Music is a way of communicating thoughts and emotions. When did you start to lean into it? How did you connect to music at your beginnings?
I started at very young age, first time i was singing in public when I was 5 but I think I started even earlier to connect and to feel music. My family made some videos during the war, when I was maybe 3 years old and I was already singing. For me, music and art in general, is an escape from our reality to some more beautiful and peaceful reality where there is place for everyone, no matter the skin color, nationality, religion or anything else.
How did your visit and education in Spain profile you and your musical choices?
Spain is so special and full of art and artist everywhere. There is a lot of street art, especially in Granada, so the culture is everywhere. Music, architecture and the history of this place just make you feel as if you where a time traveler and you woke up in a different century. I have chosen Spain for my Erasmus studies because of that. I was probably the only Bosnian student of French language in Spain ever, but I learned not only about these two languages but also about flamenco and about Spanish culture which was actually my idea. To share music with different profiles of people is what inspires me. I met musicians from Greece, England, Belgium, France, Germany, Israel who were there to learn about flamenco and you realise that the music is an universal language that connect us all.
'Flamenco Balcánico' is your latest album published this year. Album is a blend of Spanish and Bosnian music. Could you tell us more about this project?
Project Flamenco Balcánico started with this amazing guitarist, maestro Jerónimo Maya, while I was in Spain. We tried to create a new sound that would unite these styles. We agreed that flamenco and Balkan music have a lots of things in common, especially in the way they can make us feel when you listen to them. They can transmit extremely deep emotions. Also, we know that during the history Spain and Bosnia met in 15th century when Sefardi Jews came in Bosnia bringing with them their culture, music and sound that affected sevdah as we know it today. So, the fusion between flamenco and sevdah is very natural. Also with other Balkan styles because its music that's been played by gypsies just as flamenco, and that is another thing in common that made this fusion so beautiful.
We recorded first in studio Pavarotti in Mostar and then in Long play studio in Sarajevo. I am very happy and proud that we recorded in the best studios in country. The sound is really amazing and for me it was very important. In future, the plan is to make a tour and promote the album but we still don't have exact dates.
Duo 'Hector & Merita' already had tours in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Any plans for Balkan region or Europe?
Hector and I recently became parents so now we are more trio then duo. We play for our son but he is still young and one of us has to stay home and take care of him which means it's more complicated to do concerts together but we play for friends and family and we practice music so I hope we will be back doing concerts together.
You are currently residing in Paris, and I'm sure readers would love to know if you have more plans when it comes to connecting French spirit with Balkan roots.
People here are amazed by Balkan music and I have some plans to do projects with French musicians. In Paris the fusion is very common because you can find musicians from all around the world playing so many different styles and they have excellent level of knowledge and practice. They are curious about new sounds and I’m very happy to live in a place like that because one can learn and be free at the same time which I think is essential for making a progress.
Author: Hana Tiro