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The next artists featured in our “Who Is” series for the Eurovision 2018 season are Sanja Ilić & Balkanika from Serbia.

In February, it was decided that Sanja Ilić & Balkanika would represent Serbia at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest after they won Beovizija. Let’s get to know a bit more about them.

Balkanika is a Serbian band, formed by Sanja Ilic in 1998. The members of the group include:

  • (Aleksandar) Sanja Ilić
  • Vocalists – Nevena Stamenković, Danica Krstić, Marija Bjelanović, Mladen Lukić, Nemanja Kojić
  • Pecussionists – Aleksandar Radulović, Milan Jejina
  • Guitarists – Branimir Marković, Nebojša Nedeljković
  • Flautist – Ljubomir Dimitrijević

The group is known for their folk sound, and their mission according to Sanja is to “preserve, revitalise and modernise Serbian medieval and Byzantine music traditions”. Their music features old Balkan instruments incorporated into modern music. Over their 20 years together, the band have performed all around the world, and are increasing in popularity.

Sanja Ilić & Balkanika will represent Serbia at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal this May. The group was selected after winning Beovizija with their song “Nova Deca”, which translates to “Our Children”.

Serbia have competed as an independent nation in the Eurovision Song Contest since 2007, and have seen great success in the competition. Their first entry in 2007, Marija Šerifović’s “Molitva”, won the contest in Helsinki with 268 points, making Serbia’s debut one of the most successful in Eurovision history. From then up to their year’s break in 2014, Serbia finished in the top 10 a further two times, including a 3rd place finish in 2012 with Željko Joksimović’s “Nije ljubav stvar”. They have only failed to qualify for the final on three occasions, the most recent being in 2017 when Tijana Bogićević’s entry “In Too Deep” finished in 11th place in its semi-final in Kyiv.

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