Interview with Sara Vojicic

Doria Gift Sara Vojicic

Bosnia and Herzegovina has always had outstanding music artists, singers, and music authors. That’s one more reason for us to be even more eager to observe and research the music and artists from this country with beautiful people and nature. This time we talk to Sara Vojicic from Sarajevo, an outstanding vocalist. Brace yourselves for an exploration of her musical prowess and the captivating stories that unfold in this enchanting interview made by Urosh Veljkovic!

I spotted you for the first time on a TV show where you played “Living in My Dreams” with Zele Lipovacha and a band, a great rendition of the great Divlje Jagode’s song. I saw that, and I instantly thought: this will be my favourite female singer from the ex-Yu from now on. 🙂 How did that collaboration happen?

Thank you! That’s a beautiful compliment. Two months before that collaboration, I was a guest on the same TV show on our national television, and I had a mini concert with their band. Zele came to a meeting to arrange everything for his concert, and the band showed him my concert for the show. He actually saw it before I did. After that, he asked me if I was willing to sing two songs with him, and of course I said yes. I picked „Living in My Dreams,” but in a new arrangement that they did a couple years ago for the Croatian version “Sama si“. Those strings really add to the vibe. The other song, „Come with a Rainbow,” is an emotional ballad taken from his solo album, so I was very happy to show two sides of me once more.

"The Gift" - DOLIA
The metal band DOLIA

Tell me, how long does Dolia exist? What year were you formed and did you guys play many concerts and festivals over the years together?

Under the name Dolia, the band has existed since 2012 but in this line-up since 2018. In the beginning, our music style was something different, and we actually played a lot at festivals in the region. I was a violinist in the band, and I was 14 years old when I joined them. Lots of people have passed through this band, but things started to change drastically when our guitarist joined the band in 2013. He brought new styles, songs, and arrangements. I was still playing the violin during that period, even though they all wanted me to sing. I finally said yes to that in 2016/2017, and that’s when this story started. We never wanted to change our name, because Erik and I are the first members of the band, and because of the fact that Erik was the one who brought the fantasy concept. You can say that we actually never changed what we stand for, but we have grown, both musically and lyrically, and we continued to fight for the idea while some other members gave up on it. 2018 was the year when we did our last gig and closed ourselves in the studio afterwards. That was a tricky period, for it took us a long time to find a perfect team, and the pandemic was another obstacle, but finally, in 2020, we started working with Slovenian producer Simon Jovanovic, and everything started sounding just right. Before that, almost everyone here told us that we couldn’t get the sound we wanted. The same was true for the video production. Once our video director came into our lives, our fantasy world started to come alive.

Are the band members the same since the beginning of the band?

So, Erik and I are the first members of this band, but if you ask me, the official beginning of this band is marked with the release of „The Gift,“ because if Riad hadn’t entered the band, Dolia maybe wouldn’t even exist today, or would still be closer to gothic metal with operatic vocals (and probably a different singer) and not a symphonic/progressive metal band with classical and ethno elements, as it is now. Another reason for calling this „an official beginning“ is the fact that „The Gift“ is actually Dolia’s first professional release with a music video.

What is the meaning of the name “Dolia”? How did you get the inspiration for the name?

The first singer of this band gave the name, and I’m so in love with the meaning of it that I never wanted to change it. Also, the idea of „Dolia“ never changed for us who are in the band, so we wanted to be the one who will tell the story. The name „Dolia“ comes from the Slavic mythology and refers to the goddess of faith and fortune. To us, Dolia is a multiverse and a world of mirrors where many worlds collide into each other, bringing not only fantasy but also real-life stories.

Sara, did you play in other bands or projects before Dolia? Have you released anything before “The Gift“, a single, video, EP, or an album maybe?

This is my first release when it comes to original music, but there are many more to come. I’ve written some songs, and Riad and I are still thinking about whether some of them will be released as my solo singles or will be incorporated into Dolia’s material. We’ll see. Dolia is the only band I have and it’s my priority, but I’m also active as a solo singer in many projects in my home country associated with rock music, musical theatre, and classical music. There is another metal collab that I’m looking forward to. I’ve recorded the “Ever Dream” (Nightwish) cover together with some amazing musicians from Slovenia, and we are releasing a music video for that. I’m super proud of that collaboration, as NW has been one of my favourite bands, and Floor Jansen has been one of my favourite female metal singers. Of course, I’m a Tarja fan too, but we did a version that is closer to the legendary Wacken performance.

The Gift - Dolia

Tell us something more about the creative process of “The Gift“. I see it as a conceptual song. Is it a part of a bigger conceptual story as an album?

You’re absolutely right. „The Gift“ is the first song from the upcoming EP, but it’s actually a part of the story that comes on our third album. So, basically, our debut full-length album story is happening 20 years before the EP story. Slavic mythology influences are the strongest in “The Gift”. Our main character meets Morana, the Slavic goddess of winter’s death, rebirth, dreams, and protector of women, who actually gives her a new life through her, far away from pain. The reason for that will be revealed in the third and final song from the upcoming EP. The creative process was very natural. Riad did the orchestral arrangement, and of course, Erik and I participated in that. There are actually many details in there, not just in the orchestra but in the guitar, bass, and drums sections. Everything that you hear is there for a reason and has its own story. My favourite part was layering the vocals and doing vocal arrangements because that always feels like a cherry on the cake. There is also that speech part that has growling underneath, so I definitely experimented with this one and plan to keep doing so in the future. All three songs from the EP are ready for release, but we still have two videos to shoot. The second one should be released in December. That song is also the title track of the EP and I will reveal the real-life story behind this fantasy curtain.

The video for “The Gift” single is of great quality. Who was the Director, screenwriter, and producer that worked on it?

Thank you. We’re really proud of that video. The director of the video is Tarik Hodzic, famous for his work on „Scream for Me Sarajevo“. As soon as he heard the songs from the EP, as well as the story behind them, he said that he wanted to do it, and he really did everything he could for it to look the way it does. He gathered a wonderful team of professionals, who are truly amazing at what they do, and they all approached with so much love, passion, and devotion. As for the scenario, we brought the working version and then discussed everything with Tarik, and of course, we let him do what he does best. We couldn’t ask for a better team, and we are so proud to work with these people.

What are your next plans with Dolia? I read you are preparing an EP of a few songs. Any more videos as well?

Yes, all three songs from the EP will be released together with music videos. We have a story behind it, and we want to tell it properly as well as show that gradation of our main character. We already are in the production process of our second video, which will be hopefully released in December. With the third single and video, we will conclude the EP story and organize proper promotion of the songs and videos. The EP will be released digitally but also in CD form.

What about a full-length album? Do you guys plan on recording a full-on album, CD, or maybe even Vinyl?

We are already in the process of recording a nine-track conceptual album, which will be ready in 2024. It will be released as a CD and vinyl,  but also in digital format. There have been some offers from abroad, so we’ll see how things will go. This album is really diverse, and I’m sure nobody expects this. There are a lot of different influences, and it’s all packed to serve the story behind it. I can’t wait to share those songs with you. There’s something for everyone.

Are you maybe planning a tour on the Balkans, throughout Europe, or maybe even a world tour?

Once the album is out, we’ll start promoting it live. We definitely plan to do a Balkan tour, but we also plan to play throughout Europe. As for the world tour, that would be a dream, but we have to wait and see where this story will take us. We already got a call to play in Argentina, and I hope that we will be able to do it in the near future. There is still a lot of work to do, but feedback on our debut single has been promising, so I’m sure that we will find our way. We are also planning to do live promotion of our album in our hometown, and there has been some talk that maybe we’ll be able to do it with a full orchestra. Let’s see!

Do you have some other projects going along besides Dolia?

When it comes to metal, not for now. As for others, I have a musical premiere this month, and then I will have the great honour of singing at the “Three Tenors“ concert in Sarajevo. At the end of the month, I’ll be a part of some cabaret shows and concerts in Bosnia and Herzegovina, so the tempo is really dynamic. Of course, there will be more collaborations, but right now, my main focus is to finish the music videos for the EP, as well as the album recordings.

Thank you Sara for this interview, and I hope we can see you with Dolia live on tour soon. Do you have any final words to share with your current and future fans?

Thank you! Lovely greetings to you and your readers. I invite you all to listen and watch the music video for “The Gift” and to spread the word if you like it! Stay heavy and stay tuned, for much more is to come very soon!

Urosh Veljkovic and Sara Vojicic
Urosh Veljkovic (the drummer of the metal band Steel Temple) and Sara Vojicic (the vocalist of the metal band Dolia)
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