Josipa Lisac Bookmark and Share


14 February 1950

Josipa was born in Hlebine, Croatia, and spend her childhood in Zagreb. At the age of 10 she became a member of the Croatian National Television choir. In 1961 their choir wins first prize on the competition in France as the best children's choir in the world. In 1967 she became the lead singer of the rock group 'O'Hara', and shortly afterwards 'Zlatni akordi' ('Golden chords'). In the sixties she performed a lot on the Yugoslavian songfestival circuit (like Split and Zagrebfest) with compositions (amongst others) from a young Arsen Dedic. In this period she meets Croatian rock'n'roll singer and composer, Karlo Metikos, who would be a big influence on Josipa’s career and personal life. Their first joint album 'Dnevnik jedne ljubavi' ('Diary of one love') is released in 1973. In total they would make 13 albums together, which Karlo Metikos as an author and a producer. Some of them are: 'Hir, hir, hir' ('Caprice, caprice, caprice'), 'Lisica' ('Fox'), 'Hocu samo tebe' ('I want you only'). Some of the hit songs are: 'I mama mi je rekla to' ('Mama told me'), 'Dok razmišljam o nama' ('Why I think about us'), 'Gdje Dunav ljubi nebo' ('Where the Donau kisses the sky') and 'Da li sam ti rekla da te volim' ('Did I tell you that i love you').

Josipa Lisac soon proved her multiple talents with role as the girl Jana in the Croatian rock opera 'Gubec-beg', by Ivica Krajac, Karlo Metikos and Miljenko Prohaska, which had its premiere in 1975. The aria from this rock opera, 'Ave Maria', is still part of her concert repertoire until today. During 1976 she made a jazz album with some of the world's greatest musicians of that genre (Ernie Wilkins, Clark Terry, Johnny Basso...), called 'Josipa Lisac & B.P. Convention big band international'. Soon afterwards Josipa and Karlo move to the USA for three years, where they record and collaborate with American musicians (Ira Newborn, Paulinho da Costa, Joel Peskin, etc); the result of which is the album 'Made in USA' (1979) in both English and Croatian language. Returning to homeland she participates in two American movies, 'Lost hero' and 'Dirty dozen'.

The sudden death of Karlo on December 10, 1991, along with the turbulent political beginning of the nineties in Yugoslavia, brought considerable changes to the context of her work. In the following years she prepares numerous concerts as a tribute to Karlo Metikos, which are traditionally held yearly until today. Album wise she also keeps on reworking Karlo’s work. For instance in 1996 she releases the album 'Koncert u cast Karla Metikosa' ('The concert tribute to Karlo Metikos'), with classical interpretations of his work. This was her first collaboration with maestro Igor Kuljeric and the symphonic orchestra and choir of the Croatian National Television.

Next to singing Josipa has an active acting career. She participates in plays like 'Suzna Maria Sirakuska' ('Tearful Maria of Syracuse'), 'Schizophrenia' and 'Pijana noc 1918' ('The drunken night of 1918'). Her hairstyles and fashion designs in which she appears, together with the accompanying make-up, also draw considerable attention. Many of these creations were presented in 1998, on the photographic exhibition of Zeljko Koprolcec, which was accompanied by the presentation of a compilation cd 'The best of', in the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb.

In 2000 she finally releases an album with new material called 'Zivot' ('Life'). The album is marked by a modern sound and experimenting with electronics, thanks to the collaboration with producer Gojko Tomljanovic. In 2007 a dvd is released with the registration of a concert where Josipa reinterprets her songs linked to the four seasons. In January 2009, Josipa released the album 'Zivim po svomeIt' ('After his life') containing completely new material.

On the web:

- Josipa's website: http://www.josipalisac.com

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

Maryla Rodowicz (Poland)

Patty Pravo (Italy)

What do we think:

DB: Pop rock dame from former Yugoslavia. Her stylish photo's give the idea that she makes slick pop but that is far from the truth. In fact she makes a form of Yugo Rhythm and Blues which sometimes sounds like she rehearses at the local pub. She has a very diverse catalogue going from prog rock like albums, jazzy ones to a bombastic live album with a grand orchestra (including a choir). It seems like she always trying to experiment. Looking for her albums in Zagreb gave some frowns however. With comments like: "Ah yes, Josipa..well she is a bit of a cult figure you know". Cult or not i just love her music. Too bad she stopped being very productive after the death of her soulmate and musical partner.

PR: DOUBLE BASS introduced me to this singer. I think her records sound great and her story is very intersting (as is her hairdo...). This summer (2008) I traveled through Croatia and found some of her cd's. I am especially happy having found her first album ('Dnevnik jedne ljubavi') which is absolutely stunning (pop-rock combined with soft progrock). Her singing style as well as the beautiful orchestrations and arrangements remind me very much of Italian singers like Patty Pravo, Mina etc. Her latest recordings are interristing too, since her voice has deepend a lot and has become the perfect instrument for expressing great emotions. La Lisac is definitely Croatia's biggest pop-diva!

Recommended albums:

♪♪♪♪♪ - Dnevnik jedne ljubavi - 1973

♪♪♪♪ - Najveći uspjesi '68/'73 - 1974

♪♪♪- Gubec-Beg, rock opera - 1975 (Josipa sings 2 songs)

♪♪ - & B.P. Convention Big Band International - 1976

♪♪♪ - Made in USA - 1979

♪♪♪ - Hir, hir, hir - 1980

♪♪♪ - Lisica - 1982

♪♪♪ - Hoću samo tebe - 1983

♪♪♪ - Balade - 1987

♪♪ - Live in Lap - 1991

♪♪♪ - Koncert u čast Karla Metikoša - 1995

♪♪♪♪ - Život - 2000

♪♪♪♪ - Live - 2002

♪♪♪ - Koncert ljubavi u čast Karla Metikoša (dvd) - 2007

♪♪♪♪ - Zivim po svome - 2009

Further listening:

Gubec-Beg - 1975; Rockopera by Karlo Metikoš and Ivica Krajač - 1975; Boginja - 1987; Čestit Božić - 1992; Ritam kiše - 1993; Antologija vol. I. - VIII. - 1997
♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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