Top of the Pop: “The older I get the more I believe that everything is about the journey and the goal is irrelevant”

Next Saturday, Croatian selection for Eurovision 2023, Dora will take place in Opatija. One of the acts who will be having a chance to present themselves are Istrian band, Top of the Pop. “Putovanje” is the name of their entry and they will be performing it with Mario Petreković. We had a chance to chat with vocalist and keyboard player of the band, Nikola about their song, inspiration and Eurovision favourites.

Hello Top of the Pop, hello Nikola, I feel like I’m communicating with British chart television programme, was that the inspiration behind the band’s name or the story goes some other way?
Yeah, that was the inspiration but also it is what we do as a cover band; play top pop music . both old and new. At the time I was thinking of a different name ‘Hit parade’ cause it would also describe what we do pretty well .

Can you tell us more about the band’s musical beginnings?
It all started around 2012 when Kristina and I met at the rehearsals for a independent musical in Zagreb. I was doing a lot of musical theater since 2002 until 2015, performed as an actor, dancer and singer (triple threat 😊 ) in Hair, Aida, Grease, Jesus Christ Superstar, Spamalot, Beauty and the beast and many more. At that point I already had a strong bend following me and we needed a strong girls voice and in came Kristina and stayed since. She was always more inclined to soul and blues sound and I think it’s a good balance for my musical pop expression. We have it all covered. 😊

What made you decide to take part at Dora 2023?
First of all, crazy belief in ourselves off course. And a lot of songwriting through the years that went nowhere, never enough time, never enough money, hard to find a label to stand behind your work….and I guess we were persitant enough to wait for our chance and here it is.

What inspired the creation of “Putovanje” and what does it mean to you?
Putovanje means Journey. Maybe it kinda sounds cheesy but the older I get the more I believe that everything is about the journey and the goal is irrelevant/unknown. So, you gotta enjoy the journey. We need to put some sense and meaning in the way we life life, be good, value moments with your dearest, think about each other, bring joy around you as much as one can.

For the performance of the song you will be joined by Mario Petreković, how did that cooperation start and how is the experience so far?
Mario is a wonderful performer in every way. Insanely creative, intuitive, understands stage performance, and brings special kind of energy that I love because every time I see him perform he brings me back to musical theater, my first love.

He is a great friend and the author of the song mr. Krajcar remembered their previous collaborations and felt that he would bring to the song exactly what the song needs. And I agree, he did an amazing job and will give the audience a powerfull performance.

You performed many songs at many various gigs, which song do you enjoy performing the most and which one is the audience favourite?
We perform a very various repertoire. Sometimes the audience react to a new hit song for example; a Måneskin song, a Dua Lipa song , a Rag’n Bone song, but also people love oldies-goldies; Tina Turner, Freddie Mercury. We enjoy it the same and we make it feel like our own and that’s what the crowd feels and that’s why they react good.

This year will be the 30th anniversary of Dora what is your favourite song performed at the festival?
My favourite is still ‘Nek ti bude ljubav sva’ by Tony Cetinski from 1994 cause I find him one of the greatest Croatian singers and I had an honour and pleasure to perform with him as a back up singer on his Furia Tour in 2008. Time changes, style change but good music is always good music and a great performance never gets old

Do you watch Eurovision regularly, if so would you like to share a memory which you have of it or a favourite song from the contest?
Yes, we always watch Eurovision, as a band we play a lot of Eurovision hit songs : Loreen – Euphoria, Ruslana- Wild Dances , Måns Zelmerlöw – Heroes and of course Waterloo, Insieme, Zitti e Buoni, Hold me now and many more.

What do you do when you’re not singing and creating music? Any hobbies?
We all have our ‘day jobs’. Krtistina and I work on a radio station MedulinFM as anchors, hosts and journalists , she is also a fitness trainer. Ivan works in an real estate agency and Armin has a private business led by his wife in wedding organization Artium Weddings.

What are your plans after Dora 2023?
Perform even more if possible. Last year we had around 180 concerts, some big some small but was a lot of wonderful moments. New song are on stand by, and I’m sure our audience will love what we have prepaired for them.

Thank you so much for your time Top of the Pop. We wish you the best of luck at Dora 2023. Do you want to share something else or you maybe have a message for readers of escbubble?
We don’t measure our life with how many breaths we take but with how many moments took our breath away.

You can listen to “Putovanje” by Top of the Pop and Mario Petreković below:

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