Fed up after somebody broke into my car and ripped my CD player system…for the second time, I decided to be musicless in the old red box called Toyota Corolla. A soundless car plus a gypsy-like existence for the next 2 years without regular access to American radio and TV had rendered me in a limbo state, hopelessly clueless about what new and what hot in the music industry.

Then I arrived in Sarajevo, getting jammed by its own music, I became even more clueless about the contemporary music industry.

A group of students from one of my 1st year classes gathered around a computer listening to a song. They told me it was James Blunt singing his #1 song “You’re beautiful.” “Do you like it?” They asked me. “No, I don’t like this kind of pop music.” I answered flat out not knowing who he was. The noises generated from sixteen loud teenagers and the horrible sound from the crap PC speakers masked the singer’s voice and the song’s melody. Besides, what kind of name is James Blunt. No artistic, no cool.

It was one of those regular, uneventful Saturday night as I usually stayed at home doing my typical musing about…uh… unimportant stuffs when I heard this heart-galling, melody stricken song from a voice I could not tell if it it was from a man or a woman. I asked my roommate who was getting ready for a night out, and all I heard was “James Un.”

It was 11 at night. Quiet as usual in the Kosevsko Brdo neighborhood, quiet enough for the daily chants from surrounding mosques to resound through, quiet enough I felt I could finally find my role in this universe if I listened deeply. But sometimes Kosevsko Brdo could be too quiet making me slightly edgy.

There I was cranking the haunted “Good bye my lover” to the max for hours.

You probably wonder why I included a post about a British pop singer in a blog about Sarajevo?

Before topping musical charts all over the world, James Blunt was a British army captain who stationed in Kosovo and spent a brief time in Bosnia. (In the beginning of the clip, he mentions being deployed to the Balkan) I guess this explains the impression of “soul” in his melody, voice, and lyrics. There is only a handful of singers/song-writers can legitimately brag about a life of “substance” as in JB’s case.

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