Denitza Todorova aka D E N A
songwriter and vocalist – Berlin
Like a ray of light, D E N A’s name blasted through the music world. Berlin-based songwriter and vocalist Denitza Todorova, better known as D E N A, first stepped into focus as a guest vocalist on the two The Whitest Boy Alive albums, but when she took the plunge and went solo in the summer of 2012 she had people’s ears pricking up all over the world. Since then she has been on tour and among other gigs played the SXSW Festival 2013 in Austin, Texas; she released her “Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools” EP on Kitsuné, followed by her latest single “Thin Rope” at the end of July.
We are not the only ones to appreciate her contribution to the music scene: disco naïveté is also a big fan: “Pop doesn’t get any better than this, believe me.” We have nothing to add to these words, except: Please welcome D E N A as a supporter of IWISHUSUN. We are very happy to include her on our friends list!
What is more important to you, the sense of taste or sight? Why?
Sight. Being able to see the world with your own eyes is like – magic! It’s hard to imagine to have to choose: all the senses are important and connected to each other and make us perceive life the way we do and thank God for that, if you are lucky enough. But in theory I wouldn’t trade sight and vision for taste as in tasting food etc.
Your songs are positive and catchy, as well as being cutting-edge melodies at the same time. But then it’s your voice and an eclectic mixture of hip hop, old school R&B and dance music influences that get along with your meaningful, often ironic lyrics – the result is a very unique sound. What is your vision for your personal work?
Thank you! That is the best compliment ever. I guess it’s to question and reflect life through my prism, avoiding simplistic storytelling, but bring easiness into the game of this complicated life.
“Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools” is a witty critique of status symbols and a world that only acts materialistically. What does your scheme of a perfect world look like?
Wow, that is a big question. The world is such a big place and I can’t even imagine how it would be if everything would be synched to one standard scheme. That would be a bit creepy, no matter what the standard might be.
On the global side, a world without hunger, utter poverty, child diseases and wars would definitely be a good place to start!
On a personal level, a life with no worries about how to pay your rent would be amazing, but sometimes I think it’s exactly the hassle of not knowing what’s going to happen, that keeps you moving on and being creative with what you’ve got.
Then again, your track “Games” describes a scene that everyone who has achieved success or fame to a certain extent is probably familiar with: “… everything is all okay until the point when you start to pretend that you want me to be my real friend … but something’s telling me that you’re playing games. I know what you want me to do is to connect you with everyone that I know, drop a nice word on you … all that you want is to be closer to the stars”. Did you have similar bad experiences?
Yeah, it describes the scenario when you can’t differentiate between genuine feelings and friendship and fake niceness and calculations, when someone actually uses you for their purposes. It’s a song about friendship and disappointment, ‘cause yes, I have experienced it. It’s also a song about being aware of “new friends” (in the Drake meaning of it) while everyone is doing their thing on the way to get where they want to get. Also about the feeling that genuine, experienced and old friendship/love can be like home, compared to the wild world out there.
What is your tactic for making the world a better place?
Examining it from the inside and trying to formulate it all like it’s no biggie.
When was the last time you gave back and what did you do?
I washed the dishes at a friend’s place after she made breakfast for us yesterday.
Who is your personal hero?
Born and raised in Bulgaria, you moved to Berlin around 2005. Did your move change your creative work? If yes, how, and to what extent?
Yes, me and a friend of mine set up a band, I started programming beats, writing lyrics, singing and all. I guess it has something to do with the city to an extent; there is something about Berlin that just opens up more creative horizons, interesting people, inspiration and time to do what you want to do.
What would you like to see more often?
People in their summer clothes.
What do you prefer: sunrise or sunset?
Right now – sunsets.
What is your sound for IWISHUSUN?
Sampha – Indecision.
Photo: Tonje Thilesen.