Croatian Music Guide: Josipa Lisac

Josipa Lisac singing on stage
Image by Uranian Willy

Josipa Lisac is a Croatian singer and one of the greatest representatives of Croatian music, known for mixing different genres of music, her unique and eccentric stage appearance, and pronounced vocal abilities ranging from contralto to soprano.

Early life of Josipa Lisac

Josipa Lisac was born in Zagreb on February 14, 1950 (Valentine’s day). She showed exceptional talent from early childhood, long before she started to sing in a child’s choir “Dječji zbor RTV Zagreb” as a 10-year-old girl.

While she was finishing Gimnazija high school, she began singing in her first rock group called “O’Hara”, later called “Zlatni akordi”. Josipa won several awards at a very important music festival at that time held in Opatija with her rendition of Arsen Dedić’s song “Što me čini sretnom”.

True Love – Meeting Karlo

Her life completely changed when she met Karlo Metikoš (stage name: Matt Collins) in the mid-70s. He was a popular Yugoslavian rock musician who made a huge success in France. Josipa and Karlo fell in love, became inseparable, and started to create music together.

Karlo composed and produced music, while Josipa sang. It was a winning combination. They understood each other perfectly, did everything together, traveled around the world, and turned their cognitions into music.

In 1973, Josipa’s debut album “Dnevnik jedne ljubavi” was released. It was the first conceptual music album, but also the first female rock album in Yugoslavia. Forty-two years later, Josipa and the album’s authors (Karlo Metikoš and Ivica Krajač) won the prestigious Croatian music award “Porin” for the anthological realization of Croatian music. In 1975, Josipa acted in the first Croatian rock opera “Gubec Beg”, which took many years of preparation.

Josipa Lisac and Karlo Metikos
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Over the years, Josipa and Karlo become a well-known irreplaceable tandem whom dedicated their lives to music. Together they created innovative avant-garde music and brought world music innovations to Croatia.

Josipa recorded a jazz album in collaboration with world’s greatest musicians such as Ernie Wilkins, Clark Terry, Jonny Basso, and Albert Mangelsdorff. Josipa and Karlo lived in the USA for 3 years where they recorded the vinyl “Made in USA” in Los Angeles in 1979.

In 1991, Josipa faced her biggest life tragedy. Karlo died of a heart attack during his sleep when he was only 51 years old. Josipa was left without her greatest love and life support but never stopped making music. Since then, she commemorates Karlo’s death every year with concerts held in different places around Zagreb.

Since Karlo’s passing, Josipa has collaborated with many folk, pop, etno, jazz, latino, funk, and classical musicians proving her versatility and talent.

Josipa’s Unique Style

Josipa Lisac - Croatian Fashion Icon
Image by Barikada

Josipa Lisac always had an extraordinary and unique avant-garde style of dressing and was ahead of her time. She uses her unique fashion to express her feelings and music. Back in the 70s and 80s, Josipa was the first in Croatia to wear crazy, futuristic, artistic, and colorful clothes. People often made fun of her, while others admired her and considered her a queen.

Josipa has never followed fashion trends. She created her own style from the start and became a beautiful example of bravery, persistence, and determination for every woman. She often changes her hairstyle, dying her hair in glaring colors, and playing with distinct makeup. Josipa stated that she has been lucky to find “her people” that have helped create her style over the years – stylists, designers, and other artists who understand her thoughts. As she has a very specific taste, it was a hard process. It took a lot of patience and many years but if you are determined, it always pays off in the end.

Present Day

Nowadays she supports young Croatian music talents with joy, considers her fans friends and always brings innovation to her music. Josipa is a true lady, hero, ideal, leader, talent, and artist. She is fighter who never gives up, who teaches us about love, tolerance, and understanding, and is a living example that hard work always pays off. With her unique style and consistency to herself, Josipa is a great inspiration to all women in Croatia.

Check out the latest including tour dates for Josipa on her web site.

5 of Josipa Lisac’s most timeless songs


1. Danas sam luda (I’m crazy today)

2. Magla (The fog)

3. O jednoj mladosti (About one youth)

4. Na na na na

…and now featuring Cubismo.

5. Tebi putujem (I’m traveling to you) featuring Chui

Check out our other Croatian Music Guides:

Please note: Information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. Croatian laws and bureaucratic rules often change, and each personal case is individual, so different rules may apply. For legal advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, contact us to consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant.

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