Artist of The Year
When we first heard about Croatian musician and composer Dario Plevnik back in 2009 we were taken by his beautiful melodies as we are still today. But there would come to be much more to the story of Dario that would not appear here in our publication until now.
It would be difficult for most of us to understand, let alone to tell about the part of the world where Dario and his music comes from. Many of us are too young to even remember the Bosnian war and most of us have never seen a war happen in our homeland as Dario Plevnik has seen and even felt the pain of imprisonment with members of his family and of his town.
What shapes us as human beings? What makes us who we are as artists and musicians? What is it about our surroundings and environment that gives us “soul” that others feel when we play an instrument? There are a multitude of answers to these questions but for Dario it was all of this and more. This man has great pride in Croatia and there is nowhere else he’d rather be than there in the home that he built with his own hands and with his beautiful wife, Darija. She, their daughter, his family, friends, his home and his country are what inspires him to play music and to write from his heart about what he feels and what he thinks. To have come from a war-torn country and to see it blossom back into the Eden that it is today is a miracle and an epic of survival. For a writer of music or a teller of tales, there is something compelling about the events of the world and of mankind’s evolution through war and peace and his continuous search for spiritual perfection. Dario Plevnik has managed to blend and forge all of that history of the past and to merge it with the glory of the present – into some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard.
This writer has had the privilege of knowing thousands of musicians and artists in my lifetime, and a great number of them have come from this publication. Usually time is premium and there is only so much we can do and so many to serve that we do not have the luxury of flying all over the world and having the pleasure of meeting these artists in person who live in countries outside the USA. With Dario Plevnik I knew form the start there was an amazing journey about to unfold, and that would be that he and his wife would become important friends, more like family to me. We have sent so many e-mails back and forth over the past couple years that we know much about each other. And, thank goodness for the internet and Skype, we have been able to visit face-to-face! I have been on a virtual tour of Dario’s home, the home that he rebuilt a few years ago with the help of his wife and closest friends and family. It is a lovely home with large exposed wooden beams, chandeliers that he made himself and many other masterful touches. His studio at home is his domain – the place where he spends many long hours creating, recording and editing. Dario has become a great producer and engineer besides being an incredible musician and I am sure that many people would pay great sums of money to sit with Dario and have him produce their music. Right now though, Dario’s own compositions are being noticed all over the world and it is only a matter of time before his hard work will pay off in a big way.
We have never had an Artist Of The year before and the criteria was not limited to having a CD ready to go and being retail ready. This person must possess humility and grace and is someone who cares about the planet, it’s people and his family. In other words, we were seeking someone who would be a good neighbor and friend, yet someone who has it in his heart to share his art with anyone who will listen and not just so he can be paid to perform. Someone who is driven to the degree that there is nothing else he would rather do than to make music. This is not a hobbyist, this is a true professional artist. And for Dario Plevnik, the music does not come because there is a deadline to meet. He does not work at a song factory. True inspiration comes to him perhaps divinely and he acts upon that inspiration and creates intricate and memorable melodies.
His latest album is called Croatian Waters and it will be released within a few weeks on the Reve Records label of Las Vegas Nevada. There have been some discussions for Dario to make a world tour, beginning in North America primarily on the college and University levels where people are starving to know more about the music, art and cultures of other lands. He would be happy to do so but has admitted that he loves his family so much and his country so dearly that he would not want to be away for too long, Who could blame him?
Dario’s songs evoke pictures in one’s mind of grassy fields, pure stream waters and gentle lakes, farms, blues skies and a happy and proud Croatia that has healed from it’s wounds and has chosen to live life to the fullest. The ten tracks on the album really took me on a journey I must say, because they were so easy on the ears and free of clutter. Recorded only with a classical guitar and drums, no Bass, keys or over-processing, the music pulls you in and within three seconds you feel that nothing is missing at all. In fact, the melody of each song finds its way to your mind, flowing directly into your heart. A wonderful artist with so much love in every note he plays. A true master, a sweet man and a keeper of the dream, Dario Plevnik is a one of a kind musician and a most deserving Artist of The Year!