Branimir Štulić

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Branimir Štulić
Birth name Branimir Štulić
Also known as Johnny, Džoni
Born (1953-04-11) April 11, 1953 (age 63)
Skopje, PR Macedonia, FPR Yugoslavia
Genres Rock
Instruments Vocals, guitar, bass guitar, acoustic guitar
Years active 1977–present
Labels Azra Music, Jugoton,
Komuna, Hi-Fi Centar
Associated acts Azra

Branimir "Johnny" Štulić (born April 11, 1953) is a singer, composer, and writer, best known for being the frontman of the popular former Yugoslav rock group Azra. He is known for his charismatic stage performances and inspiring song lyrics that often combined rock poetry with a strong sense for social commentary. Today, Branimir Štulić and his music enjoy a cult following within the former Yugoslavia.

Early life[edit]

Štulić was born on 11 April, 1953, in Skopje, where his mother Slavica and father Ivan – an officer in the Yugoslav People's Army – were stationed at the time.[1] Two years later his sister Branka was born. His family is originally from Nin.[2] At the age of seven, Štulić moved with his family to Jastrebarsko.[3] In January 1967, Štulić moved to Zagreb where he attended high school and later, for two years, studied phonetics and history at the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Philosophy before dropping out.[2]

Music career[edit]

He began his musical career with a band named "Balkan Sevdah band", performing beside own songs also The Beatles covers and folk music.[4] The name was changed to Azra in 1977. The initial line up which included Jura Stublić, Marin Pelajić and Mladen Juričić soon dissolved, and they formed another popular band Film.[2] During the 1980s, became one of the most prominent and influential musical acts in Yugoslavia. The Azra days brought Štulić widespread fame in Yugoslavia, as well as a rabid and devoted youth following – Štulić often used his music as commentary directed towards the social and political conditions in the then-Socialist Yugoslavia.

He has been living in the Netherlands since 1986.[2] From 1989 performed under his name with live support of "Sevdah Shuttle Band", and released solo studio albums Balkanska rapsodija (1989) and Balegari ne vjeruju sreći (1990).[4] When it became obvious to him that Yugoslavia will collapse, Štulić in 1991 in Sarajevo recorded the album Sevdah za Paulu Horvat (released in 1995), documentary Das ist Johnny in which the most memorable moment was when viewed from the window of Sarajevo hotel room and concluded that soon all would burn, and his alleged last visit of the territory was in 1995 in Belgrade, where produced album Anali and promoted book Božanska Ilijada.[1] In regards to the Yugoslav war, Štulić frequently expressed his disapproval of separatism and was a fervent believer of Yugoslavism and Bratstvo I Jedinstvo. He commented that "I have no passport, no money and have no place to go back. I had a Yugoslav and expired me. Yugoslavia is no more, it's the same as when you are born and you are told: this is your dad, this is your mother, because, according to Homer, no one knows when is born, who gave birth, at least the first three years. And now I do not have my parents and that's why I'm happy".[1]

After the ex-Yugo wars ended in 1995, Štulić recorded two solo albums, both published in Belgrade, Serbia, with the last Blase in 1997.[1] In 2005 he published an autobiography called "Smijurija u mjerama", with average reception.[5] Hrvoje Horvat, a Croatian journalist, wrote a biography of Johnny Štulić titled "Fantom slobode", ("The Phantom of Freedom"), published in 2006. Due to Štulić's immense popularity in the former Yugoslavia, the book was an immediate commercial success. However, it was also heavily criticized by many literary critics, and even Štulić himself, for its sometime poor writing quality and alleged misinterpretation of facts.[6] Ines Pletikos directed documentary film Kad Miki kaže da se boji (2004), while Kruno Petrinović a book, Prilozi za biografiju Johnnyja B. Štulića (2006), about the heroes of his poems.[1][7][8]

Today, Štulić lives a modest and ascetic lifestyle in Houten with wife Josephine Grundmeiyer.[4] He typically does not give interviews and is very protective of his privacy. He states he has no interest in going back to his rock career, but in the past few years he has recorded and posted on YouTube over 600 traditional songs, hit covers and some original material.[9] He works on the Serbo-Croatian translation of many ancient and medieval works.[1][10]

In 2012 initiated a lawsuit against Croatia Records from Zagreb, the direct successor of Jugoton, over royalty rights,[11] as well book publisher from Beograd, for copyright infringement.[12]

Discography[edit]

  • Balkanska rapsodija (1989, Jugoton)
  • Balegari ne vjeruju sreći (1990, Jugoton)
  • Sevdah za Paulu Horvat (1991, Komuna)
  • Anali (1995, Komuna)
  • Blase (1997, Hi-Fi Centar)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Dragan Markovina (2015-09-11). "Ulomak iz knjige Povijest poraženih: Štulić bez domovine" (in Croatian). Stav!. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d "VL Biografije: Branimir Johnny Štulić" (in Croatian). Večernji list. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Branimir Štulić" (in Croatian). Croatia Records. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Boris Stromar (2005-10-27). "Branimir Johnny Štulić - Razmišljam o povratku" (in Croatian). RiRock.com. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  5. ^ Igor 'Yuri' Jurilj (2009-04-18). "Branimir Johnny Štulić: "Smijurija u mjerama"" (in Croatian). Muzika.hr. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  6. ^ Igor Vujičić (2005-12-30). "Hrvoje Horvat: "Fantom slobode - Biografija Johnnyja B. Štulića"" (in Croatian). Muzika.hr. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  7. ^ Lana Bunjevac (2006-02-21). "Ines Pletikos: "Kad Miki kaže da se boji"" (in Croatian). Muzika.hr. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  8. ^ Lana Bunjevac (2006-05-07). "Kruno Petrinović: "Prilozi za biografiju Johnnyja B. Štulića"" (in Croatian). Muzika.hr. Retrieved August 17, 2016. 
  9. ^ Kristina Bosno (2012-08-07). "Štulić: Živim asketski i pišem pjesme, ali neću izdati album" (in Croatian). Večernji list. Retrieved August 16, 2016. 
  10. ^ "U međuvremenu je Branimir Štulić pripremio dvanaest novih knjiga" (in Serbian). Vreme. 2008-12-29. Retrieved August 16, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Branimir Štulić ekskluzivno za Index: Najveća pljačka u povijesti Rock'n'Rolla" (in Croatian). Index. 2012-02-25. Retrieved August 16, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Džoni Štulić tuži izdavačku kuću zbog autorskih prava" (in Serbian). Novosti. 2012-09-30. Retrieved August 16, 2016. 

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