|Birth name||Biljana Krstić|
|Also known as||Bilja|
|Born||November 9, 1955|
|Origin||Niš, PR Serbia, FPR Yugoslavia|
|Genres||Pop, Serbian etno|
|Years active||1983-present (solo)|
|Associated acts||Bistrik Orchestra, Suncokret, Rani Mraz|
Biljana "Bilja" Krstić (Serbian Cyrillic: Биљана "Биља" Крстић, Serbo-Croatian pronunciation: [bǐʎana bǐːʎa kř̩ːstitɕ]) is a Serbian singer. She was born on November 9, 1955 in Niš and brought up on the folk traditions of central Serbia. Biljana first studied music in Niš at the music school "Dr. Vojislav Vučković", after graduating she continued her education by travelling to Belgrade to study music at the Belgrade University of Arts. Upon graduating in Belgrade she set out on an extremely successful career in music. To date she has released seven albums and has written scores for such films as Savior and Zona Zamfirova. She currently lives with her two daughters in the Serbian capital, Belgrade.
Bilja has been on the Yugoslav pop scene for a long time. Her stage experience started at her very young age in Chorus of Youth; later, in the 1970s, she was a member of the cult bands Suncokret, and Rani Mraz, one led by Bora Đorđević and the other by Đorđe Balašević. After the break-up of Rani Mraz, she decided to go solo, and her first album was released in 1983. Also, she contributed backing vocals to Balašević's first couple of albums.
Furthermore, she released three pop-oriented records, and did music for many theatre shows at Belgrade's National Theatre. In the meantime, she graduated from University of Musical Arts, and started to work as a Music Editor on the National Radio Broadcast.
After successful career in pop music, Bilja Krstić has decided to record material close to her heart ever since her childhood. For more than five years, she was patiently collecting obscure folk songs from the territories of Kosovo, South Serbia, Macedonia, East Serbia, Romania and Hungary. The results were the albums Bistrik (2001) and Zapisi (2003). Album Bistrik was re-released by V2-Greece record label, in May 2002.
The music performed by Bilja Krstić is a fusion, blend of traditional ethno music, a capella songs and ethno grooves with elements of improvisation and modern music approach. Their aim is to translate folklore into contemporary art, their performances to awaken the heart and give rebirth and energy to forgotten emotions. Her sincere stage presence and beautiful voice received great acclaim at more than 200 concerts across the world and in her home country; it was best acknowledged when she was invited as the only female vocal performer from Mediterranean at festival "Mostra Sesc de Artes" in São Paulo in 2005. At the time, she was a member of "Mediterraneo Orchestra", formed of about 25 top musicians from all over the world. Her third folk Album, Tarpoš, was released across Europe in early 2007, under the licence of German record label Intuition/Schott Music, and gained great success amongst World Music critics and audience.
With Rani Mraz:
- Prevari večeras svoje društvo sa mnom (1983)
- Iz unutrasnjeg džepa (1985)
- Loptom do zvezda (1990)
- Bilja (1994)
With Bistrik Orchestra:
- Bistrik (2001)
- Zapisi (2003)
- Tarpoš (2007)
- Izvorištе (2013)