So, without further a do, I present to you my Top Ten Favourite Balkan songs!
(Please note: As you can probably imagine, there are a huge number of good Balkan songs which I have never heard before (or which I do not remember), so try and not be too upset because I excluded them from this list. I am just working with the songs I have heard, and which I can remember.)
Cheers and ENJOY!
10. Djecaci - LOVRINAC.
Djecaci are a Croatian hip-hop group based in Split. Personally, I love the tempo of this track, which in English means 'Graveyard.' The video clip is a little gory, but - if you're above the age of, I don't know, 15 - it's entertaining!
[English translation of 'Lovrinac.']
9. Elemental - IZ DANA U DAN.
Elemental is another Croatian hip-hop group, however are based in the nation's capital, Zagreb. The group features one of Croatia's few female rappers! Several months ago, Elemental played at the 'Zenica Zove' concert, where they were one of the headline acts. Here, this song means 'From Day to Day' in English.
[English translation of 'Iz Dana U Dan.']
8. Dado Polumenta ft. Mc Yankoo/DJ Mladja/Mc Stojan - JA VOLIM BALKAN.
Lets be honest, how can I not like a song titled 'I love Balkan'?! I came to appreciate this track from the countless times I have heard it played whilst out at a nightclub all over Bosnia. Some of the lyrics already being in English also helps! The song features a collection of artists emanating from nations including Montenegro and Serbia - as well as Mc Yankoo, who is Austrian.
[English translation of 'Ja Volim Balkan.']
7. S.A.R.S. - PERSPEKTIVA.
S.A.R.S. are an alternative rock band out of Belgrade, who were also one of the headline acts at 'Zenica Zove.' This song has received almost 5 million YouTube hits since its release in January 2012 - with the chorus and tune becoming somewhat iconic, due to its catchy-ness!
[English translation of 'Perspektiva.']
6. Beogradski Sindikat - BALADA DISIDENTA.
Beogradski Sindikat are an 11-member hip-hop group out of, unsurprisingly, Belgrade (Beograd). They have been active since 1999, though, arguably, their most popular song to date is their 2010 hit Balada Disidenta ('Dissident Ballad' in English). I can vouch that it is hugely popular with the youths of Zenica - and it is popular with me, too! Gotta love that sweet, distinctive instrumental, which, combined with the lyrics, makes for an all-round great track.
[English translation of 'Balada Disidenta.']
5. Srdjan Jul-Koketa - HOCU SAMO TEBE (2009 REMIX).
Here's another one that you're sure to hear if you're out at a Bosnian nightclub during the next few months. If I am at the club, you can also be sure that I'll be dancing stupidly to it! Hocu Samo Tebe translates to 'I only want you' in English. (The tune reminds me of another song which, if I am not mistaken, was in English and was a rather big hit a year or two back. Unfortunately it eludes my mind which exact song that was - any helpers?)
[English translation of 'Hocu Samo Tebe.']
4. Tose Proeski - THE HARDEST THING.
Finally. A song in English - so there's no need to provide a translation! This number is from Tose Proeski, a hugely-popular Macedonian multi-genre singer who tragically passed away in a car accident in 2007. Very sad stuff. Thankfully, his legacy lives on through his music, and this is a beautiful, deep song worth having a listen to.
3. Frenkie - IZGUBLJENI SNOVI.
Frenkie is a rapper originating from the northern Bosnian city of Bijeljina. This is another incredibly emotional song -- known as 'Lost Dreams' in English -- about a friend who died at the hands of drugs. I have been listening to this track for, God, at least 3 or 4 years now. Cannot get tired of it. A sad song, but I absolutely love it.
[English translation of 'Izgubljeni Snovi.']
2. Dubioza Kolektiv - USA.
Alright, those last couple of songs were a bit emotional, so lets pick the mood up again! Here's one from Dubioza Kolektiv, another alternative band which actually formed itself in Zenica. A cool, uplifting song which is also sung entirely in English! Yeah!
1. Dino Merlin (Ft. Eldin Huseinbegovic) - DA SUTIS.
C'mon, now really, how was I ever going to go past the king of Bosnian pop-rock? Although Da Sutis probably isn't even his most popular song, it is certainly my favourite. There is something about it which simply prevents me from growing tired of it. Fantastic interplay with fellow Bosnian Eldin Huseinbegovic only adds to the quality of the track. Nice one, Dino! Now hajde and do an Aussie tour!
[English translation of 'Da Sutis.']
Notable mentions which were very unlucky to miss out:
Alright. I must admit I am a little apprehensive to ask this question, but nevertheless: What do you think of my list, guys?
I am really curious to hear both from those who are originally from the Balkans -- and who know much about the local music -- as well as those others from outside the region who have never heard of these artists and songs!
I look forward to your feedback. :-)