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13 August 1968

Zlatan Stipišić (Gibonni's real name) was born in Split, Croatia, in a family with a strong musical tradition (his father, Ljubo Stipišić is a well known composer). Zlatan began his career in 1980s with the heavy metal band Osmi putnik. After the band fell apart in 1988 he started up a solocareer in which he turned away from heavy metal and combined elements of rock, modern pop and Dalmatian folk songs. His first album ‘Sa mnom ili bez mene’ ('With or without me') was a mild success but his breakthrough came when he wrote the song ‘Cesarica’ ('The Empress') for Oliver Dragojević, which became a very big hit. This resulted that Gibonni became a much requested songwriter for other Croatian artists. In 1993 he released the album ‘Noina arka' ('Noah's Ark') and wrote the official Croatian Olympic anthem ‘Mi smo prvaci'. In the same year he formed a group together with Bruno Kovacic which laid the foundation for the so-called Gibonnijeva group.

Gradually his music matured from downright pop/rock to more distinguished music. Critical recognition came with the 1999 album ‘Judas, zvir' which won no less then seven 'Porina' turning Gibonni into one of the most popular Croatian singer of the new millennium. At the time he also became an artist very active in various charity projects.  He established a fund for talented children without parents and published a book of poems in braille letter entitled 'Dvije duše', which sales revenue was intended for blind people from the local community. In 2003 Gibonni was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. He is involved in many humanitarian concerts and organizations fighting hunger and poverty.

In 2001 he released ‘Mirakul' on which several international musicians give acte de presence such as drummer Manu Katche, bassist Pino Palladino, Tony Levin and Italian rock singer Gaetano Curreri. Oddly enough Gibonni took a long break after this very succesfull album and waited until 2006 to come up with 'Unca fibre’. On the album he reunites with Oliver Dragojević on the song ‘U ljubav vjere nemam' ('In love I have no faith'). The two also undertake an extensive tour that even takes them outside the Croatian borders. In 2007 a live album and dvd ‘Acoustic / Electric’ was released recorded during the tour ‘Unca fibre’.

In spring 2010 Gibonni released 'Tolerança', an optimistic pop album. It reached platinum status in the Crioatian and Slovanian charts within a few weeks after its release, selling more than 100,000 copies.

On the web:

- Gibonni's website: http://www.gibonni.htnet.hr

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Enrico Ruggeri (Italy)

Filippos Pliatsikas (Greece)

What do we think:

DB: If Gibonni is the greatest Croatian artist of all time remains to be seen but at least the posters of the recordcompany we saw all over Croatia last summer were very clear about it. Usually i'm getting very suspious when a record company seems to make such an effort to plug a new album. To be honest, a singer like Gibonni actually doesn't need it. His music is good enough to stand (and sell) in it's own. He has a pleasant voice and musically he delivers good compositions and (according to his many fans on the net) beautifull lyrics. The greatest? hmm, I don't know, but at the least he is in the top league.

PR: Gibonni makes quality pop music in traditional Mediterranean style with touches of rock. He definitely has great songwriting skills and has a nice voice. But to be completely honest, I personaly miss the intensity of, for instance, Arsen Dedic or melancholy of Oliver Dragojevic. Nevertheless, it is only my opinion and since Gibonni is one of Croatia's most popular artists a lot of people have a slightly different opinion. His 2006 album 'Unca fibre' is the best introduction to his music.


♪♪- Sa mnom ili bez mene - 1991

♪♪♪ - Judi, zviri i beštimje - 1999

♪♪ - Mirakul - 2001

♪♪♪- Unca fibre - 2006

♪♪- Tolerança - 2010

Further listening:

Solo: Sa mnom ili bez mene - 1991; Noina arka - 1993; Kruna od perja - 1994; Koncert - 1995; Ruža vjetrova - 1997; Judi, zviri i beštimje - 1999; Acoustic:Electric - 2007

With Osmi putnik: Ulična molitva - 1986; Glasno, glasnije - 1987; Drage sestre moje… nije isto bubanj i harmonika - 1988

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided