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|Cultural origins||1980s, Yugoslavia|
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Turbo-folk is a musical genre based on a mixture of Serbian folk music with modern pop music elements (and even elements from the Puerto Rican reggaeton and the Jamaican dancehall at times), with similar styles in Greece (Skyladiko), Bulgaria (Chalga), Romania (Manele) and Albania (Tallava). Having mainstream popularity in Serbia, and although closely associated with Serbian performers, the genre is widely popular in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Montenegro.
According to this persuasion, turbo folk and Serbian involvement in Bosnian and Croatian conflicts would become inextricably linked from then on. This left-wing section of Serbian and Croatian society explicitly viewed turbo folk as vulgar, almost pornographic kitsch, glorifying crime, moral corruption and nationalist xenophobia. In addition to making a connection between turbofolk and "war profiteering, crime & weapons cult, rule of force and violence", in her book Smrtonosni sjaj (Deadly Splendor) Belgrade media theorist Ivana Kronja refers to its look as "aggressive, sadistic and pornographically eroticised iconography". Along the same lines, British culture theorist Alexei Monroe calls the phenomenon "porno-nationalism". However, turbo-folk was equally popular amongst the South Slavic nations during the brutal wars of the 1990s, reflecting perhaps the common cultural sentiments of the warring sides.
Anto Đapić (former mayor of Osijek, and national leader of the right-wing Croatian Party of Rights) has declared "as long as I am mayor, there will be no nightclub-singers [cajki] or turbofolk parades in a single municipal hall".
The resilience of a turbo-folk culture and musical genre, often referred to as the "soundtrack to Serbia’s wars", was and to a certain extent still is, actively promoted and exploited by commercial TV stations, most notably on Pink and Palma TV-channels, which devote significant amount of their broadcasting schedule to turbo-folk shows and music videos.
Others, however, feel that this neglects the specific social and political context that brought about turbo-folk, which was, they say, entirely different from the context of contemporary western popular culture. In their opinion, turbo-folk served as a dominant paradigm of the "militant nationalist" regime of Slobodan Milošević, "fully controlled by regime media managers". John Fiske feels that during that period, turbo-folk and its close counterpart Serbian pop-dance had a monopoly of officially permitted popular culture, while, according to him, in contrast, Western mass media culture of the time provided a variety of music genre, youth styles, and consequently ideological positions.
- Boban Rajović
- Dara Bubamara
- Dragana Mirković
- Elma Sinanović
- Goga Sekulić
- In Vivo
- Indira Radić
- Jana Todorović
- Jelena Karleuša
- Lepa Brena
- MC Stojan
- Mile Kitić
- Miro Semberac
- Mitar Mirić
- Nino Rešić
- Olja Karleuša
- Rodoljub Vulović
- Sandra Afrika
- Sanja Đorđević
- Seka Aleksić
- Sinan Sakić
- Tina Ivanović
- Viki Miljković
- An umbrella term covering Balkan; Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian, Bulgarian, Albanian, Macedonian, Bosnian, Montenegrin, Romanian, Greek, and Turkish music.
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- Gordana Andric (15 June 2011). "Turbo-folk Keeps Pace with New Rivals". Balkaninsight.com. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
- "Explore Taylor & Francis Online". Maney.co.uk. Retrieved 3 June 2018.
- John Fiske, Television Culture, February 1988, ISBN 0-415-03934-7
- Collin, Matthew (2004) . This Is Serbia Calling (2nd ed.). London: Serpent's Tail. pp. 78–84. ISBN 1-85242-776-0.
- Gordy, Eric (1999). "The Destruction of Musical Alternatives". The Culture of Power in Serbia. Penn State Press. ISBN 978-0-271-01958-1.
- Uroš Čvoro (2016) . Turbo-folk Music and Cultural Representations of National Identity in Former Yugoslavia. Ashgate; Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-317-00606-0.
- Sabina Mihelj, "The Media and the Symbolic Geographies of Europe: The Case of Yugoslavia", 2007.
- William Uricchio, We Europeans?: media, representations, identities, Intellect Books, 2008, p. 168-9
- Balkania Fanzine - Turbo-Folk and Balkan Music Video Culture Blog
- www.brigada.nl - CHALGA - TURBOFOLK musicvideos and mp3
- Report about turbo-folk, ceca and politics
- Muzika u vestima dana