Damir Imamović

Damir Imamović

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Damir's new album - Singer Of Tales - is out on 3rd April 2020

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The Tale of the Singer of Tales


“Every great musical form should be so fortunate to have a champion such as Damir Imamović”, says producer Joe Boyd.


The artist Huffington Post calls ‘the king of sevdah music’ is both a brilliant and charismatic performer and a tireless innovator who continues to find original ways to connect sevdah’s rich past with an expanding and invigorated future. For his new studio album, he assembled an all-star team: renowned bassist Greg Cohen, Turkish kemenche master Derya Türkan and violin virtuoso Ivana Ðurić. Legendary producer Joe Boyd, co-producer Andrea Goertler and Grammy-winning engineer Jerry Boys completed the line-up. The album combines Imamović’s powerful and exquisite tenor voice with an unusual and rich blend of four stringed instruments to create a seductive and original acoustic sound. Singer of Tales is a deeply moving homage to the art of storytelling.


It wasn’t at all obvious that Damir Imamović would become a musician, much less a visionary who would lead an insurgency within the world of sevdah. Born into a famous Sarajevo family of musicians, the sounds and words of sevdalinka (sevdah songs) were omnipresent. But Damir resisted his calling and went off to university to study philosophy.


The word sevdah comes from the Arabic sawdah, which means, literally, ‘black bile’, and has been appropriated from Portugal (saudade) to Turkey (sevda) to express longing and love. The musical form can be traced back to the 15th century and evolved in the cafes of 19th century Sarajevo and Mostar. It became popular across the new nation of Yugoslavia in the 1920s and ‘30s and was a staple of mass entertainment during the Communist period from 1945 to 1990. Sevdah risked turning into an unfashionable relic of the Tito era, but during the Bosnian war, it took on a new and greater meaning for the young generation, including Damir Imamović.

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