Jarrett’s Radio – Interview: Bulgarian Goddess
Johannes and Daniela talk about and perform her single “Borderlands”, just before it was released in 2020. Here you can follow the interview in English:
J: Bulgarian Goddess, your artist name, where does it come from?
D: One of my childhood favourite films was Anastasia. It’s about a girl who lives at an orphanage and then finds out she’s a Russian princess. I’m adopted from Bulgaria so I’ve always loved that film, and I changed my Instagram profile to Bulgarian Princess as a joke. But then I wanted to upgrade, and then it was Goddess.
J: But it wasn’t your idea to have it as an artist name?
D: No I collaborated with a producer in London who thought I should use that name for our release.
J: So Bulgarian Goddess already exists on Spotify?
D: Yes, with London Elektricity on the album Building Better Worlds, and another tune with the Stockholm-based Eurodyke, one of my best friends.
J: Borderlands is the first tracks you’ve produced yourself. How has that process been?
D: It’s been a long process, I started writing the song 2,5 years ago, and the producing has taken 2 years. I’ve written lyrics and music, and arranged, recorded and produced it all myself.
J: Which influences do you have?
D: I’m inspired by Laura Mvula, Lianne la Havas, and also London Elektricity who I’ve worked with.
J: A lot of British names! One can also hear a lot of instruments in your song such as double bass and clarinets. Do you have any orchestral influences?
D: I love film music, so I guess that can be heard in my music.
J: How do you program the drums?
D: I find it a bit hard, so I use Logic’s plug-in Drummer, and some loops.
J: But you play everything else on the keyboard?
D: Yes, that’s how I usually compose.
J: Any tips for people that want to start producing?
D: Just get started. Make quick decisions so you don’t get stuck, and be happy with what you’re achieving.
J: Is Logic a good program to start with?
D: What you start with is probably what you’ll get on with. Make sure you like the layout of the program. Logic is a bit cheaper than the others, but it’s only compatible with Mac.
J: Borderlands, what does it mean in this context?
D: It’s about being in between, both literally and metaphorically. It has a political meaning in a way, about heritage and identity.
J: The harmonies are very interesting. It starts off quite dark, in minor, and then opens up to a lot of harmonic landscapes in major. How do harmonies and lyrics affect each other?
D: It’s all about context. If you write a song entirely in major, it doesn’t give you the same feeling as a combination of major and minor.
J: Do you write chords, melody or lyrics first?
D: All of them at the same time, to find a good balance.
J: You also write a lot of poetry. Is that a part of your composing as well?
D: Yeah, my lyrics are usually based on longer texts, and so is this song.
J: And this song was originally part of a bigger project?
D: Yeah it was an entire project about borderlands, but this was the only song good enough to release.
J: But you have a bunch of other songs that you’re going to finish and release?
D: Yeah a lot!
J: This song will be released on Cherish Label. Tell me a bit about that!
D: They are an internet-based “record company”, but it’s simpler than that. They only release music produced by women and non-binary. Check out their other stuff as well!