Press Release


July 10, 2024

Warner Music South East Europe (WM SEE) today announced its latest venture by launching WM Balkans.  The JV is a collaboration between WM SEE, Croatian label Dancing Bear, Serbian label Mascom and Slovenian label NIKA.  

WM Balkans will sign and develop artists mainly from Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia, but also from other West Balkan countries, such as Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and North Macedonia, connecting them to Warner Music’s wider network. 

Izabela Ciszek-Podziemska, General Manager, WM SEE, will oversee the label in addition to her other responsibilities across the wider region.  The launch enables WM SEE to house all of its activities in the Western Balkans under one label, while it also continues to operate in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, and Romania.

Music currently out on the WM Balkans label includes “Rio Rio” from Sergej Pajić and Edita. Bosnian singer Sergej Paijić is a massive Serbian influencer, boasting more than 1.1 million followers on TikTok and 500,000 on Instagram, giving him a massive fan base for his music. He’s already seen big success with the track in Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia thanks to Dancing Bear and the other partners behind WM Balkans.  Edita Aradinović is a Serbian pop vocalist and songwriter with an established market position and with over 200k followers on TikTok and 600k on Instagram. “Rio Rio” is their first collaboration and has already generated more than a million views on YouTube in its first week of release. 

Scheduled for July 19th is “Jug represents”, from Ukić, a rising rap star from a small town in Serbia, who last year broke through with his song “Tenzija”, which has enjoyed more than 6.3 million plays.

Izabela Ciszek-Podziemska comments: “Warner Music Balkans is the culmination of the team’s relentless pursuit of collaborating with the very best partners in the region over the last couple of years.  Bringing our JVs and investments under one label will benefit everyone involved and enable our artists to get the very best from Warner Music’s global network.  With talent such as Edita, Sergej Pajić, and Ukić releasing music on the label, we’ve got a great summer festival season ahead of us!” 

Slobodan Nesovic, CEO of Mascom, says: “Iza and the Warner Music team have hit the ground running with WM Balkans.  They’ve worked with us to promote and place Sergej Pajić and Edita’s next collab track through the label and we’re already seeing great results.  This is just the beginning!”

Silvije Varga, Co-Founder and MD of Dancing Bear, adds: “It brings me great pleasure to announce the launch of WM Balkans.  A hit can come from anywhere and this new venture will enable us to look at some exciting cross-collaborations.  I’m excited to see what we’ll achieve together.”

Darjo Rot, Co-Founder of NIKA, finishes: “We’ve worked with Warner Music for almost thirty years now, and the launch of WM Balkans is the next chapter in our partnership.  Alongside the other JV partners and their artists, we’ll truly be able to propel each other into new genres and regions.”

Over the last few years Warner Music SEE has made a str0ng of investments, mergers and acquisitions.  In 2022, the WM SEE team acquired a stake in Serbian label Mascom, which is run by its CEO Slobodan Nesovic, and represents artists across many genres. 

In March this year the team made a minority stake in Slovenian label NIKA, which is run by its Co-Founders Darjo Rot and Marko Stopar. 

In June 2024, the team took a minority stake in Dancing Bear, a leading independent label in Croatia, run by Silvije Varga, its Co-Founder and Managing Director.  As part of their recent extended deal, Dancing Bear is able to tap into the services of ADA, Warner Music’s independent distribution and label services arm, on behalf of its artists and potentially upstream them to the Warner Music global roster.