Croatian singer Goran Karan has collaborated with the Tongan-Samoan quartet The Shades from New Zealand for his latest music video.
Today, the video for Karan’s new single “Ima jedno svjetlo”, which is dedicated to the 15-year-old girl who tragically lost her life in the Zagreb earthquake back in March, premiered.
The video features The Shades and was shot in New Zealand and Croatia.
The Shades, who are made up of singers of Samoan and Tongan heritage, Samson Setu, Ipu Laga’aia, Manase Latu and Taka Vuni, formed in 2015 and were schooled in London at the Royal Music Academy.
The vocal group has been learning Croatian music under the tutelage of Zagreb-born teacher Goran Kačurov, who has been living in New Zealand for over a decade.
The Croatian Cultural Society and the Folklore Ensemble “King Tomislav” from Auckland, and their leader Kačurov played a major role in the latest cooperation.
“We met and connected thanks to Tanja Rau, editor of the Croatian radio show “The Voice of Croatia”, who made an excellent report about their cover of the song “Kuća naše pisme”, which Goran Kačurov passed on to The Shades and thus brought them closer to Croatian music culture and trained them to sing in Croatian. Then they delighted me with their voices and I wanted to continue the collaboration, but this time with original work. Nikša Bratoš made a very discreet arrangement and top production, so he left a lot of room for our voices which led to a happy connection,” Karan said.
The song has a special meaning for Kačurov.
“I would like to thank Goran Karan for the beautiful song “Ima jedno svjetlo”. I was really touched and moved because he dedicated it to the girl who died in the devastating earthquake in Zagreb. In that song, I saw and felt all the wounds of my hometown and the weight of my own inability to be where I belong at that moment, with those to whom I belong,” Kačurov said.
For The Shades, this unusual musical collaboration has a special place in their hearts.
Ipu Laga’aia said that at the beginning it was difficult for them to pronounce Croatian words, but that with the help of Goran Kačurov, or Uncle Goran, as they call him, they successfully overcame language barriers.
They were especially touched by the story of the song, the dedication, and the meaning. Manase Latu said: “Although we don’t speak Croatian and don’t fully understand it, the music and lyrics simply bring out inspiration. This is a wonderful journey for us through song, emotions, Croatia.”
Samson Setu, on the other hand, points out that although we have cultural similarities and languages that separate us, it is music that unites us. Taka Vuni believes that human values, love of music and food, as well as hospitality, are what connect us. The Shades say they are looking forward to what the future brings, and especially coming to Croatia soon.
Considering the current situation and the distance, The Shades shot the video in New Zealand and Goran Karan in Croatia.
“With the help of Paul Sumich, an excellent volunteer team was formed that was wholeheartedly committed to making the song shine from within. Karekare Beach located on the west side of the North Island was the location for the shoot. This beautiful place was discovered by Tui Kennar who helped a lot. The videos took the breath away of both director Željko Petreš and me, so it was all the more challenging to paint the song by connecting two distant places into a unique story,” Karan said.
Filming in Croatia was done in a lesser-known pearl of the country’s stunning nature, in the Vranjača cave.
Karan invites everyone to enjoy the Croatian-New Zealand musical magic.
“I would like to thank the Kačurov family – little Zara who was our actress in the video and who, under the benevolent eye of mother Sanja, looked just like an angel. Sophia Aroha Nada, Vito, and Bono Kachurov, as well as Pero Finc who were there for us. Domagoj Lažeta and Stjepan Mektić, from the public institution More i Krš, who helped us a lot in making this recording, and they gave us their consent for the recording. The final blend of video and soundtrack is magical. Thank you to everyone who made the best of us come together with a song,” Karan concluded.
Check out the music video for “Ima jedno svjetlo” below.