Željko Samardžić (born October 3, 1955) is a Serbian pop singer popular throughout the former Yugoslav republics. Born in Mostar, he reached fame only after the Bosnian War when he fled to Belgrade, Serbia, where he since lives and works.
Samardžić was born in Mostar, at the time part of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Yugoslavia. His father was an ethnic Serb from Montenegro, and his mother Nada was Herzegovinian Serb from the Ilići suburb of Mostar. Samardžić's father was a Yugoslav People's Army officer, which meant that the family had to move around a lot. After spending the first seven years of his life in Mostar, young Željko lived and attended school in Nikšić, Igalo and Zadar before eventually returning to Mostar during his teenage years.
He first started singing during high school, and soon became known around Mostar for being a good Kemal Monteno impersonator. Samardžić's musical activity during this period was essentially little more than a hobby as he didn't put out any official releases and mostly sang in kafanas and restaurants in addition to competing in the occasional obscure festival. The closest he came to wide main stream success was a schlager "Moja Marija je drugačija" that became a hit in Bosnia during the 1970s after he performed it at Prvi aplauz festival in Banja Luka, but he mostly earned his living running a cafe in Mostar, located in close proximity to the famous Old Bridge.
When the Bosnian War broke out in 1992, Željko was wounded in Mostar while sitting in his apartment while the chaotic fighting between Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs was raging outside. A stray bullet entered his leg and exited his hip. After much trouble, along with his wife and their daughter, he managed to flee the city through the Croat-controlled western part of Herzegovina and eventually reach Serbia after going through Istria, Slovenia and Hungary. Once in Serbia, they lived in the Belgrade suburb of Borča and Samardžić soon started getting low-paying gigs in various discothèques and cafés, building up a fairly devoted niche audience. Almost 40 years old at this point, his big break came unexpectedly when some businessmen who enjoyed his nightclub performances brought him to the elite club Ambassador and also financed him with DM30,000 to record an album with Marina Tucaković and Aleksandar "Futa" Radulović. In 1995, he also appeared at the Pjesma Mediterana festival in Budva, where he left a great impression singing "Sipajte mi još jedan viski", which further opened the doors to show business.
- Sudbina (1993)
- Oko tvoje neverno (1994)
- Bilo je lepo (1995)
- Jednom kad nam dođu sijede (1996)
- Sjećanje na ljubav (1996)
- Zveket srca (1997)
- Sve je moje tvoje (1998)
- Sentimentalan čovek (2001)
- Pokaži mi šta znaš (2004)
- Lice ljubavi (2007)
- Ja Kunem Se U Ljubav i 16 Balada (2008)
- Kojim dobrom mila moja (2009)
- Official web site
- Publika me održava u životu, Blic, March 8, 2008
- Koncert Željka Samardžića - 'Ljubavna adresa' bila je Zetra, Sarajevo-x.com, October 31, 2009
|Awards and achievements|
|Pjesma Mediterana winner