A day in the name of music

Well, for being a vacation where nothing was supposed to be happening except eating and sleeping, I had a really nice day yesterday – in the name of music.

“The Croatian dude”, i.e the singer I mentioned two blogs ago, Vilibald Kovac, came down to Split for a short visit.

I was curious to meet him in person. A very nice guy, so yesterday was without a doubt the best day I’ve had since I got here. Ten days of just being “normal” is enough to drive me nuts! So, it was refreshing to meet this super-talented guy, share some music and talk about everything and anything related to the music business.

It was a challenge for me though, cause although I know Croatian, sort of…, it was difficult to talk music because I’ve never used the language for that. So my brain was working full-time to find the right words. Exhausting. Still, it seemed  most logical, otherwise he would have had the same problem with English, I assume.

I learned that artists here have the same label-bullshit to deal with that artists in other parts of the world also get headaches over. The contract is for 5 albums I think, and these albums are required to be in Croatian. So – no chance to get this talented guy out to a larger audience worldwide anytime soon. That sucks and most of all frustrating when you see and hear someone who could actually do very well out there.

The stuff that he did at “Idol” doesn’t really represent what he’s capable of, I think. Not even his latest single, although it’s a good song and he sings it well (I love that voice).

Quite incidentally, he played a song that he had performed live some time ago, a slightly downtuned version of Queen’s epic “The Show Must Go On“. His vocal performance on that left me absolutely speechless, and I rarely get speechless.
Seriously. I took a quick look at the very humble guy that was sitting right next to me with his hair in a pony tail, looking very “everyday-normal”, while I was listening to this VOICE that was out of this world. It was hard to imagine it was the same guy!

He was apologising for fucking up some guitar-part somewhere in the song, whatever – DUDE, nobody would care if the whole BAND had stopped playing! That VOICE is amazing, jesus christ, I just gave him his headphones back without a word. Sometimes words are just redundant – it was more “Okay, that was fucking brilliant and I’ve got nothing more to add“.

Anyway, it was really nice to meet Vilibald, very easy guy to talk to and very down to earth. I don’t have that version of The Show Must Go On, and even if I had, he wouldn’t let me publish it anywhere (damn…! ;P).

But if I could play it for you guys, you would understand why I’m all “Holy-fucking-shiiiit!” here! You never know – maybe fate brings this guy out of Croatia someday and to the stars where he, in my very humble opinion, belongs.

Two more songs from the “Idol”challenges:

Alright, I really didn’t want a Justin Timberlake-song in this blog, but the guy spiced it up to be a rock-version, so OK then. ;)
[Tip: Check out the scream at1.21]


This one was chosen for him by the jury for the finals. From what he told me, he was very sick that day and had to get shots and all kinds of shit to even be able to stand upright that day. If I hadn’t known that, I would never have guessed, not based on this interpretation of a song that’s so hard to cover (and get away with).



  1. Clint

    I love it, even on holiday you’ve managed to have a spot of music nerding hahah. Nice you got to meet. I’m still amazed he covered Soldier Of Fortune on Idol. Australians only know the riff from Smoke on the Water, and maybe Here I go Again. Maybe he can do a tour with James Durbin to get some exposure outside Croatia :P

  2. Daniela

    Funny you should mention James Durbin, I was actually thinking about that – how both guys have presented music to the masses, that “the masses” didn’t know they would like. Picking Soldier of Fortune was brave, cause it would have been easier winning a challenge by choosing a crowd-pleaser from Def Leppard or Bon Jovi – cause we all know people would have voted solely on the fact that they recognized the song. But he did a great version of Soldier and probably taught a person or two that D Purple has some pretty damn good songs – not just Smoke on the water (When a blind man cries is another one of those wow-DP-songs…).So yeah, James and Vilibald representing rock’n’roll out there would have been an awesome combo! People just need to start thinking outside the box and not just focus on artists from English-speaking countries…! :)

  3. Clint

    Yeah, you’re right. It is happening gradually though. The 80’s gave rise to a couple of big non American/English heavy bands/artists, and now Europe seems to be pumping out quite a lot of successful bands, even if they aren’t selling a million copies, but no heavy bands do that anymore anyway. As a pop reference, I think Shakira had a similar deal to Vilibald, then once that was over, she did English recordings and had massive success, so anything’s possible. Good luck to him, so long as he’s enjoying it eh :)

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