Bojana Vunturišević, pop-rock singer-songwriter: Neither a saint, nor a hypocrite

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Bojana Vunturišević is Serbian singer-songwriter. She was previously lead singer of the Belgrade-based rock band Svi na pod!. In 2017, she successfully launched her solo career by releasing debut album Daljine.

Bojana profiled herself within the electro-pop genre, and her single “Kese Etikete” (“Plastic Bags Stickers”) became legendary quite instantly, among the growing sense of alienation among the young audience, which resonates with the world trends. Her sharp lyrics and catchy tunes are matched with her crystal clear vocals, thus making her music irresistible.

After spending 10 years in Svi Na Pod!, a band that emerged during the fresh new Belgrade wave at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, and after being a guest vocal in E-Play’s song „Beautiful Day“ („Divan Dan“), which you are known for, you decided to go solo. Your album „Distances“ („Daljine“) was quite noticed. How did this evolution come about and when did you decide to „do it yourself“?

— To be more precise, I spent five years in Svi Na Pod!, from 2009 to 2014, when the band released its second and last album „Youth“ („Mladost“). Since the release of that album to date, it seems that I have lived three lives so I really don’t remember the particular moment when I decided to „do it myself“. Maybe I don’t remember it because the decision to leave the band was not mine to make. Of course, I am not alone today. I have more collaborators now than I had while singing in that six-member band, four years ago. I am planning to include more new, young collaborators into my circle.

Everybody seems to be humming the song „Plastic Bag Labels“ and those who don’t are amused by its entertaining and touching lyrics. How can we describe the loneliness and existential angst in this sarcastic time of social media?

— This question is too hard for me to answer at this moment. I can only say that I am more prone to becoming like the character from the song „Plastic Bag Labels“. I am not a saint, but I am not a hypocrite either. Yes, I also buy a rubber beach in the middle of winter, because, in those kinds of moments, I want to remember who I am. But that happens occasionally! Balance in life is important. You can be like this or like that, black, white or grey.

How do your songs, music and lyrics come about?

— It’s not a default process and the next one is different from the previous one. Sometimes everything goes smoothly, and sometimes I suffer so much to come up with lyrics or music. Sometimes I am completely alone in this process, and sometimes I team up. Sometimes I love working with my team, and sometimes I feel like scratching their eyes out. Anyhow, there is always a lot of life in the process, everything is very active and it doesn’t fit any mould.

You are somehow succeeding in being a girl, a 30+ mature woman, a mother, bitter yet entertaining at the same time. How do you manage all that?

— I think it’s down to good genes. The other day, the kiosk vendor barely let me buy a cigarette pack because I did not have my ID with me. I got a compliment that I looked like a 15-year-old. Yes, this is due to good genes, but also to my deep need to be and work with children which keeps alive the child in me. I am the only mum who goes down the slide with her child at a playhouse. I don’t want to be a „finger wagging“ person. I think that we can learn more from children than they can do from us.

It seems to me that, yet again, just like in the 1980s, women have become super strong in rock and roll, pop and songwriting?

— Women have always been strong – in the 1960s, 70s, 80s to this very day. In the 1960s, we had great all female vocal ensembles. In the 1970s, Janis Joplin and Grace Jones emerged. In the 1980s, it was Annie Lennox. But, yes, women are especially powerful in music industry today. We do have strong women, who are often aggressive to a certain degree. I prefer to be strong without aggression.

I AM RIDING THE WAVE CALLED LIFE

You have given birth to a child and your first album. You have conquered all stages and you are liked by girls, who identifym with you, and men, believe it or not. What is next for you?

— I never plan. I am riding the wave called life. I accept what is being given to me or taken away from me.

Text: Žikica Milošević

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