by Srecko Mavrek
Raymond Pecotić, an Australian-Croat, releases a beautiful new song ‘Nek jubi tebe jutrom zora’, which was recorded between Perth, Western Australia and Split. Croatia.
Some may wonder how an Australian born artist, based in Australia, was able to build a network of musicians and record producers in Croatia to bring this project to fruition. Raymond has performed since his teenage years in Croatian clubs throughout Australia, as well as in New Zealand, and have on many occasions been a support act for several touring Croatian singers.
“That time spent with them, and their surprise that an Australian born Croat knew so much Croatian music to perform to and hold a crowd the way I did secured their friendship, so I’ve been fortunate to enjoy their support and introductions to the people who can assist. During the years of lockdown while travel was not possible, the musical arrangement was produced in Croatia. After receiving some basic arrangement tracks, I then recorded the vocals in a Perth recording studio, with the producer linked into the recording studio from Split via Zoom to participate in and direct the recording session,’ said Raymond.
Leo Škaro, the arranger and producer, then finalized the rest of the instrumental recordings and mix of the song prior to his arrival in Croatia. The video clip was directed by Matko Petrić and filmed in stunning locations in Kaštel Gomilica and Kaštel Stari, as well as in Split.
The song was presented to Croatia Records, and to Raymond’s great delight, they agreed to release it under their label on their digital channels as well as on their CMC TV program. For a Croatian in the diaspora who had grown up listening to music from this label, both under this name and its previous one, it was a tremendous honor to have his song released as a Croatia Records artist.
Raymond’s story and background to the song
“Korčula is renowned for its musicality, especially Vela Luka which has produced greats such as Oliver Dragojević, Jasna Zlokić, Klapa Ošjak and many other musical talents. The Velolučani in Perth, Western Australia, despite the distance from their home village and decades spent away from their homeland, still retain this love for music and singing, klapa singing in particular, and they regularly get together to enjoy this common passion. I met Franjo Dragojević, by profession an Emergency Room doctor, some years ago, and he invited me to his home on some special occasions, where some of these older Velolučani would gather. These are old school klapa singers. Their voices are beautiful, and although they are all amateurs, every one of them can sing in perfect pitch, and each knows his place in creating the harmony. Dr Dragojević spends lots of time, unwinding from the stresses of the emergency room, writing poetry and music in his “komin” he built at the back of home. One year, his wife Tanja went to Croatia earlier than him, and while she was away, separated from her and missing her greatly, he was inspired to write:
“Kad me poželiš tu kraj sebe, a mene nima
Kad zvizde same budu sjale kraj tvojih dvora
Najdi me tad, u mirnoj noći, tišini mora
Najdi me tad, u svojim snima..”
This became the beginning of “Nek jubi tebe jutrom zora” He then gathered two of the gentlemen from Vela Luka, Barba Boris Mirosević and Barba Tonći Miojević, to sing it together with him to record on a video to sent to Tanja. Not long afterwards, Franjo, Barba Boris and Barba Tonći sang the song for me. I immediately asked Franjo if he would let me record it. He agreed. With one condition. If a video clip was created for the song, he had a special photo of his wife Tanja as a young lady he wanted included somehow. We achieved that wish of his, as well as one other for me. I also included a photo of my wife in the video clip too, so the video contains a tribute to both the wives of the artist and author,” said Raymond.
About the performer
Raymond Pecotić is an Australian Croat, born in Perth, Western Australia, to parents Marinko from the village of Smokvica on the island of Korčula, and mother Jakica, from neighbouring Blato on Korčula.
He has been an active member of the local Croatian community since childhood, and since his teenage years, has been a regular singer and guitarist in the Australian Croatian community, not only in Perth, but throughout Australia for large community gatherings, observations of Croatian state holidays, through to weddings and supporting touring Croatian artists. His wife and three children are also active participants in all aspects of the community. In 1999 he performed at the Split Festival, and in 2016 released an album recorded in Zagreb.
This involvement in the Croatian community is a stark contrast to the life he leads during business hours, where he is the Managing Director of Empire Financial Group, one of Western Australia’s leading wealth management and financial services businesses, responsible for the management of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Check out the music video for ‘Nek jubi tebe jutrom zora’ below.