Balkan Art Scene
Olivera Popović — Exploring the Attitudes of a Modern-Day Woman
Olivera Popović is singer from Serbia, who recently published her song "Drama Queen". While talking with Olivera, she opened up about her beginnings, work in music industry, and accepting oneself in our full glory and love.
Photo: Katarina Marčetić
As a starting point, could you tell us something about your beginnings in music. Was it a calling from a young age?
I have always been interested in music in one way or another. I have been drawn to listening to music and performing since young age. Before my solo career, I have sung in a choir, and at the age of 14 I started performing as a singer-song writer on an acoustic guitar my father taught me how to play. Later on, I have become a frontwoman of a band called Pop Ups for five years. When I started studying, I took a break, and again started performing as a singer-sogwriter at various festivals in Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia five years later, in 2015… After a couple of years of doing that, I formed a duo with a wonderful guitar player Milica Uzelac and we delved into dreampop and shoegaze. Still, I felt I could do more, so during the pandemic I started making music on my own again using various instruments and computer programmes resulting in the pop r’n’b music I have released recently.
How did you choose r'n'b as your main genre?
I can’t say I actually chose it. It’s just that when I started making music I noticed it had r’n’b and soul elements in it, and I simply embraced that as it inspired me. I personally listen to a lot of genre fusions and r’n’b is a part of it. But I am mostly into pop and whatever feels good and is fun.
Photo: Katarina Marčetić
As a musician, what are the obstacles in developing your full potential?
Finances, that is, the lack of them. From my experience, you need an excellent producer who can polish the sound you make and you need money to invest in music videos and marketing. I have somehow managed (with a little help from my friends) to achieve some of my goals in 2021, but as an artist you definitely need a label who believes in you and is willing to invest in your ideas so you could focus on the creative work. I am still looking for the right one for me. Did you have a turning point in your artistic development, where you decided to take a different perspective on things?
Yes, I actually have. It happened last year when I decided to start doing things on my own again, including organizing everything (the filming of the music videos, the music recording, the marketing…) and, of course, releasing a new sound I had been working on. I have also started exploring different topics in my lyrics (such as feminism, self-love, friendship… and not just love stories).
What is your latest work focused on?
It’s mainly focused on exploring the attitudes of a modern-day woman in charge of her own life. Psychotherapy has helped me a lot in discovering and accepting different parts of myself and I finally feel free to integrate those parts into my songs.
Any advice for those who are starting out their career in performing arts?
Experiment a lot, embrace the changes within yourself, make sure you yourself like what you create, listen to criticism, invest in your work (time, money…) and be nice to people.
Follow Olivera on her Instagram account.