“You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one…”
Already with numerous collaborations during her career Josipa accepted new challenges. Occasionally intrigued by the thought “Can I do this?”, she often comes into contact with diverse musical styles, whether guesting on albums and at concerts of other artists or adapting traditional songs. Although you may remember her as “Goddess” or “The Queen of the wilderness”, she can take your breath away interpreting the sevdalinke (a type of oriental love song) “Omer beže” i “Niz polje idu, babo, sejmeni” (1974), the favourite “The fairy of Velebit mountain” (“Vilo Velebita”) (performed in 1996 at the first Etnofest Neum), or the Macedonian traditional song “Kalino mome” (interpretation included in the compilation Makedonskoto srce cuka vo 7/8, Garo and Tavitjan Brothers, 2010). Though born in Zagreb, she caused an eruption of excitement in Lisinski when she sang “Dalmatia crushed with history” (“Dalmatino, povišću pritrujena”) in a duet with Tedi Spalato (1999) and the Roma classic “Đelem, đelem” in a duet with Šaban Bajramović, when appearing at Cubismo’s celebratory concert in 2004.
In the 80s she collaborated with Bajaga on the song “I think at 100 miles an hour” (“Mislim 300 na sat”). In the 90s, through a collaboration with Dino Dvornik, she dabbled in funk (“I’ve demolished bridges of dreams” (“Rušila sam mostove od sna”)). In 1995, in collaboration with the group Boa, she had a hit with “Like peace” (“Kao mir”), and with Cubismo in an interpretation of the song “Na, na, na” “played” in a salsa rhythm. Now long ago, in 1992, she recorded a whole album of Christmas songs, Merry Christmas (Čestit Božić), with the academic choir of I.G. Kovačić, maestro Saša Britvić and organ virtuoso Mario Penzar, and then, in 2005, she sang to Zagreb the song “The rhythm of the city” (“Ritam grada”), with the rapper Marin Ivanović Stoka. 2013 brought a collaboration with the group Quasarr from Rijeka on the song “Love” (“Ljubav”), which the following year won the Porin award for best vocal collaboration.
Josipa Lisac and Elvis Stanić first collaborated in 2001, appearing at Melodije Istre i Kvarnera, performing the song “Cobweb” (“Paučina”) (Krajcar-Jurdana-Stanić). They wove it with the sound of jazz, but also enriched it with the “delicate strands” of the Chakavian dialect and the Istrian scale. The collaboration was renewed in 2005, when Josipa guested on Stanić’s album Bolja strana svijeta. The song they recorded, “La passion c’est trop court terme”/“Completely free” (“La passion c’est trop court terme”/“Posve slobodna”), was inspired by fado and was very well received by the public.
Apart from the previously mentioned foreign musicians who played on Josipa’s albums in the 70s, recent times have been marked by collaborations of a more international flavour. The first was in 1991 with Guido Mineo (“We’re gonna be free”). In 1997 she made a guest appearance at a Prljavo kazalište concert, with Mel Gaynor on drums (“Come to us now, oh Lord” (“Dođi sada, Gospode”)). Then in 2007, as a special guest at a concert by the Australian virtuoso guitarist Tommy Emmanuel, she sang the classic “Over the rainbow” and Lennon’s “Imagine”. Taking part in the celebration of World Peace Day on 21st September, 2014, under the slogan “Music above fighting”, Josipa performed in Amsterdam at the musical spectacle “MasterPeace in Concert”, in a duet with the Serbian folk musician and multi-instrumentalist Slobodan Trkulja. They were accompanied by the renowned Dutch Metropole Orchestra, and they performed a version of the traditional song of Međimurje “Zvira voda”.
She also didn’t miss out on the opportunity to work with DJs ‒ in 2002 she collaborated with E-Base on her live album, and in 2014 using a made-up language she recorded the song “Bad passion” by Ilija Rudman.
To summarise… Funk, rock, classical, pop, klapa (a type of a capella singing from Dalmatia) or Christmas songs, traditional, fado or rap ‒ that is all music. And, as Josipa herself would say – music is or it isn’t.
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