It's the songs that matter, not the names

This summer, Tivat is getting the "Pearl of the Adriatic" festival, which event director Bojan Delić hopes will improve the music scene and bring new hits.

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Bojan Delić, Photo: Mihael Đuričić
Bojan Delić, Photo: Mihael Đuričić

After ten years ago, two of the strongest competitive music festivals in the Balkans - "Song of the Mediterranean" and "Sunčane skala" - were shut down, and an attempt was made to "revive" such a story, this summer Tivat will launch its own music competition. It is the regional music festival "Pearl of the Adriatic" behind which stands a Montenegrin singer-songwriter Bojan Delic.

This event is planned for June 29, and will be held in Tivat's Pina. The competition for the best compositions in the category of pop, entertainment and Mediterranean music has been announced for several days, and interested parties can send their works until May 5. The selection committee of the festival will inform all applicants about whether their composition has been accepted, no later than May 15, and in an interview with "Vijesti" Delić does not hide that he is surprised by the interest of his colleagues in this event.

Bojan is someone who started his career at the "Song of the Mediterranean" festival, and precisely such events were a springboard for many young performers.

"I started my career at festivals. I will always remember 2004 and the Budva "Song of the Mediterranean" festival. After that came the participation in "Scale", I was at that festival three times and each time I got 12 points from the audience, I also had two bronze sirens. Then came the victory at the "Ohrid Troubadours", participation in the Radio Festival in Serbia, then two years in a row I was a competitor at the festival in Dubrovnik... Many beautiful moments and friendships bind me to such events. However, the main motive and trigger for starting this project was that I saw that in Montenegro the music is beautiful and high-quality, pop and Mediterranean, has fallen to low branches and there is no way to start that story. There are always some big promises, and while I was waiting for someone to start, I decided to open my NGO "The Missing Piece" and to start that story myself. I managed to animate my colleagues from Montenegro and the region, everyone felt great that something is finally happening on the issue and that we will have festivals like this again. In the first few days, they only received about twenty songs, which surprised me. We are in contact with performers throughout the region, I think it will be a quality evening", Delić is sure.

Such festivals have not existed in our country for a decade. The last "Song of the Mediterranean" was held in 2010, while "Skale" managed to survive until 2013, when they officially ended. Since then, the music scene has been quite impoverished, and not only in Montenegro.

"Montenegro had two giants in terms of festivals. This has always been an inspiration for us, local artists, to record at least once a year, to have a place to present ourselves to the audience both in Montenegro and in the region. That's what's missing," recalls Delić, who doesn't hide that he believes that it was their shutdown that somehow "shut down" the music scene in Montenegro.

"The music scene is impoverished, especially in Montenegro, and by God, in the region as well. Simply put, they were fun Mediterranean festivals that drove artists across the region to record. I think that with their shutdown, the music was at a loss. I regret those festivals because they were very dear to me and I would have liked to appear at them, whenever I had the opportunity", said the "Vijesti" interviewee honestly.

In addition to young performers, for whom such events meant a lot in their careers, the audience, as well as sponsors, were attracted by "big" and "current" names. However, many of them don't like competitions or have conditioned the organizers that their appearance must bring them a prize. That's why there were often no surprises, but everyone talked about the winners days in advance. But that won't happen at the "Pearl of the Adriatic" competition, claims Delić.

"When I was a participant, the biggest names came to festivals under some kind of guarantee. It certainly won't be here while I'm here. We will work to make songs more important than names. It is clear to me that people want names and we will have them, strong and quality ones from our country and region. However, the goal of our festival is for the songs to be the ones we promote, not to chase the artists. The situation is clear to me as to how things are moving here, both as a performer and now as someone who is in the organization of 'Pearl of the Jadran'. I will do my best as someone who has experience with festivals to fix some things that I missed at these kinds of competitions when colleagues, performers, journalists come. As far as music is concerned, I guarantee that we will push the story with people who want to bring some beautiful songs without any combinations and conditions, only pure music", Delić promised.

However, pop music has changed a lot since the closure of "Skala" and "Budva", and when asked how much you will adapt to current trends, Delić answers:

"I insisted when I started this story that there is no adaptation to trends. They know what quality is, they know what a good song is, and there is no excessive philosophy. Of course, if an artist wants to be in the trend and has a good song, I'm all for it. But we clearly wrote in the title and the competition that it is about pop, fun and Mediterranean music. I appeal to all authors and performers who want to participate in the 'Pearl of the Adriatic' to stick to that part. Of course, there are other festivals where different kinds of music are promoted, but I want people who come and follow the same through small screens, because we will have a live broadcast, to see and hear something of high quality and beauty at this festival, if at least some of those songs remain for some future time".

This year the festival is only for one evening, but the organizers do not hide that they have the ambition to expand this story.

"We are already talking about that topic. In the original project that I wrote and submitted to people, I had two festival nights. Due to finances, we decided to make it one night this year. Let this be our test so that people can see how it will go and what it is all about. After that, when they see what we have prepared, I hope that everything will go more smoothly. I'm looking forward and I can't wait for the summer and to see how everything we prepared will look like. After that we go even harder. I would like to thank the president of the municipality of Tivat Željko Komenenović who playfully played on the idea of ​​the festival, the director of TO Tivat Nina Lakičević and Mrs Branka Kaluđerović who is with me in the organization, and she helped make this idea a reality," emphasized Delić.

As someone who has won awards at festivals, he claims that the most important thing is a good song that the audience will listen to years later.

"I have won awards and significant ones, but it is much more important for me that the songs remain. Even today, I consider the audience to be the most authoritative jury because I don't remember the awards, nor do they impress me. I play music because of my love for art, because it carries a certain strength within it, and I insist that the songs I record have a positive outlook on life. I want to tell my colleagues that it is clear to me that the concept of competition is, of course, a double-edged sword, but in music competition is completely meaningless. We organized a prize fund of 10 euros, purely to further inspire people, but the fact that the musicians will present themselves and sing in front of so many people, that they will advertise their song, is the greatest reward", concludes Delić.

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