Mirko Švenda - Žiga Međimurski

(hrvatski portfolio)

Žiga was born on May 7th 1964 in Prelog, Croatia, as a 9th child of Marija and Antun. When the doctor who delivered him heard his cry, he said: »he will be a singer».

From the first day he started Elementary school, Žiga was known as a child with a lovely voice and was singing on every school event and party. He was an excellent pupil, although always with restless spirit. He always wanted to learn how to play a violin, but because his family was numerous and poor, that wish never came true.
When Žiga turned 12, his professor Đurđa let him attend a 4-day school for accordion. At the age of 13, he formed his own band named «Amor», in which he played drums. The band was specific as it was the only band at the time to have a drummer as a lead singer. In his second band, «Cezar», Žiga was a front man and during that time it became obvious that Žiga's performance had «something special».

In the early 90's, Žiga performed a great deal on humanitarian concerts and parties at Croatian clubs and catholic missions all across Europe.

He played also with Tomislav Ivčić, a famous pop singer in former Yugoslavia and Croatia, who recognized the capabilities of Žiga's voice and wanted to help him in his singing carrier, but his tragic death stopped him of doing so.

In 1993 Žiga entered the world of ethno music, and at the same time established his own publishing firm named «Muraland-Švenda», under which label he published his 5 albums; 3 containing traditional songs of Međimurje, performed in a modern way with electronic instruments, named «Fijolica 1», «Fijolica 2» and «Fijolica 3»; 1 album with Stjepan Đurkin's songs named «Let the song take me away» and an album with church themes, where Žiga sings about guardians of parishes of Međimurje, named «The Bells Are Ringing». All five albums were very successful locally, in Međimurje region, placing Žiga as number one singer in Međimurje.
Žiga's sixth album named «Cukor Pekeraj» has been published in publishing firm «Croatia Records», and presented Žiga’s attempt to go out from the local borders, but it didn't work out due to business difficulties going on in «Croatia Records».

For the last 3 or 4 years, Žiga has participated in many festivals: Požega, Pitomača, Koprivnica, Krapina, Blato/Korčula as well as 11 years at Etnofest Neum. A great move forward happened in Neum in 2006 when Žiga presented his new project «Žiga & bandisti». Bandisti are Žiga's back up band, playing brass instruments (no saxophone and clarinet) with a drummer. It can be said that this is a special ethno language in Žiga's way, where ethno music is played in a raw, old-fashioned way savoured with strong energy and emotions featured by amazing Žiga's vocal.

«KonkrETNO», the 7th album was published in December 2006 for «Croatia Records» and was placed between the top 4 albums according to sales as reported by the CD shops. The album «KonkrETNO» was very well rated among journalists, music critics, media editors, singers and especially audience. Today, Žiga takes small but certain steps towards the world ethno scene, where he surely belongs.