"Hari Mata Hari...like the most famous of all child stars, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, felt the music inside himself from an early age. He followed it instinctively, and has proved himself to be a true musical star"

Music: Željko Joksimovic
Lyrics: Fahrudin Pecikoza & Dejan Ivanovic

Hari Varesanovic (Hata Mari Hari) was born in Sarajevo on the 16th January, 1961. He is known as the "Nightingale of Sarajevo" to both his devoted fans and his colleagues. In his youth instead of playing football like his friends, Hari chose to pick up a microphone. In 1972, he started to write a new chapter in his life.
Mata Hari means 'break of dawn' in the Bali language and the dawn of his career came 20 years ago. There are not many bands who can say that they have enjoyed the same level of popularity for two decades. The songs of 'Hari Mata Hari' last for so many years, and the young and the old listen to their music with the same passion.

Hari Mata Hari has performed over 1,000 concerts, each attracting a bigger audience than the last. Hari Varesanovic' and 'Hari Mata Hari' won awards for the song of the year and the band of the year at the former Yugoslavia's equivalent of the Oscars. Hari has released 12 albums so far. He has sold over five million albums and counting. In addition, millions of people across the world have seen him and listened to his music.
And yet, despite this success, Varesanovic' has not lost his individual style. Each success forces him to do his job even better. After being chosen to represent Bosnia & Herzegovina at the Eurovision Song Contest in Athens, he has devoted himself to the job with extreme professionalism. He has gathered a team of top collaborators who, along with his unique voice, will guarantee a good result. Hari aims to win the hearts of the audience throughout Europe and he will fight to make that happen.

Let's get it out of the way from the start. As far as I can tell, the Bosnian representative for 2006 has nothing in common with the whispering, Nazi sympathising, Dutch double agent, exotic dancer and femme fatale...in any way whatsoever. In fact, looking at Mr Hari you'd be hard pressed to see what on earth impelled him to choose a derivative of that namesake. A wan gentleman with a respect of shiny leather and sizeable proboscis, Hari is going for the softly softly ethnic approach so adeptly employed in the recent past. All he'll really need to make it into the final is a wavering tremor in his voice and a tremendous amount of wooden traditional instrumentation around him. I'm sure Mari isn't stupid enough to ignore my sage advice, but whether he will make it into the final shake-up is less assured. A top ten is a definite, but in the year of the wacko, there isn't enough here for it to stay in the memory of enough people, Balkan or no Balkan. Watch out for the rug...under his feet, not on his head.

Hari loves...Mr Benn

"In the seventies did you try and guess who Mr Benn was going to be that week?" Hari doesn't burble excitedly. "At number 52 Festive Road lives Mr Benn. He is a man of indeterminable age and marital status. Every day he dresses in a black suit, white shirt and black tie...with a bowler hat. He always looks as if he just about to leave for work, maybe in a bank or at the civil service, but he never goes. In fact he does not appear to go out at all, apparently having no friends or any life outside his house. He just sits, alone in his living room, wearing his suit, smiling to himself, drinking tea." (comments never credited to Hari Mata Hari...at all)



Niz polje vjetar miriše
I bol me prati kao sjena
Da l' negdje za mnom uzdišeš
Gdje si od mene sakrivena

U kosu stavi ruzmarin
I jedan cvijet kraj šadrvana
Lejla, zar bi mogla ti drugog voljeti

Ako te sutra zaprose
Znaj tamo necu biti ja
Lako se tuge oproste
Al' samo ljubav nikada

Zar bi mogla ti drugog voljeti

Golube, moj golube
Nosi joj suze mjesto pjesme
Ja odlazim k'o da sam kriv
Što voljeh onu koju ne smijem

Golube, moj golube
Nosi joj suze mjesto pjesme
Odlazim k'o da sam kriv
Što voljeh tebe koju ne smijem

Što voljeh tebe


Down a field, a scent of wind
And pain follows me like a shadow
Are you sighing after me somewhere
Where are you hidden from me

Place rosemary behind your ear
And a flower from an old fountain*
Lejla, could you love another?

If they ask your hand in marriage tomorrow
Know that I won't be there
Sorrows are easily forgiven
But only love never is

Could you love another?

Dove, my dove
Bring her tears instead of a song
I'm leaving, as if guilty
For loving who I'm not allowed

Dove, my dove
Bring her tears instead of a song
I'm leaving, as if guilty
For loving you who I'm not allowed

For loving you
*šadrvan is a decorated fountain that usually includes a garden

“It is a sad song,” admitted the composer Željko Joksimovic. “Bosnians have a very specific way of dealing with sadness. We don’t put our sorrow out with alcohol. We use music".