Nikolija (singer)

Nikolija Jovanović (Serbian Cyrillic: Николија Јовановић, born on 19 October 1989) is a Serbian singer and rapper. The daughter of singer Vesna Zmijanac, she initially gained prominence by appearing on the reality television show Survivor Srbija VIP: Philippines (2010). In 2013, Nikolija pursued a music career with her breakthrough single "Ćao zdravo". She has released two studio albums to date; №1 (2016) and Yin & Yang (2019), as well as numerous standalone singles.

Birth nameNikolija Jovanović
Born (1989-10-19) 19 October 1989 (age 33)
Zagreb, SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia
  • Singer
  • rapper
  • model
Years active2010–present

Since 2014, Jovanović has been in a relationship with musician and actor Relja Popović, with whom she has two daughters.

Early lifeEdit

Jovanović was born in Zagreb to folk singer Vesna Zmijanac and economist Vlada Jovanović, who operated as the chief of marketing at PGP RTS.[1][2] The family relocated to Belgrade, where Nikolija was raised. Her parents divorced shortly after she had been born and Jovanović has two step-siblings from her father's second marriage.[3] In 1995, she appeared in her mother's music video for the song "Kad bih znala kako si". According to Zmijanac, Nikolija showed interest and talent for music from an early age.[4] However, Jovanović also stated that as a child she didn't desire to become a singer due to the experience of having a famous singer mother.[5]

For her senior year of high school, Nikolija moved to Athens, Greece where she subsequently began attending The School of Business & Economics at the American Deree College, from which she graduated in July 2013 with a degree in international business.[6][7][8]


2010-2016: Career beginnings and No1Edit

Jovanović made her first public appearance in 2010 by competing alongside her mother on the reality TV series Survivor Srbija VIP: Philippines, where she was the first contestant to be voted out.[9] Nikolija subsequently voluntarily left the show on medical grounds.[10] Her music career began during her studies in Athens where she started performing in local nightclubs as a dancer and MC, claiming to have worked next to acts such as Tiësto, Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk and Swedish House Mafia.[11] At the beginning of 2011, she released her first song "Crazy 2 Night" featuring DJ Kas under the stage name "Nicole", but failed to make a significant success.[12]

After graduating from college, Nikolija relocated back to Serbia where she was introduced by singer Milan Stanković to prominent songwriters and producers Nebojša Arežina and Marko Perunučić, who would become her frequent collaborators.[13] She came on to the Serbian music scene with the single "Ćao zdravo" featuring Serbian rapper Teča, released in April 2013 under IDJTunes.[14] The single received polarizing public reception due to its provocative lyrics and S&M-inspired music video.[15] During the summer of 2013, she rose to further prominence after she had been featured on the song "Milion dolara" by Ana Nikolić,[16] which served as the title track for her fourth album. In November, Nikolija released a self-titled rap song.

In March 2014, Nikolija was announced as a contestant of the Serbian series of Dancing with the Stars,[17] where she finished in 8th place after six weeks of competing.[18] In August 2014, she collaborated with Serbian pop-rap duo Elitni odredi on "Alkohola litar".[19] The single went on to become Nikolija's highest-performing music video to date, having amassed over seventy million views as of December 2021.[20] She also had a solo release titled "Kako posle mene" in October 2014.[21] With these two singles Nikolija drew wider popularity by embracing singing rather than just rapping, as well as by crossing over to more commercial pop-folk sound, which she mixed with urban music influences, creating a style of music that would become signature for her.[22]

The single "Opasna igra" was released in June the following year to commercial success as well.[23] Its music video was declared the most viewed Serbian video on YouTube of 2015.[24] In October, she released her first balladic single, titled "Ljubavni maneken".[25] Nikolija made her runway debut for George Styler at Belgrade Fashion Week in November the same year.[26] On 20 October 2016, she released her debut album, titled №1, under City Records featuring previously released singles and three new songs: "101 Propušteni poziv", "Plavo more" and "Pucaj zbog nas".[27] It was sold in 50,000 copies.[28]

2017-2022: Yin & Yang and AuroraEdit

In March 2017, Nikolija released "Promeni mi planove".[29] It was followed by the single "Loš momak" produced by Coby, in July.[30] Same month, it was revealed that Nikolija would star as a post-apocalyptic warrior alongside Žarko Laušević and Sergej Trifunović in a Mad Max-inspired movie, titled Volja sinovljeva, directed by Nemanja Ćeranić.[31][32] In October 2017, she released "Moj tempo".[33] During the following year, Jovanović released three singles in succession; "Malo", "Nema limita" and "Slažem".[34][35][36]

Her sophomore studio album Yin & Yang was released under IDJTunes on 24 April 2019.[37] It was preceded by two singles - the title track and "Nije lako biti ja" featuring Serbian rapper Fox, in March and April, respectively.[38][39] The physical edition of Yin & Yang also included three standalone singles - "Loš Momak" (2017), "Nema limita" and "Slažem" (2018). In June 2019, Nikolija and Relja Popović released "Meduza".[40] Their duet is currently Nikolija's most-streamed song on Spotify with over seven million streams. In July, Nikolija promoted her album at the Ulaz music festival in Belgrade.[41] Her subsequent single "Sija grad" was released in September 2019.[42]

In February 2020, Nikolija released "Stav Milionera", which would become her last release under IDJTunes.[43] She was subsequently signed to the newly established record label founded by Relja Popović, called Made In Blkn. During that year Nikolija released four more singles - "Nakit", "No Plaky", "O bivšima" and "High Life".[44][45][46][47] In December 2020, Jovanović and her half-sister launched a fashion brand, called About Me, with streetwear designed by her.[48] In the following year, she had two solo releases - "Sve bih" and "Divlja orhideja".[49][50] In October 2021, she collaborated with Teya Dora on the single "Ulice" from the soundtrack for the Serbian thriller Južni Vetar 2: Ubrzanje.[51]

Nikolija also worked with rapper Devito on the single "Ljubav", released in June 2022.[52] In May 2022, she announced her third studio album Aurora for the end of the year.[53]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2011, Nikolija began dating Greek NBA player Thanasis Antetokounmpo.[54] In September 2014, it was reported that they had broken up.[55]

In late 2014, she started a relationship with Serbian actor, musician and at the time member of Elitni Odredi, Relja Popović, after they had collaborated on "Alkohola litar".[56] On 26 September 2016, Nikolija gave birth to daughter Rea.[57] The couple welcomed their second daughter on 17 July 2021.[58][59] Serbian magazine Story published an interview with Nikolija at the beginning of February 2022, in which it was revealed that their daughter was named Hana.[60] However, Jovanović subsequently denied giving this interview via an Instagram story and had previously stated that she and Relja did not have intentions of revealing their second daughter's name to ensure her privacy from the public life.[59]

Nikolija and her family reside in Belgrade's downtown municipality Vračar.[61] She also maintains residency in Athens.[62]



Filmography of Nikolija Jovanović
Year Title Genre Role Notes
2011 Survivor Srbija Television Herself VIP Season 1; 16th place (Quit)
2014 Ples sa Zvezdama Season 1; Eliminated 6th

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominee/work Result Ref.
2013 OGAE Video Contest Music Video of the Year "Milion dolara"
(Ana Nikolić ft. Nikolija)
Nominated [63]
2019 Music Awards Ceremony Modern Dance Song of the Year "Nema limita" Nominated [64]
2020 Trap Collaboration of the Year "Meduza" (Relja feat. Nikolija) Nominated [65]


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  2. ^ A. Kolarević (6 January 2020). "Dali ste znali - Nikolijin otac je doktor nauka". (in Serbian). Nova S. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Mnogi nisu znali da Nikolija ima sestru, evo kako ona izgleda". (in Serbian). 16 June 2019. Archived from the original on 31 October 2020. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
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  8. ^ Marinović, M. (23 April 2022). "Najškolovaniji među poznatima: Pravnici, ekonomisti i diplomirani muzičari". (in Serbian).
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  15. ^ "SADO-MAZO: Pogledajte seksi spot Vesnine ćerke". Kurir (in Serbian). 10 April 2014.
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  23. ^ "Prošlo je pet godina! Ova Nikolijina numera je bila himna leta". (in Serbian). 17 June 2020. Archived from the original on 31 October 2020. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  24. ^ "Nećete verovati! Ovo su najgledaniji Jutjub video snimci u Srbiji 2015. godine". (in Serbian). Blic. 11 December 2015. Archived from the original on 7 October 2020. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  25. ^ J. P. (20 October 2015). "Premijera: Pogledajte novi spot Nikolije Jovanović". (in Serbian). Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  26. ^ "Drugo veče Perwoll Fashion Week-a: Nikolija prošetala pistom". (in Serbian). 24 October 2014. Archived from the original on 10 November 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
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  28. ^ "No1, Nikolija Jovanović". Cobiss. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
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  30. ^ N. J. (21 July 2017). "Premijera: Nikolija - 'Loš momak'". (in Serbian). Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  31. ^ "ĆERKA VESNE ZMIJANAC PRVI PUT NA FILMU: Nikolija Jovanović rame uz rame sa čuvenim srpskim glumcima!". (in Serbian). 10 November 2022. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  32. ^ "Zavirite na set filma na kojem glume Žarko Laušević, Igor Benčina i Nikolija". Blic (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 17 October 2019. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
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  35. ^ "Nema Limita - Single by Nikolija", Apple Music, retrieved 10 November 2022
  36. ^ "Slazem - Single by Nikolija", Apple Music, retrieved 10 November 2022
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  40. ^ Božić, E. (17 May 2019). "Nikolija Jovanović: Meduza će biti moj prvi duet sa mužem". (in Serbian). Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  41. ^ "Relja i Nikolija po prvi put nastupili zajedno i napravili žurku za pamćenje". (in Serbian). 13 July 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2022.
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  46. ^ "O Bivšima - Single by Nikolija", Apple Music, retrieved 16 November 2022
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  50. ^ "Divlja Orhideja - Single by Nikolija", Apple Music, retrieved 16 November 2022
  51. ^ "Ulice - Single by Teya Dora & Nikolija", Apple Music, retrieved 16 November 2022
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  53. ^ "OBRADOVALA FANOVE: Nikolija najavila novi album". (in Serbian). 10 May 2022. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
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  55. ^ "Sve se seušilo posle dve godine, bivši dečko Nikolije Jovanović je bio ovaj poznati košarkaš". (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 23 March 2020. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
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  63. ^ "Ana Nikolić i Nikolija Jovanović na OGAE takmičenju" (in Serbian). Archived from the original on 14 February 2019. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  64. ^ "Ovo je lista dobitnika regionalnih MAC muzičkih nagrada" (in Serbian). January 2019. Archived from the original on 12 February 2019. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
  65. ^ "GLASANJE" (in Serbian). Music Awards Ceremony. December 2019. Archived from the original on 26 January 2020. Retrieved 25 January 2020.

External linksEdit