“I’m a charlatan. I don't have a degree, I can't read music, but I compose movie scores. I figured out that playing music is the highest level of charlatanism and para-science. It's made for people like me.”
Over a career spanning thirty plus years, the singer-songwriter Magnifico has had a succession of big hits throughout the Balkan region. Building on his impish exuberance and taboo-breaking lyrics, he established himself as the undisputed master of the genre he dubbed Balkan-disco-schlager.
In 2002, he was the mastermind behind the Slovenian Eurovision entry Only Love, putting a trio of transvestites on the pan-European stage long before Conchita Wurst. His breakout moment came in 2004, when Sony Music Entertainment released his fourth studio album Export/import, featuring the smash hits Hir ai kam, Hir ai go and Giv Mi Mani. His fifth studio album Magnification was put out by Piranha Musik, with the album's first single Zum zum blending a barrage of surf guitars with the sound of the gypsy saxophone wizard Ferus Mustafov.
Yet it was his collaboration with the Serbian Army Orchestra Stanislav Binički that netted him his biggest success to date.
Pukni zoro, the crowning ballad of the 2010 Montevideo, bog the video soundtrack, is the perfect example of a piece of art transcending its author. The song had now all but supplanted the Serbian national anthem at high-level sporting events, and hearing it sung in unison by 50 000 voices at the legendary Belgrade Marakana stadium is an experience one isn't likely to forget. As Magnifico himself is fond of musing: “My friends, the Gypsies, are slapping me on the back, shouting: Magnifico, well done! This is the most lucrative song in our repertoire by far. Whenever we play it after midnight, the money just comes pouring at us in a flood!”
After having sold out the arena in his hometown Ljubljana in 2017, 2018 brought a new successful collaboration with well-known director Dragan Bjelogrlić. The song Divna, heard in the record-breaking TV series Senke nad Balkanom, became a new anthem in bars around Serbia.
… and there is more to come.
Robert Pešut - Magnifico, guitar and lead vocal
Aleksander Pešut - Schatz!, drums and back vocal
Jan Gregorka, bass guitar
Jan Jarni, solo guitar & back vocal
Matija Krečič, violin & back vocal
Matej Kužel, saxophone & back vocal
Luka Ipavec, trumpet & back vocal
Vid Ušeničnik, perccussion
Saša Zamernik - Cici, vocal
Tjaša Hrovat - Mici, vocal