Dino Merlin: An Homage to Bosnia’s Music Icon

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KCRW DJ and Bosnian native Valida shares her affection for Dino Merlin:

It’s no small feat to have a career spanning over 25 years, but Bosnia’s favorite pop crooner, Dino Merlin, has managed just that. From his early debut back in 1985 as a front man of Sarajevo’s indie-pop outfit, Merlin, Dino has captivated audiences from all walks of life and ethnic background with his powerful mix of pop, rock, and traditional Bosnian themes of unrequited love, longing and redemption.

I have been a fan since I was a little girl. It was the title track from his debut “Broke Times” that took all of former Yugoslavia by storm. It is a playful 80s synthpop number which dominated the underground dance-floors.

Next came his sophomore “Something Beautiful Ought to Happen” tour de force which featured at least 5 No.1 Hits. I still listen to that album and it’s a favorite at house parties when right around the midnight hour, a guitar will miraculously appear out of nowhere, and all will gather around and sing until the early morning hours. My favorite songs from this album are definitely “Throughout Bosnia Blossoms Bloomed” and “Is Sarajevo Where It Once Was”.

Today, Dino mainly sticks to tried and true musical blueprint but he is not scared to venture out and explore new formats, often resulting in interesting collaborations with musicians from other parts of Ex-Yugoslavia and beyond.

He is the type of artist that is equally well received in Zagreb, Sarajevo and Belgrade, and few can claim his type of success or unifying power, especially since the 90’s war.

So you can imagine my excitement when I got to do a remix for him. I have known him for a number of years and the topic of collaboration has come up a few times in the past but I never felt ready.

Finally, when I saw him in Sarajevo this summer, I decided it was time. Upon my return, he sent the vocal parts for his brand new single, Undo, and gave me complete artistic freedom to reinterpret the song. Below is my remix (which you can download here) as well as a video for the original verison.

Dino Merlin “Undo” (Valida’s LA Nights Remix) by Valida

I hope you like my take on it! Thanks for reading and listening.

— Valida