In the end of 2013 I was lucky to discover a melancholic-passionate and yet deep voice interlaced with an acoustic guitar and harmonica, all expressed solo by Dunja Ercegovic aka Lovely Quinces, heard on her 5-track debut EP “No room for us” (released digitally worldwide on September 20th 2013). Beside the great voice, a majestic ability to compose all songs and write all texts on her own,  is that she started doing it officially just two years ago. Coming from Zadar, Croatia where she lives now, her music was already featured on many international stages, including Waves festival in Vienna, KME festival in Cagliari, solo shows in Chicago and New York, and 6 shows at Indie Week festival in Toronto.  Dunja don´t like to be labeled in a singular musical genre, but her sound is a magical combination of melancholic folk, indie rock and a blend of Americana. Songs inspired by love and relationship experiences mixed with influences of music goddesses like PJ Harvey, Joni Mitchell and Fiona Apple, just to name few.

She is not a role player, what you see and hear on a cd or live or in a talk, there´s always the same free spirit, with a same “joyeux de vivre”, same passion and charisma. Things that many big artists lost or even never had. A small portion of this you can discover in this open-hearted interview. We didn´t talk only about Lovely Quinces, there´s a lot of Dunja too.

- How Dunja would introduce Dunja?
Hiii, have you met Dunja ? Hah just kidding, well I don't know... I am quite simple or maybe it is better to say that I want simplicity in life but that doesn't quite work all the time because people are complicated and life is complicated...they are not making it any easy for me. (laugh) I appreciate good sense of humor and find it crucial even in fucked up situations. I sneeze when I pluck my eyebrows, I hate segways and when people say ''Fuck it'' like they are giving up. I absolutely hate when people park selfish their cars ... My horoscope sign is Taurus and I usually use the ''horoscope question'' as an icebreaker when I flirt with guys which shows that I am not quite good at that. I will stop now because I sense that I will finish this answer telling you about my daddy issues...oh wait... I just did that. (laugh)

- What is your current state of mind?
My thoughts are dancing tango right now or flight of the bumblebee.

- What is your motto?
"One day I will find the right words and they will be simple" - Jack Kerouac

- What is your obsession?
Falling in love I guess, I know that it is wrong to search for love but I just can't help myself... Years and years of reading Jane Austen has done its harm to my psyche...Also I am obsessed with food, which goes great with my love problem. (laugh)

- Your last dream (during sleeping)?
I often dream of apocalypse...I don't know why and that was my last dream that I remember.

- What is your best quality and what is your biggest weakness?
I think that my best quality is that I can make most of the situation and that I see beauty in everything, but my biggest weakness is that I expect too from people and I don't know how to confront with people because I hate hurting somebody. (laugh)

- In what occasion do you lie?
Like every human being, I lie when I don't want to hurt somebody. I am the best liar when I don't care and when the people to whom I lie to are not important but the worst liar when it is somebody I care about.

- Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to be psychic (laugh) , that would save me a whole lot of trouble.

- What would you change about yourself?
Nothing...I am what I am ...just evolving day by day until I reach my full potential as a human being...

- Which smell remembers you your childhood?
Well mostly smell of fresh cut grass, flowers, pine trees...

- As a child what you thought you will become when growing up?
Well I didn't think much, I just enjoyed being a child. I had a lot of interests but I was always attracted to music, art in general.

- You are from Split (she was born there), a Croatian city well known for talented musicians (and not only). Consequently is not really that strange that you sing; and you do it really well. Were you always conscious of your talent? When and how do you realize that you would like to sing; to see it as your future (work)? It´s a family thing, due that your father and grandfather were also in music?
I started being aware of it around twelve, but as a child I would always sing with my father in front of the cd player with my little brother in his arms. It is not a family thing because my dad never pushed me into music and I was very independent with my decision..(laugh) he was totally unaware that music was my passion.

- I read somewhere that you don´t like to be labeled in one music genre, but many people still somehow insist to “box you” into the country-inspired, folk acoustic performer. How do you see it? Who is Lovely Quinces? How this name came up?
I don't like genres only because in my opinion music shouldn't be labeled, I feel music or I don't feel and that is the only label that I need. They box me because my setup is only an acoustic guitar and my voice, maybe my music would sound different with a band or some other instruments but I don't care about it anymore, the main thing is that I am satisfied with it and that people can relate to my music. Well I had to choose a name quickly because I was uploading my demo ''Wrong house'' on youtube , I wanted to be personal and so I thought of my name Quince (Dunja), the adjective ''lovely'' just popped up because of my so called modesty (laugh).

- Why did you choose to sing in English instead in your mother language, Croatian?
It came naturally eventhough that might sound strange because it is not my mother language but I have been learning english since I was 5 years old and there was a lot of influence from the pop culture. I can't imagine writting in Croatian, because I got used to melodic sound of English .

- What the word freedom means to you?
It is being able to go anywhere in the world like there are no borders and to love whoever you want to love.

- What inspires you when composing a new song?
Guys. (laugh) I had a lot of minor heartbreaks so it inspires me to write about man-woman relationships.

- I imagine that you always carry with yourself a note book or almost a piece of paper to write down notes or anything that could inspire you for a song in any possible moment and time. How is a process of making a song? Is always that much romantic as we believe or there are times when is really a “pain in the ass”?
Writing music is exactly like that...it is pain in the ass and I hate it so much, but I have to do it otherwise I will go crazy. You go through so many emotions in that time because you have doubts about your talent, you are scared that you can't write anymore, then you are enthusiastic because you think it is going to be your best song ever, then you are pissed because you relive the pain you are writing about and in the morning you are depressed because you think it is not your best song ever so you put it on hold for two months...and then you get angry again when you remember the song you wrote two months ago and don't know why you haven't played it yet because it is the best song ever. (laugh) The true reward of music making comes when you get the chance to play it in front of people and when you see that it came through.

- How much does intuition play a part in the way you work?
A lot and mostly in life everything I do is with 70 % intuition (she smiles) because I am clueless most of the time when I try to be reasonable.

- Best movie, track, album, exhibition or event?
Une femme est une femme by Godard, Cache (Hidden) by Haneke...it is so hard to choose, the best event is when I watched Fiona Apple live in Toronto and Egon Schiele exhibition. I guess my one of my favourite tracks is ''As time goes by'' because when I was a child and listening to that track, that is the moment when I fell in love with music.

- You already released your EP "No Room For Us" containing five tracks. Could you please tell me more about it? Is love a red line?
It is a mini story about my love life . It was very strange to record it because I don't like recording in studios , I don't have the same adrenaline rush as on the stage. The artwork was done by my friend Miso Komenda, very talented artist and I think he really visualized and captured my music in the artwork. ''If we try to change and learn how to love, maybe God will let us have some fun.'' ..that is from my song ''No room for us'' and it is the summary of my EP, I think people carry to much burden from the past in new relationships and often analyze but you can't analyze when emotions are involved

/ directed and camera by Radislav Jovanov Gonzo / edited by Anita Jovanov /styling by NehaNeha designs ( Nela Klicek) /

- Beside your high quality musical contents, I was also impressed by the very unique art-design of your EP cover and not only (I checked Lovely Quinces FB profile). Few months ago you also released your first official video for the song "Wrong House". How much the visual part, the image is important for an artist, musician?
I believe in visual identity and I love to combine all spheres of art. I wanted for my first official video to introduce me in a way I want to be introduced...There is not a lot of plot because it is not that important, it is about emotions and my personality. I am very happy how it turned out.

- We are in the technology era and surrounded with different social networks. How is this important to you?
Well it is important for my music and how I connect to people who listen to it, but in my personal life I don't like it that much because it numbs people, they have become alienated eventhough there are some who say that social networking helped people to be more social..hm I don't know... I prefer en face conversation.

- Today out there are many easier ways to show your work (through internet for example), to get a possible contract, to succeed, but on the other way, more difficult to remain on the spot. And this is not just a music industry thing. Why is that? What do you think? What is the “gold recipe” for you to maintain what you have built?
Internet is amazing for distributing and sharing information , it is a gateway for all people who want to do something with their product but that doesn't insure you success. I can only talk about music: talent, hardwork, good songs and most important-charisma is something that is crucial if you want to succeed in the music industry...on the sidelines you have to have people who trust in your work and who understand bussiness and also pinch of luck.

- What do you think of the music industry, especially in the Balkans area? Where do you see yourself?
Hah I don't see myself living here out of music because that is impossible, especially in my genre and since I write in English. Music industry is stiff and not evolving that much , because they don't focus on new great underground bands.

-You did a mini European-American tour (Vienna, Cagliari, New York, Chicago and Toronto). How it was? A van-road thing? How public from different cities, countries reacted?
It was amazing, it was a plain-road thing. People reacted great, better that I expected and they didn't say that I don't have pigeon english while I sing which was a huge deal for me.

- What is next?
Just write write write new songs, try to be better everytime. I am playing at SXSW and Canadian music week , I hopet that will turn out good, and that is it what I know for now. (laugh)

- How do you see in your next 10 years?
Hopefully I will be happy.

To listen and buy the whole EP "No Room For Us" in digital version , click on the image below. For all news, updates and next live sessions, check Lovely Quinces FB page.

/ Photos and videos courtesy of Lovely Quinces /


  1. Love her music! <3

  2. Great, great, great interview! Congrats Tedore!

  3. She seems very cool. soooo in love with her voice <3

  4. Fashionloonatic2 April 2014 at 23:49

    Agree with Inge, her voice is sooo awwwwww!!

  5. But she’s stunning!!!