Aleksandar ‘Sanja’ Ilić (Belgrade, March 27, 1951) is a Serbian composer and architect. When he was 12 or 13, he wrote a song for Dragan Laković. When he was 16, his song “Pesnik mira”, sung by Lola Novaković, participated in the national selection for the 1968 Eurovision Song Contest. In 1975, he graduated from the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade. As a young man he performed in the band Vragolani and then in the group San. In the 1970s, he composed music for the anthem of the soccer club Crvena zvezda. His song “Hallo, Hallo” performed by Aska, represented Yugoslavia at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1982. His song “Princeya”, performed by Slađana Milošević and Dado Topić, took part in the Yugoslav national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest in 1984.
The idea for the creation of the band Sanja Ilić & Balkanika came from Sanja Ilić. Sanja Ilić & Balkanika is a group composed of young, famous, talented musicians playing old Balkan instruments combined with a rock band setting. Balkanika started to perform in 2000 and has a continuous development in sound that cannot be compared to any other in the world. It is first and foremost an original sound with a combination of elements of world music based on the powerful rhythms of the Balkans, and in modern filing and sensibility. Balkanika released three albums and performed all over the world. In 2018, Sanja Ilić & Balkanika represented Serbia in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Nova deca”.