Listening to D E N A leads me to reminisce about summers of my youth, in the early-mid 90s (when popular hip-hop and R&B was at its peak)… Just a young shorty, rockin’ a Scottie Pippen jersey as I lounged in my suburban yard with friends… dreaming of being one of the “big kids,” who could sip forties at stylishly choreographed barbeques… I suspect D E N A has longed for similar things… Berlin-based, Bulgarian songwriter Denitza Todorova (a.k.a. D E N A) found herself in the spotlight as of last summer, when the YouTube clip for her “Cash, Diamond, Rings, Swimming Pools” made a substantial splash. The pleasantly sassy and simplistic summertime jam about dreaming of… cash, diamond rings, and swimming pools… from the soil of Berlin… would’ve been well at-home on the MTV charts in ’94. Kitsune recently signed D E N A and this Tuesday, January 29th, will release the single, accompanied by five remixes. Last week I got a chance to chat with D E N A about what inspires her, her YouTube experience, and what we can expect of her in the future.
Izzy Cihak: This musical project is still relatively fresh and seemingly still “in-the-works.” How would you characterize DENA for those who may yet be unfamiliar with your work?
D E N A: Fat beats, deep chords and words.
IC: What are your biggest influences, whether musical or otherwise (artistic or “everyday”)?
D: There are so many things! Music, art, colours, but also the city and everything around, with its people, their relationships, vibes, and stories.
IC: So you utilized YouTube to gain your earliest popular recognition, which led to your first release. Was there anything that you found particularly appealing about this outlet?
D: Yeah, I think uploading your videos to Youtube is, nowadays, a bit more practical than sending VHS tapes to MTV and hoping that your video will be selected! Kidding, of course. The main point of using YouTube when not signed is that you can express your own creativity and communicate what you want to communicate to an audience. That, back in the day, was achievable only through other media, like TV, etc.
IC: What are your plans and hopes for 2013? Any more releases in the works? Any possible touring planned?
D: We are finishing my record with my producers from Kaiku Studios in this very moment. Been working on it in the past year. Parallel to that, we are starting to work on the next video and single and playing shows around Europe. There is definitely a lot of exciting new material to come out in 2013! See you soon!
*For those who got the allusion of this article’s title, you get a theoretical “gold star.”