New Year’s Eve Kiss celebrates 50th anniversary

Maribor – A pop song without which Slovenians can hardly imagine a New Year’s Eve is celebrating its 50th anniversary. To mark the anniversary, a museum in Maribor honoured its singer and citizen Alfi Nipič with an exhibition which traces his 60-year career while he marked the anniversary in hospital ill with Covid-19.

The lyrics for Silvestrski Poljub were written by Dušan Velkavrh and music by Jože Privšek, while Nipič, now 77, recorded it on 8 December 1971.

The exhibition, termed I Shall Remain a Musician, is a collaboration between Nipič and the Museum of National Liberation.

It brings insight in Nipič’s entire career while focussing on Silvestrski Poljub as “the crown of his songs”, the museum’s director Aleksandra Berberih Slana said at the opening on Wednesday.

“We’re extremely happy that Alfi chose our museum as the partner for the exhibition. Fact is that the musician has left an incredible mark on the city of Maribor, Štajerska region and Slovenia over the past 60 years,” she added.

The idea was that Nipič would sing at the opening, but he could not make it as he has been in hospital for Covid-19, including ten days in intensive care.

Still, he thanked the medical staff for their efforts by signing them Silvestrski Poljub in his hospital bed with an oxygen mask, posting the recording online.

Nipič inherited his talent from his mother and started singing while still in secondary school. His career started rising in the decade between 1962-1973.

The same year he recorded Silvstrski Poljub he also joined the Avsenik Brothers, the most popular Slovenian Oberkrainer or pop folk music band, until 1990.

During the 30 years he was in the band he recorded over 250 new songs, won 16 golden records and toured German-speaking countries, as well as the US and Australia, after which he went solo and formed his own pop folk music band.

His son Dejan Nipič said at the exhibition opening that his father had wanted this exhibition very much, as well as the book, which will be published in the coming months.