For about ten days, the most popular video on YouTube’s trending list for Croatia was Serbian singer Anastasia Ražnatović, the daughter of Serbian singer Svetlana Ražnatović Ceca and Željko Ražnatović Arkan, the assassinated commander of the paramilitary Serbian Volunteer Guard against whom the Hague tribunal filed an indictment in 1999, reports Index.hr on April 11, 2019.
She was replaced on the top spot by Serbian singer Saša Kovačević. Since several days ago, the first position has been held by Bosnian rappers Jala Brat and Buba Corelli, with their new song “Bebi”. With the exception of Severina and Jelena Rozga, it seems that Croatian musicians simply cannot reach the top position.
What do Serbian songs and videos have, and the Croatian ones do not? “When you look at these videos, you have a feeling of watching world-class performers. The fact is that Serbian singers are investing a lot more in the production of their videos, but also in the music itself. Jala Brat and Buba Corelli have been ruling the Balkan music scene for some time, and they are absolutely following the global trends,” TV host Dalibor Petko said, adding that so-called folk songs are not the only one which are popular.
“None of the first three songs on the current list are folk songs, and I think people are mistaken in believing that all songs coming from Serbia are folk songs. Željko Joksimović and Dara Bubamara do not produce the same kind of music. Serbian music has its fans in Croatia, and this did not happen yesterday. If you look at the clubs, at least 70 per cent of the clubs play Serbian music, often in combination with Croatian performers under the common brand Balkan Party,” he explained.
Although Croatian performers often issue new songs, their numbers are not anywhere near the numbers produced by the Serbian music industry. “Serbian performers record a lot more than the Croatian ones. The key is how much the audience likes a certain song or not,” said Petko.
If we return to the 1990s, the Croatian dance music fever dominated Croatia, both in the media and in the nightclubs, but it has since been replaced by folk music. Petko said that the audience is the only reason for that change. “During the dance era, it was often said that this is terrible music and should be abolished, and then the folk music came in. The fact is that we generally do not have appropriate music for clubs, which need songs with strong rhythm.”
Listeners do not care where the music is coming from. “Today’s YouTube generation is not interested in politics and who comes from where. Slovenians adore Croatian music, and there are even some Slovenian singers performing songs in Croatian in order to be more popular in Slovenia,” he explained.
“I would not agree that music can be bad. What will someone listen is a matter of personal choice and tastes should not be discussed. I am absolutely against any bans, and in today’s world you always have the option to change the programme or the radio you listen or the video on YouTube,” concluded Petko.
Translated from Index.hr (reported by Antonija Senjak).
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