|Birth name||Maja Berović|
|Also known as||Maya|
Ilijaš, Bosnia-Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia
|Genres||electropop, dance, pop-folk|
|Label||Grand Production, City Records, IN Music s.r.o, BN Music, Imperia|
|Associated acts||Jala Brat, Buba Corelli|
Maja Berović (born 8 July 1987), known by her stage name Maya, is a Serbian-Bosnian pop singer. Born in Ilijaš, Bosnia her professional career began when she was signed to Belgrade-based record label Grand Production, aged 19. She has since become one of the leading pop singers in the region, with six studio albums and multiple singles.
Maya has a partner named Alen Dragosav since 2006. They married on 31 July 2016. He served as the executive producer of her first two albums. They relocated to Graz, Austria in 2009 and also have a "spacious home" in Belgrade.
Following the May 2014 floods and landslides in Bosnia and Serbia, Maya donated money and made sure that food and clean, bottled water was made available to those most-affected by the natural disasters. She said her "soul hurt" watching the suffering following the storm.
Berović was born 8 July 1987 in the village of Malešići, part of the Ilijaš municipality near Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina to Bosnian Serbian parents. Her father (1960–1990) died at age 30, when she was three. Fifty-seven years after her father's birth, she released the song "Balmain". The Berović family lived in Malešići until the end of the Bosnian War in 1995, when her mother, older brother and she relocated to Bratunac where her mother is originally from. In Bratunac, she attended school and first began practising music. From age 12 she sang in local discotheques every weekend until she turned 18. Berović grew up listening to artists such as Dragana Mirković, Lepa Brena and Ceca and lists them as her musical influences.
Berović said in 2016 about her childhood during the Bosnian War: "I had the bad fortune to belong to the generation that grew up during the war in Bosnia. I carry many ugly, and beautiful memories from that period of my life. The ugly memories include my family's relocation in search of a peaceful life, even though, at the time, I was not fully aware of the horrors of the situation. I spent most of my days playing, like any child."
2007–2016: career beginnings and early success
Still a teenager, Maya was signed to the Belgrade-based record label Grand Production and released her first studio album Život uživo (Life, Live) in August 2007. The songs were written by famed Serbian songwriters Marina Tucaković and Aleksandar Milić, among others. Other than achieving moderate success with the song "Džin i limunada" (Gin and Lemonade). She soon parted ways with Grand Production. In 2015 Berović explained that she and Grand director Saša Popović had differing ideas and that she is happy with her current label City Records. Over a year later, in December 2008, she released her second studio album Crno zlato (Black Gold) under the short-lived label IN Music. Black Gold was recorded at a studio in Zemun. Ivana Selakov, a then-unknown artist was featured as a backup vocalist on several songs. "Sedativ" (Sedative), "Uspomene" (Memories) and the title song all received more radio airplay than Gin and Lemonade had the previous year.
Two months after the release of Black Gold, Maya debuted a self-released non-album single "Koliko te ludo volim ja" (Madly in Love with You) in February 2009. Soon after, she began work on her third studio album under the Bosnian record label BN Music, based in Bijeljina.
Her big breakthrough came upon the release of her third and eponymous album, Maya, and the success of the feminist ballad "Djevojačko prezime" (Maiden Name), in February 2011. In December, the song was the recipient of the "Hit of the Year" award in Sarajevo. The rest of the album was composed of mostly upbeat pop-folk songs which were perceived well by critics and her fans.
Maya began work on another album upon returning from a month-long vacation in January–February 2012 on an Australian cruise ship near Sydney and spending ten days in Dubai. She signed a recording contract with the record label City Records. The first single off the album was "Leti ptico slobodno" (Fly Bird, Freely), written by Dragiša Baša and produced by Dejan Abadić. It premiered 25 June 2012.
Djevojka sa juga (Girl from the South), her fourth studio album, was first released 17 October in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and 20 October in neighboring countries. She has said that she was "extremely satisfied" with her new labels support of her music. Girl from the South marked the first time she collaborated with Damir Handanović, a composer who has produced hit songs for artists such as Ceca, Dara Bubamara, Elvira Rahić, Darko Lazić and Mile Kitić, among many others. The photo shoot for the album lasted 18 hours and had to be paused when Maya became ill from hunger.
Upon the release of Girl from the South and comments from the press and public on how her music and style differed from that of her overtly-sexual colleagues, she was quoted as saying:
2018: Europa Song Contest
On 14 August the Bosnian broadcaster announce that the country will represented in the eighth edition of the Europa Song Contest in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina by Maya Berović with the song "Neka Stvar". After the winning from Maya the Bosnian broadcaster resend her.