Ništa Kontra Splita: Remembering Dino Dvornik, King of Funk

By 7 September 2017

“Nothing Against Split”: The famous words of Dino Dvornik, Split legend and Croatian King of Funk.

Today we remember someone just as important to Split as Hajduk, Diocletian’s Palace, and Saint Domnius - today we remember Split hero and musical legend Dino Dvornik.

While we celebrate a life lost too soon, exactly nine years ago today, we remember the unmistakable impact, contagious humor, and untouched legacy of one of the most important musical icons the city and region have seen. 

Dino Dvornik was a Croatian musician, singer, composer, songwriter, and actor born in Split on August 20, 1964. 

Dino was born as the second child of famous actor Boris Dvornik and mother Diana Tomić. From an early age, he was destined for the spotlight, and along with older brother Dean, he appeared in Miljenko Smoje’s cult series “Naše Malo Misto”. 

Dino soon found out that it was not acting he was after and decided to pursue music.

In 1981 when he was 17, he created a funk composition named "Kineski Zid" with brother Dean. The name of the group paid homage to the name of the building they lived in. “Kineski Zid” referred to one of two twin buildings in Split in the quarter of Spinut which was built in 1971. Located near Poljud Stadium, the buildings are the longest buildings with the largest number of squares and flats in Split. 

Kineski Zid was inspired by the musical genre of funk and influenced especially by the sounds of James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Cool and the Gang, George Benson, Earth Wind and Fire. Thus, Dino and Dean are known to have recorded the first funk material in former Yugoslavia. After the release of the album and a difference in ideas between Dino and Dean, Dino turned to a solo career that would one day consider him the Croatian King of Funk.

Dino’s music marked the late 80s and early 90s, and more often than not, Dino’s songs are still played in clubs around Croatia today. We’re sure you’ll recognize some of these. 

Dino was a four-time winner of the biggest music award in Croatia, the Porin, and was nominated a total of eight times.  Two Porins were awarded to Dino in 1996 for the song “Afrika”, in 1998 he won the Porin for the album “Enfant terrible” for the best production, and in 1999 he won for the best album, “Vidi of pisme”.

Dino was survived by his wife, Danijela, and his daughter Ella who have both helped to give Dino life after death through their projects and love. 

A born entertainer, life-long Hajduk supporter, and hero to us in Split, today we remember Dino Dvornik (August 20, 1964-September 7, 2008).