The legacy of Toše Proeski 

If there is one singer in Macedonia that everyone knows, it’s Toše Proeski. Whether it is grandmother or under twenty-years-old, it seems like they all have something to say. Toše Proeski was usually represented with glowing adjectives and it can be said that he was the pride of this country. 

Toše Proeski, born in 1981 in Prilep, was famous not only because of his music but also meaningful work with children. After eight albums, several music competitions and a lot of concerts in many countries, Proeski died in a car accident when he was only 26 years old. Despite his young age he is still a very respected and meaningful person for many people all around the Balkans. But is it only people who are older or is it possible that Proeski, a person who has been called ‘Elvis Presley of the Balkans’, has a place in nowadays young generation’s hearts as well? Now three young students from Skopje tell their thoughts about Toše and what he means to them. 

Toše Proeski is in memories of the older generation especially. Many parents want to respect Proeski’s career and his humility by telling their kids stories about him. Dorotea Grkovikj is one of those young people who doesn’t have a lot of memories of Toše because of her age, but the memories that she has is related to her parents. “I just remember how they cried every time they heard his music”. Proeski’s death deeply affected the entire nation. Dorotea actually thinks that after his death he became more respected. Official state funeral, which was held in Krusevo (the city that he grew up in), was attended by many people, as well as Dorotea’s family. “We were at his funeral at Kruševo because we felt the need to show some respect”. 

For young people, Proeski’s death is one of the first things that comes to their mind. Because it was a car accident, it shocked everyone. Filip Stepanovski is one of those people who was young when this happened. “One particular thing that I remember was how sudden it was and that a year later we bought a parrot as a pet and named it Toše”, Filip told.

Therefore, Proeski affected people’s lives in many different ways. However, the music is the thing that he was famous for. The songs were part of the young generation’s childhood and nowadays you can still hear his songs on different events all around Macedonia, or overall even in the Balkans. Maybe it is because of the nostalgia, but even though it would not be people’s favorite type of music, people would still respect him. 

Jana Oltovska, who also heard a lot of stories about Toše and his music from her parents, pointed out his impact on music here in Macedonia. “Young people know him because he had a big influence here”. The influence wasn’t only about music. Toše was regional UNICEF ambassador because he put in a lot of effort to demand better education for kids. He also held a concert in Skopje and the money collected from the tickets were used to renovate schools. 

Dorotea, Jana, Filip or someone else, it seems very clear that people have something to say about this person. “We talk about him around foreigners because he truly is our country’s sweetheart”, Dorotea summarized. However, not all people of younger generations are big fans of Toše’s music. Depending on the person, some people think that nobody should forget him and even suggest making a movie about his life, other people don’t see it as important to idolize Toše if music is not their type. And every opinion is valuable. Still we can notice that people in Macedonia understand the significance and have many good things to say about him.  

Katariina Weijo 


BalkanInsight – Macedonia bids farewell to Tose Proeski – Toše Proeski

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