Paprika bring a touch of Balkan music to the world…

Laura Campbell
5 Min Read

Paprika is one of the UK’s leading Balkan music bands, known for their electrifying and energizing performances that immediately captivate a listener and lure them into the world of Balkan music. Coming from unique educational and musical backgrounds ranging from traditional folk, over jazz and rock, to classical music, the band fuses together all these styles with the Balkan, Gypsy, and Eastern European music to create their own distinctive sound of whirlwind performance.

The members of Paprika are:
Miloš Milivojević – accordion
Živorad Nikolić – accordion
Vladimir Štrkalj – guitar
Rastko Rašić – drums
Marko Tešić – violin
Peter Bakaja – bass

The album consists of 11 tunes coming from different regions in the Balkans, including Romania, Serbia, and Macedonia. The music encompasses fiery melodies and foot-tapping rhythms that are interspersed with lilting laments. In addition to our own unique arrangements of favorite Balkan tunes, we are very fortunate to have
two original tunes on our album composed just for us: one by our very own Živorad
Nikolić and another by a well-known Serbian accordionist Boban Prodanović.

Right from the start of “ Silk Thread,” one of eleven stellar new tracks to be found on their new album, there’s no getting away from the chunky beat that seems to make the song so urgent and full of vitality. That beat doesn’t take any sort of time to grab our attention with both hands and draw us into a vortex of sublime melodies and neon griffs that color lush music arrangement instead of the other way around. Boasting a startlingly strong amount of tone and rhythm for a modern album, and a  record that you definitely want to give a spin this  March.

The texture of tracks like “Deskovo Oro,” “I’ve been upset since childhood,” “Dilemma” and the aforementioned “Silk Thread” creates a volatile mood to match the freewheeling, experimental vibe of the music, and I would even say that it subsequently forges more of a defined narrative for these songs.

For the most part, the musical content of Wild Wild East is pretty zany and out there, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call it bloated or self-serving. If anything, this is a lot more centered which makes me realize just how far this Paprika as a group have come in a relatively short amount of time.


We decided to catch up for a quick interview with Vladimir from Paprika

What inspired you to get into music?
We have released our 2nd album “Wild, Wild East” in November 2019, just before Covid-19 hit and unfortunately didn’t yet have any chances to promote the album live, so are looking now for any reviews to help us.

How would you describe your music?
Our music comes from Balkan, Eastern Europe. You can find more info about it in the links. It belongs in the World Music Genre.

What would you say is your recording and songwriting style?
For me personally, I got into music early when I was 8 years old, starting on classical piano and then moving to electric guitar at the age of 14, having been inspired by blues and rock music. I moved from Serbia to London in 2009 and joined the band which made me stay in the UK and play music for a living.

Where would you like to see your music career in 5 years’ time?
I would like to see the band playing more live shows (hopefully live music will come back to where it was before the pandemic), and also recording more and possibly doing some collaborations with artists from a similar genre but also from various other genres – jazz, classical, improvisational, pop.

Where can music fans listen to your music?
Paprika is on Spotify, iTunes, Youtube.

The album can be previewed and purchased here:

You can also here Paprika on youtube:

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