One of Croatia's best loved singers, Emilija Kokic was born on May 10, 1968, in Zadar, in what was then unified Yugoslavia. She first came to national attention in 1988, as a member of Riva, a band she formed with Zvonimir Zrilic (guitar) Bosko Colic (drums), Nenad Nakic (bass) and Dalibor Musa (keyboards). They made an immediate splash at that year's Zagrebfest song contest and, the following year, "Rock Me" took Eurovision by storm. International attention followed, with the band even appearing at the Distant Accord awards in Nashville, later in the year. But Riva were never to follow up the success on the international stage. One album, titled for the hit and featuring a stupendous dance remix of the title track, followed, but Riva never followed it up. The band broke up in 1991.
Kokic launched her solo career in Croatia in 1994, with the release of her debut EP, Javi Se, and the hit "'To Mi Znacis Ti." A second EP, 100% Emilia, followed in 1995, before the release of her Ostavi Trag debut album in 1996. Massively popular, the album spawned the hits "Ja Sam Vlak" (a duet with fellow Croatian artist Ninom), "Ti Si Najbolje" and "Ostavljas Mi Ljubav." Kokic's second set, S Moje Strane Svemira, followed in 1999, and again proved the source of a string of local smashes -- "Tu Sam Ti Ja," "Kad Izgubi Se Ljubav," "Gdje Da Krenem," and "Nebo." Her most recent album, Ja Sam Tu, appeared in 2001 and included the hit "Ljepota," a duet with Adalbertom Turnerom, together with a number of songs performed at various regional song festivals in recent years -- "Nisam Ni Okom Trepnula," "''Ako Opet Vidim Te," "Nije Vrime" and "Zaboravi Na Mene." ~ Dave Thompson, Rovi