Teo Aničić

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Teo Aničić, musician and producer, has been playing guitar for a quarter of a century. When he first picked it up as a teenager, he saw it as an easy distraction.

“I’ve been playing guitars since I was like 14 years old. I started then and it’s easy to get side tracked from any other stuff that you do by playing guitar because you’re constantly driven to do it.” He said. “You spend hours and hours playing guitar in your room.”

That early passion for guitar has led to a successful career playing live music, doing commercials for radio, and production work on the side. His love of playing music has always driven him.

“When it gets to be your job then you’re bound to look at it in a different way but still, you know, here and there when you’re questioning whether you’re doing the right thing, you get back to the same old - I love playing guitar. That’s something that keeps you constantly interested.”

Aničić’s early musical influence was rock bands in the 80s and 90s, like the Rolling Stones, Guns ‘N’ Roses, Nirvana, and REM. After finishing school, Aničić kept pursuing music and it naturally and gradually became a full-time career.

“I was not really into any other kind of stuff.” Aničić said. “I just stuck by it because I love to do it, and the progress was slow but it was constant so I just stood by it.”

When asked about how his music has changed over time, he notes that he’s beginning to record more original music that’s softer than the rock he played in his youth. He has released singles which are picking up radio time in his home country of Croatia – though he remains humble.

“The last five years the singles that I put out here in Croatia are mainly like, more soft, more mellow music, more acoustic.” He said. “The last couple singles that we did that kind of do well on radio here, they’re not like big hits or anything but you know, they make some money.”

Aničić hopes that soon the coronavirus pandemic can subside and that he can play live once the tourist season begins in the spring. Until then, he continues to record original music of his own. 

“We can start recording some new songs that my friend and I, who are in this project of our own, are writing. We want to record these songs and get the album out (before) the next tourist season starts” He said. “We won’t have time to do it then because we’ll have to play covers to make a living.”

In Croatia, the music industry has evolved much like the rest of the world, where physical sales of music have given way to online streaming services like Spotify and Deezer. For a Croatian singer, there is not a large enough market for Aničić to make a living on that alone. He depends on live performances and royalties to make a living.

“It’s been maybe three or four years now and we’re starting to make some royalties out of streaming but that’s like, really low, really low rates.” Aničić said. “I doubt that an artist is going to get rich out of it.”

Being rich has not been something that Aničić sees as a necessary measure of success as a musician. 

“I’m proud that I have been able to do it (full-time) for 10 years now and not switching careers or having two jobs to make a living. It’s not that easy … people think musicians are earning a lot of money, well some of them do, but that’s like 1% of them.”

“The main thing is that you do what you like to do and that it takes the course that you wanted it to take.” Aničić continues. “Anybody can tell you later on that you should have done things differently but if you do not think that you should have done things differently then you’re successful.”

Moving forward, Aničić continues to record more music, and produce for other local artists before the tourist season begins when, hopefully, the pandemic has subsided.

“I have a small studio set up at home and I can always record a clip here and there and put it out on Facebook.” Aničić said. “Then just recently I produced a small three song session for a young Croatian singer here from Zagreb. She absolutely killed it”

“Even though I’m at home and can’t play live I’m still as busy as ever.”

As he continues to work from home during the pandemic, Aničić sees the value of a streaming service like AymoLive that can allow artists to stream live performances online.

“I like the idea and I think that it should be done no matter how things with the virus go on. I think that there will always be some people that will want to hear some music out of their homes.”