Oliver Dragojević

Oliver Dragojević

Dragojević in 2010
Background information
Also known as Oli
Born (1947-12-07) 7 December 1947
Vela Luka, Croatia
Genres Klapa, Pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Years active 1970's–present
Website www.oliver.hr

Oliver Dragojević (born 7 December 1947) is Croatian pianist and singer who is considered one of the most enduring musical stars and cultural icons in Croatia, with a discography that spans nearly four decades.[1] His style blends traditional Klapa melodies of Dalmatia, a coastal region in his native Croatia, with jazz motifs wrapped up in a modern production. He is one of the few Croatian musicians who has performed at Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Olympia (Paris) and Sydney Opera House.[2]


Dragojević had three sisters, who died young as refugees during the Second World War. The family had escaped war to a refugee camp in El Shatt Egypt as had many women and children from Dalmatia.[2] Dragojević himself was born on 7 December 1947, not long after his family returned to their ancestral village of Vela Luka on the Dalmatian island of Korcula. His brother Alyosha was born not long after in 1949. At the age of five, his father Marko, bought Dragojević a harmonica. As he got better he started to entertain the kids from his street, and passengers on board the frequent ship route Vela Luka - Split. With the young Dragojević's passion for music, his parents sent him to a music school in Split. There he learnt to play the piano, clarinet and bass guitar.[2]

"I attended school in Split, but I always loved being home, spending all my free time in in Vela Luka. In winter we would harvest olives by hand, we warmed up with wood burning stoves, but the room always stayed cold. It was rustic but you had mom, dad, brother, cousins, aunts ... always a full house" he recalled.[2]


Dragojević's first performance was at the "Split Children's Festival" in 1961 with the song "Baloni". In a competition of amateur singers, his cult band from Split, "Batalla" won first place for their rendition of Yesterday a Beatles classic. In 1972 to further develop his craft, he went abroad. He played in clubs across Germany, Sweden and Mexico. His solo singing career began in 1974 at the Split Festival, where he won with the song "Ća će mi Copacabana".[3]

A year later, composer Zdenko Runjić and Dragojević, released the song "Galeb i Ja". It proved to be a big hit across the former SFR Yugoslavia and made Dragojević a household name. This was followed by hits "Romanca", "Oprosti Mi, Pape", "Stari Morski Vuk". Runjić would further collaborate with Dragojević on a further 200 songs until Runjić's death. Between 1975-80, the Dragojević/Runjić team dominated the music scene of the former SFR Yugoslavia. Part of the secret of their success was a third contributor. Jakša Fiamengo, who wrote the lyrics to some of Dragojević's most iconic songs: "Nadalina", "Piva klapa ispod volta", "Karoca gre", "Ništa nova", "Infiša san u te", and "Ostavljam te samu".[2]


  • 1975: Ljubavna pjesma
  • 1976: Našoj ljubavi je kraj
  • 1976: Split 76'
  • 1977: Malinkonija
  • 1978: Poeta
  • 1979: Vjeruj u ljubav
  • 1980: Oliver 5
  • 1981: Đelozija
  • 1982: Jubavi, jubavi
  • 1984: Evo mene među moje
  • 1985: Svoju zvizdu slidin
  • 1986: Za sva vrimene
  • 1987: Oliver
  • 1987: Pionirsko kolo
  • 1988: Svirajte noćas za moju dušu
  • 1989: Oliver u HNK
  • 1990: Jedina
  • 1992: Teško mi je putovati
  • 1994: Neka nova svitanja
  • 1994: Sve najbolje
  • 1995: Vrime
  • 1996: Oliver u Lisinskom
  • 1997: Duša mi je more
  • 1998: Štorija 1
  • 1998: Štorija 2
  • 1998: Štorija 3
  • 1998: Štorija 4
  • 1998: Štorija 5
  • 2000: Dvi, tri riči
  • 2001: Oliver u Areni
  • 2002: Trag u beskraju
  • 2003: Vjeruj u ljubav 2003
  • 2005: Vridilo je
  • 2006: The Platinum Collection
  • 2006: Oliver à l'Olympia
  • 2007: Kozmički dalmatinac
  • 2010: Samo da je tu
  • 2013: Tišina Mora

See also


  1. Zadar In Your Pocket by Višnja Arambašić, Nataly Anderson, Frank Jelinčić & Tocher Mitchell. Culture and Events (p11)
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Oliver Dragojević". Večernji.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  3. "Nagrade 1970-1979". Retrieved 1 January 2016.
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