Riva (band)

Riva ("boardwalk" in Croatian) was a pop rock band from Zadar, Croatia, then Yugoslavia, in the late 1980s.

OriginZadar, Croatia, Yugoslavia
GenresPop music
Years active1986–1991
LabelsCroatia Records, Jugoton, Koch Records.
Past membersEmilija Kokić
Dalibor Musap
Nenad Nakić
Zvonimir Zrilić
Boško Colić
Aleksandra Kalafatović

After forming in 1986, the band appeared on Zagrebfest 1988, Performing with the song “Zadjna Suza” (“Last Tear in Croatian).

Their song "Rock Me" won the Eurovision Song Contest 1989 in Switzerland, with a score of 137 points. According to author John Kennedy O'Connor in The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History, it was an unexpected win.[1] The band proved sceptics wrong, bringing the first and only victory for Yugoslavia. The contest was then hosted in Zagreb, representing Yugoslav Radio Television

After the success, they released two subsequent albums, one titled after their winning track “Rock Me” (1989) and “Srce Laneta” (“Laneta Heart” in Croatian) in 1990

Shortly after the success of both albums, the band signed to a Swiss Agency where they started production on their planned 3rd album titled “Lude Glave, Lude Godine” (“Crazy Heads, Crazy Years” in Croatian). With Per Gessle of popular pop rock duo Roxette to be featured with whom they were supposed to be opening acts for on a world tour.

Disagreements arose when the Swiss Agency misrepresented the validity of Croatia a then recently independent country opting for the band to remain as being from Yugoslavia for press purposes as well as the bands performances focusing on humanitarian issues in Croatia to help victims of the Yugoslav Wars

Feeling betrayed by the agency’s portrayal of what was happening in their hometown at the time the members cut all ties with the agency with front woman Emilija Kokić stating in a 2019 interview:

“We come from Zadar, our families are huddled in basements because grenades of the Serbian army are falling on Zadar, and we would act like Yugoslavians How? That would be the biggest betrayal! They would become people to whom a career means more than anything”.

After the resignation, the planned album which was scheduled for release remained unreleased with only 3 songs from the album being available from their performance at the Croatian preselection Dora in 1993

During 1991 the band decided to have a hiatus originally planned to be short, which ended up being the end of Riva as members focused on their own personal lives with only very few small reunions taking place between 1993-2016.



  1. ^ O'Connor, John Kennedy The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History. Carlton Books, UK. 2007 ISBN 978-1-84442-994-3

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
  Céline Dion
with "Ne partez pas sans moi"
Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
  Toto Cutugno
with "Insieme: 1992"
Preceded by
Srebrna Krila
with "Mangup"
Yugoslavia in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
with "Hajde da ludujemo"