relatives from 41 different countries, many of them from the USA and Europe, but some as far-flung as Nigeria, Mexico, Hong Kong, and Kazakhstan.

We also discovered that Tamara is distantly related to Rizo Feratović—a member of D mol, this year’s Eurovision contestant for Montenegro!

“Wow,” marvels Tamara, “I never knew about my Jewish background and that some of my family came from North Africa. I have a brand-new perspective on my heritage.”

How does it feel to gain that perspective? “I feel great,” she says. “There is a history about me that I never knew existed before.”

It’s not only this eclectic mix of ethnicities that runs through Tamara’s veins; music and Eurovision success do, too. Tamara performed for North Macedonia in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008, and she also sang backup vocals for her sister Tijana in Eurovision 2014. Both sisters are accomplished Macedonian musicians, and it’s no wonder: their mother is an opera singer and their father is a music teacher!

You can read more on her and her sister in “Getting in on the Sister Act!”