Music » Muzika | 45 You became a performer at the age of just six? “I hadmy first two bigger performances inmy life at the age of six, so I believe thatmarkedme as a future performer [laughs]. Onewas a solopart for admittance into thepioneers atwhich I performedaheadscarf dance, and a couple of months earlier I’d played Mary in a crowded church for Christmas. They don‘t sound very compatible, but it showed awide range of interests and styles :-)” The Lollobrigida Girls actually came about quite by accident, because you felt embarrassed to perform alone? “I starteddealingwithoriginalmusic inhigh school, when I foundedmyfirst punkband. Lollobrigidawas createdpurely for fun. I recorded the songsmyself ona small children‘s synthesizer, burnt them onto blank CDs and handed them out among my friends. One of them invited me to perform at his birthday party. I was embarrassed to perform solo, so I inviteda friend, and thus thebandwas formed!Wesangabouteverything candidlyandthroughlaughter.We donned amazing costumes, wore wingsandhadvariousinstallations onourheads.The storyof this crazy female punk band spread, we startedbeinginvitedbyfestivalsall over the region, andwe hadmore fun than anyone’s ever had.” How did Ida emerge from that? “Lollobrigida is the band I grewup with, all mymost important moments are linked to Lollo. It was also through the band that Imetmyhusbandandmoved to Belgrade. Butmymusical taste evolves; I can‘t singthesamesongs for 20years, I‘multimately a completely different person now. My soloprojectwas a departure from that youthful madness, an entry into a new world of secret touches, feminine sensuality, unutilised chances, dreams and the scent of the sea. Lollobrigida is a grumpy kid who jumps, laughs and screams, while Ida Prester is a smooth ladywhopassionately dances, lives and loves.” When it comes to all your musical influences, who is number 1? “Oh, that’s a terriblydifficult question. Longago they wereMichael JacksonandBlur, thenLadytronandPeaches, while today I listen to everything, from James Blake andJanBlomqvist toBat forLashes. I think it’s important for a musician to find some style of their own. I caught mine long ago. I don‘t think my music is reminiscent of any of my role models, I‘m building a world for myself.” You’re somewhere on the route between Zagreb and Belgrade, but you’re actually a resident of the world... “As a youngster, I wanted to be Scandinavian and to move somewhere in Copenhagen or Iceland, among the fine people who care for everyone in the community, recycle all their waste and live harmoniously with nature. But I gradually realised that my place is right here, in the Balkans, with the aorta towards Zagreb and the vein towards Belgrade. It‘s difficult to live here; there are lots of things that make me angry, but there’s also so much warmth, spirit and some raw tenderness that I can‘t find anywhere else. It’s a very inspiring place. I’m staying here, and it’s here I’mbuilding a better world for myself and my offspring.” How did you spend the period of isolation and what emerged for you creatively during this period? “Themost intense periodofmy life. During the time of the lockdown, over the period of a year and a couple of months, I recordedsevensongswithmusic videos, my absolute record. That periodof isolation, loneliness and fear was tough for all of us, and we also had family crises, stresses. I wasn’t lacking in inspiration. I churned out thosemelodies and verses, created an entire parallel world that helped me to sustain myselfmentally.Andpeoplerecognisedthat. I thinkDodir,Kvar, Sad and the other songs really meant a lot to many people, they felt exactly what I felt then – they weren’t alone.” In the lunacy of life, how do you establish a work/life balance? “Forme, life is simultaneously work. I have that crazy luck. I live life in the best way I know. I play music, I travel, I try to spreadpositive energywherever I go. And the work attached itself to that. I onlyworkwith clientswho sharemy values, who love and understand that lifestyle. I live in a physicallyarduousway,withconstant travellingandhustling. But I have balance mentally; I really love my life a lot, and all those wonderful people who surround me.” This will be your first appearance on the BitefArtCafe summer stage. What will await the audience at this concert? “We haven‘t performed independently in Belgrade for a long time, and this has perhaps been the biggest break in the last 15 years. I think we really longed to see each other; Belgrade is my second home. We’ll perform allmy newsongs and the LollobrigidaGirls’ biggest hits. Just come, and I’ll worry about making sure you never forget the experience.”