Krassimir Avramov: “One day I want to win a Grammy Award!”

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Krassimir Avramov a.k.a. The Voice. He is LA Music Awards winner, Eurovision contest finalist, one of the few singers with solo concerts in the famous Kodak Theatre – home of the “Oscars”. His singing range is about 4 octaves or more precisely over 36 tones.

On the 15th of December you had a great concert in Copernicus Center, a 2000 seats venue. How was it?

It was great because not often I come to Chicago after having just corporate events for the last ten years, finally I had little bit bigger concert here in this city, which is one of my favorite.

Just before arriving to Chicago you had a concert in Bulgaria, in the second largest city – Plovdiv, with guest stars from Italy and Russia. The huge Italian star from the pop group “Matia Bazar” - Silvia Mezzanotte was part of it. How was this concert accepted there?

Well, Bulgaria is my homeland, so thank God everything is always well accepted. The concert was great. It was fun toshare the stage with the famous Silvia Mezzanotte and the young Russian singer Galina Korotaeva.

Are they your new singing partners?

Last year I was working on duets with different people from different countries. I was working with a Turkish singer named Nurten, also Galina from Russia and now Silvia from Italy. It’s interesting because it was my dream to work exactly with Silvia, because when I was a child “Matia Bazar” was one of the top bands in Italy. They were really popular in Europe and since I heard them for the first time, I said to myself that one day I’m going to sing the song “VacanzeRomane”. On this concert I had the chance to make that dream come true and to sing that song with the vocal of the band. It was amazing!

That’s а great song, I know it.

Yes, it’s very popular. I had such a great time working with Silvia. Actually she came to Bulgaria not only for the concert but to talk with me on a project we’ve been working on for the Italian music festival and contest called “San Remo”. That’s really prestigious contest in Italy.

And you’ll be able to participate no matter that you are not Italian?

These rules applied in the past, now the things has changed and everybody can be a part of the competition the only one catch is it to be “attached”  to an Italian singer as a duet.

Tell me about your recent hit song “Keep Control”.

It’s very unusual song for me because I am famous in Europe and America as a classical crossover pop-opera singer. All of my concerts are with a symphony orchestra and fit this style.

That is your staple?

Yeah… I’m one of the pioneers, who created “Popera” as a classical crossover genre.

Are you the pioneer or one of the pioneers?

Well… I just want to be…

Modest?

Modest…(LOL!) Okay, I am the pioneer of this word. I created it and now the people are using it. Josh Groban, Sarah Brightman, Il Divo are in this field. “Keep Control” which is written by an American composer and lyricist Anna Montgomery who lives in Los Angeles, where I used to live for 12 years. In one point we’ve been living together and she wrote this modern pop song to which I never paid attention.

You were on a different page then?

True… I was on a totally different page or even a book. A month ago she remade it and sang it and I got inspired. I thought to myself: “WOW! I think I can do it very well too!” Then I invited Michael Fleming who is popular rapper in Europe and who is originally from the United States.

That’s completely different style from your previous songs.

All I did was kind of classical, now I am doing modern discosound with the participation of DJ’s.

Now you are working on your third album. Will it consist primarily of this kind of songs?

The album I’m working on will be only with modern disco songs but also with hip-hop and techno sound. Something like a mashup combo.  

How is it going to be called?

I have no idea but for now it might be called “Keep Control”. I think it’s a nice work title.

Couple days ago, while in Chicago, you got a call from the manager of the world wide famous group “Nightwish”. What was the reason?

First of all, he is a Bulgarian. He is also the creator of the group “Nightwish”, he got them all together and now they are world famous touring group. Couple of days ago a friend of mine sent my new music video to Plamen, that’s his name, and he loved it. Actually he wrote me on Facebook saying “I wanna talk to you about your music”. So I called him today and understood that they want to present my song there in Switzerland and other Scandinavian countries. And that’s great.

Did he tell you what he liked about your song?

He compared the song to “Modern Talking” style and George Michael. He said that it has all the ingredients to be a huge hit. And I was happy to hear that because the last years I was creatively searching really carefully, wanting to make something new and different for my music.

Were you taking any risks?

Yes and no… It was an experiment for me and the bottom line is that it worked.

You mean that it’sa  successful experiment?

For the moment – yeah! We are going to see what is going to happen next.

What’s the feedback?

It’s all positive.

Both from fans and music critics?

Well it’s new song and I’ve just signeda contract with the Balkan television called “Balkanika” –to distribute it in the Balkan area, covering 11 countries. Right now the television is showing the clip ten times a day and so are couple of music channels in Bulgaria. Hopefully now the song will become famous in the Scandinavian countries and Romania.

So your priority markets are – Balkans, Russia, Scandinavian countries… What about China?

Sure, focusing also on China. Last summer I had several concerts in Turkey and I was really surprised about the hospitality there and the great people of the country.

So you liked the audience there? 

The audience is just amazing. They really do love and appreciate the music.

You felt comfortable there?

Yes, that’s true. Then after that I went touring in Russia and there the audience is also unbelievable. They love the music too and have great hospitality starting right at the airport. Russians are friendly, beautiful and funny. I had a lot of fun.

Can you pick one market that you can say it’s your favorite?

I really want to find my place inthe Asian market. Years ago my producer – Justin Kim, (who is movie producer and art collector, very well known in Los Angeles) was my connection to the Korean community. We had pretty good success. The LA Koreans are like 2 million people and I had many concerts for them. But now I want to focus on the Asian market because they like the different music and the people who experiment.

They are not conservative.

Not at all.They go for everything new, everything that comes outside of the box.

And this audience will be good match for you and your type of music?

I think it will be a great match and sellable too.

Because you are unique performer who can’t be compare to anyone?

Well I’m going to let the people say it.

The people already think that, because I am actually quoting words of music critics.

And I am glad the people say so.

Do you worry for the future when you watch news and how this affects your music?

The thing that worries me the most is that people have become greedy. In the pig picture people are really greedy.

The majority or some of them?

I am talking about the majority. And I think that this wish to have more and more will make the world collapse one day. But there are people which are trying to do things better and in my opinion music can help. The music has the power to change people in a good way. Now we live in a very difficult world, in a dangerous and scary societies… I don’t know how this is going to stop, but I as a musician and the other musicians, we can use music as a tool to change people’s hearts. The music can inspire and give dreams. Most of the kids today forgot how to dream and that’s really sad, because dreams can achieve a lot.

How many languages do you sing in?

In English, Italian, Latin, Spanish, Greek, Russian and sometimes in my own language.

How do you call this language?

I don’t know… If you want you can call it gibberish (LOL). But it actually sounds like a real language. The funny thing is that I get inspired to write a specific song in that language and I don’t see it in any other.

How does it sound?

Sometimes it’s kind of Latin, other times people hears their language. One time I was singing on Bar Mitzvah in Beverly Wilshire Hotel. I had 45 minutes program and in the end the audience wanted me to sing more. I didn’t prepare more songs so I decided to sing acapella. I started to improvise and sing in my own language, singing everything that came to my mind. The people were amazed, clapping all the time… When I finished the song the owner of the event came to me, with tears on her eyes and said: I loved the last song you sang in Farsi. I asked her which song exactly and she answered: the acapella. Then she started asking me about the lyrics and who wrote it because it was such a beautiful story.
Then I remember I said to myself: WOW, I sang in Farsi! (LOL)

 

So obviously your language is working.

 

So far, it works just fine.

 

I know that recently you preformed in Russia the song “Подмосковные вечера”, a famous Russian song, in your language.

 

That was in Latin, but in the real Latin language, not my interpretation of it.

 

How can a musician make money today?

We are living in this internet progress days and people and their kids are living in a virtual life. So today music is really easy to be stolen. You make an album and you download it on iTunes and Amazon but it takes just one to buy it and to upload it on a site for free music downloading.
A while ago I had a concert and after it the people were lining up to buy my CDs and asking for my signature. A girl came to me with a blank CD, then she said: “Krassimir, can you give me an autograph on this CD, please. I found all of your songs for free in Internet, that’s why I didn’t buy your original CD”. And she was so happy to share with me this information, can you imagine? At that moment I just wanted to choke her. I didn’t, of course.

So now the opportunities to make money are limited? You can’t rely on DVD sales for your major income?

To be honest – at the moment the answer is no, but I do live concerts where I can really sell. If I have audience of 2 000 people, full house, I sell probably 20-30%.

What about writing books? You wrote a book.

I wrote a novel called “Between two worlds” which describes my life. It’s almost sold out in Bulgaria, but I am translating it into Russian and English. Hopefully it will reach the American readers. It’s really inspiring book about the music business behind the scene – I lived in Los Angeles for 12 years so I really have an experience. And then I got to be part of this famous European song contest – “Eurovision”.

Was that the occasion to write the book?

Well the contest is the pick moment in the story, but there is a lot of crime, scandals, love, drama and comedy. But if I have to be honest I don’t like contests that much.

Can you say that this Eurovision contest is geo-political?

Absolutely!

It’s not very objective?

No. People really don’t know what’s going on behind the scene. They are just watching somebody singing, but they don’t have a clue what you have to go through just to represent your country… Sometimes it is hell!

What’s your new year’s resolution?

Well I want to start working more. I want to be able to go to the gym more often… I want to be healthy, wealthy, strong, wise and blessed of course.

What about your show business carrier? What do you want to accomplish in your business this year?

Well I don’t know about this year, but at one point of my life I want to get a Grammy. That’s my dream.

I will keep my fingers crossed for you!

 

Svetlozar Momchilov
Host of “Stanley’s New America” Talk Show, broadcast on Comcast Cable Channels 19, 35, 397, 679 and air channel 24.4






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