My favorite Serbian pop music videos from 2020 (not necessarily when they came out, but when I discovered them)

31 Dec

Maybe calling them “pop” is inaccurate, especially because “Serbian pop” usually makes people think of Turbo-folk or Ceca, the Dowager Queen of Serbia. I think what most of these songs are is New Starogradska music, literally New Old-City music, “city” here meaning urban, meaning not folk or country, roughly the same popular tradition that goes as λαϊκά in Greek. Correct me, Serbs, if I’m wrong. And speaking of Greek, what’s cool about many of these songs is what a Greek-like affective tone they strike.

Here goes:

If you’re wondering what’s up with the action in these videos, they’re intercut with footage of the television series they come from, Ubice mog oca — “The Murderer Killed Himself” apparently. It’s a really good cops-and-bad-guys series, and I say that though roughly 70% of the time I’m not sure what’s going on; there are no subtitles, of course, and I just make do with vocabulary I can guess from my Russian and the action and character and plot conventions of the genre.

Ubice… stars Vuk Kostić as Aleksandr Jakovljević, detective and the star, I’d say, of the series. He’s the guy who’s shown hanging in clubs and in romantic entanglements in the videos. Aleksandr is a kind of male archetype found all over the Slavic world: he’s tough and soldierly, but also goofy, always in the same too small t-shirt and the same baggy jeans hanging off his ass, he’s a disaster with women, has a child out of wedlock with his boss, lives with his mother (Elizabeta Đorevska, who I adore), and drinks too much; in fact, the scenes of him trashed and the messes he gets himself into are brilliantly acted; I’ve never seen a better screen drunk before. And, of course, not too deep down, he has a heart of gold. He’s best in the Halid Bešlić video: “Ja bez tebe ne mogu da živim”; the title and refrain of the song — which he stands up to and drunkenly belts out for the whole club, despite his partner’s best attempts to get him to behave — means “I can’t live without you.”

Vuk Kostić as Aleksandr Jakovljević in Ubice Mog Oca

Next come my favorite Nikola Rokvić songs:

Below is “Honey and sweet grapes”… “My only sin is love…” Really like the song, but the video is lame and it contains a horrible stereotype of Serbian women in lip gloss. (Check out the Metaxa bottle in the refrigerator rack).

And then there’s this: “From craziness to craziness” “…I only live for you and that’s what kills me…” (aaawwww…) that Rokvić shares with Nikola Marinković, both incorrigible and adorable Serbian hams.

And my favorite Rokvić song:


Here comes the spring but I can’t stand how quickly time is passing, yet to me, it has stopped. Mothers, daughters, sons, and they all go to weddings. But mine will come from sadness, as my broken heart cracks.

The footage in this song is from Žigosani u reketu, a series about young men in a basketball club in Belgrade. They just started putting up episodes of it on YouTube and I’m peeing in my pants at the prospect of watching endless hours of television that I don’t understand.

I’m particularly enamoured of Goran Babić (Jovan Jovanović) in this series, the super tall guy with the green glasses. Here he is in a scene (no music) from Žigosani… Goran is the team’s intellectual — the thinking man’s jock — and in this video he’s expounding on something about Bosnian-Croat-Yugoslav writer Ivo Andrić of Bridge on the Drina fame. A friend translated it all for me once, but I forgot — something about “looking for him [Andrić] in all the wrong places.”

Oooooffff… Ok. Thought I’d get to Beogradski Sindikat but that’ll have to wait as it’s really a whole other genre anyway. So, that’s all for now. More next year.

Elizabeta Đorevska

Elizabeta Đorevska (above) as Olja Jakovljević, mother of Aleksandar Jakovljević (Vuk Kostić); there’s an argument to be made that Serbian women age better than any other women in the world; they have great bodies, great legs and stay beautiful and regal into their 60s or 70s. I really find Serbian women of this age super-sexy.


Write us: with comments or observations, or to be put on our mailing list or to be taken off our mailing list — at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: