Željko Joksimović might not realize but he has entertained millions of war weary people across the Balkans and thus doing his own bit to make the lives of past war victims tolerable. Serb by nationality, Željko Joksimović spent his childhood in a period when the Balkans was stuck in a situation of bloodbaths, bombings and paranoia. People across the world usually attach and impose identities on artists based on their ethnicities, nationalities and races.
Željko Joksimović has been able to pass these boundaries and identity-impositions successfully, while entertaining people across the Balkans and Eastern Europe. The 37 year old musician is known for his melodic and rich music which straddles between the genres of pop, rock, ethnic and folk. Drawing heavily from the Serbian folk and wider Balkan musical styles, he has been able to appeal to the younger generation who are more attracted to American or Western European artists.
Perhaps representing Serbia in the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest was one of the biggest breakthroughs he could have achieved. Željko’s Lane Moje is one of the best selling singles across Serbia and the rest of Europe for a long time. In 2005, he composed a song for Serbia’s national pre-selection for Eurovision but it ended in controversy thanks to the political situation that existed between Serbia and Montenegro.
Željko Joksimović can play about 14 instruments and his music is cheerful, humorous and carries the folkish spirit that is easily recognizable. It is perhaps this ability to connect with the masses that makes him one of the most popular singers in the Balkans and elsewhere in Eastern and Central Europe. Musicians such as Željko Joksimović have made notes spill across boundaries, which have been drawn either because of hatred or nationalist struggles. Perhaps music can alone soothe an ailing soul, especially if it has been witness to wars and death.