After months of intensive work, the Bulgarian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 has been revealed by BNT today as “Beautiful Mess”. It will be performed by upcoming talent show star Kristian Kostov.
The first singer born in the new millennium to enter the competition
Born in Moscow on 15 March 2000, Kristian Kostov has a truly international family. His father is Bulgarian while his mother is from Kazakhstan. The 16 year old, who turns 17 this week, is famous for his appearances on The Voice Kids in Russia in 2014, where Dima Bilan mentored him to the final.
Talking about his experience on The Voice Kids at such a young age, Kristian said:
“Dima is a great guy and he was the one who inspired me to reach the final and give my best week after week. Without him it would have been impossible for me to do it.”
One year after his stint on The Voice Kids in Russia, Kristian was on the Bulgarian seaside for a holiday together with his family. While ordinary young people are normally tempted to just enjoy the sunshine on the beach, Kris had other plans in mind. Instead, he decided to try his luck in the Bulgarian version of X Factor and signed up for one of the regional castings taking place at the time. He finished as the runner-up, becoming a true teen icon in the process, having been mentored under the wing of the famous Bulgarian music producer Stanislava Armoutlieva – head of Virginia Records.
Kristian has more than proven his talent and singing capabilities across the shows, in particular singing Chandelier in the 6 Chair Challenge round at The X Factor Bulgaria. He went on to sing “Sorry” by Justin Bieber during his run in the live-shows to the final.
“This is the biggest and best birthday present I have ever dreamed of”
Following his success, he signed a contract with Virginia Records which brought him to new projects. Last year, Kristian released his first Bulgarian-language single, “Ne si za men”, which also has an English version titled “You Got Me Girl”.
His most recent hit was the joint project with hip-hop artists Pavel and Venci Venc’, “Vdigam LEVEL”, the song topped the charts in Bulgaria for 14 weeks and tallied almost 6 million YouTube views.
Currently Kristian Kostov is among the most famous artists in Bulgaria from the so called “new generation” and has one of the biggest and most devoted fan bases in the country who supports him in every step he takes.
“This is the biggest and best birthday present I have ever dreamed of. Now I am literally flying from happiness, but this challenge makes me realise the enormous responsibility I have from now on. To represent Bulgaria at such a prestigious music stage certainly is something that requires a lot of work and effort until all of the details are polished. To be one of the youngest participants has been the case for me in almost all of my past appearances on different competitions, but I am sure that I can handle this in the best possible way. In Kyiv I will perform from the bottom of my heart and soul, because the project is really something I feel connected to.”
“It was an experience like in the army”
Just like most teenagers nowadays, Kris is also obsessed with the Internet:
“The truth is that I enjoy communicating with my fans. I run all of my accounts personally and for me it’s like a hobby. I particularly enjoy Instagram the most I must say, although because I’ve been so busy lately, I haven’t been that active. For Eurovision I will run a new Twitter account as well, so join me… only if you like, of course!”
Whether you believe it or not, Kristian has a very shy nature. That was even one of the reasons why he got involved with music in the first.
“My mother was very concerned that I was so shy and closed-off. That’s why one day we went together to the famous art-school “Neposedy” in Moscow. It is very popular and there are even special castings to enter. It was an experience like in the army – no delays allowed, if you break the rules there are additional activities, they may even terminate your membership and so on. But it really helped me a lot. Despite this, all the shows, concerts, I am what I am and it is very hard to escape from my shy nature. Of course, now I am more confident in my skills than before, but I doubt I will change entirely. For example, when I do a new project, new recording, etc. I never tell anyone unless I start liking it. In some cases I never reach this point. On the positive side, I don’t really need any critics, since I am doing their job on my own!”
“I will perform on that amazing stage looking like a spaceship!”
The invitation to represent Bulgaria at Eurovision comes in a moment when Kristian has quite a tight schedule at his school in Moscow.
“Because I wanted to dedicate my whole life fully to music, I decided to take two years in one and finish high school this year. Of course, this decision brings me many exams and other things to do. Now my most important exam is the Eurovision Song Contest and it is certainly the most difficult one. That is the biggest stage where an European artist could appear; the level of production is just amazing and beyond any words to describe. For years, I’ve watched the contest at home and now I will perform on that amazing stage looking like a spaceship!”
“By the way, why we can’t have Eurovision classes at school?”
Kristian continues with his excitement in representing Bulgaria at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 this year in Kyiv, Ukraine:
“I get excited even by seeing images in my head of all the fans around me, the flags, the chanting. I’ve lived through these images every night since I have been told that I am the chosen one. Now every second my soul is in Kyiv and I just can’t wait to do it. Wherever it’s possible I also watch past shows, and even take notes. And I’m not joking at all, it’s like an universe and it’s a science on it’s own. For example, try explaining how the voting works! By the way, why we can’t have Eurovision classes at school?”
“I like the song, because it’s what I am”
“Beautiful Mess” will be released on Monday 13 March at 17:00 CET. It has been described as a strong contemporary pop ballad with some ethnic instrumentation. This keeps the feeling of the entry very much in Bulgaria despite its modern arrangement.
When asked about his song, Kristian gave an interesting explanation as to why he and his songwriting team chose this title.
““Beautiful Mess” is authentic, interesting and transmits the sentiment and the main idea of the song. I like the song, because it’s what I am. Last November, I started working with Bobby [the composer Borislav Milanov] with the idea to submit a song for Eurovision either for this year or next. We recorded 4 songs, but “Beautiful Mess” was the one I felt genuinely inspired by. As a performer, now I’m trying to find myself and actually this is my first song that has a deeper meaning. And I like it a lot. My vision for the future is actually to do projects that make sense, so that’s a step in the right direction for me. Besides this, my fans will see me in a different light than in my past projects, so I am really curious to find out what their reaction will be.”
“The choice was extremely hard, but that was very pleasant pain to suffer”
It is fair to say that this marks the second year of reinvigorated efforts by BNT to bring the Bulgarian participation at Eurovision to a new level. Similarly to last year with “If Love Was a Crime”, this year’s entry “Beautiful Mess” will be relevant to current music trends and will have an international appeal.
The composers of the song are Borislav Milanov from Bulgaria, Sebastian Armann from Austria, and Joacim Bo Persson from Sweden, all of whom were part of last year’s successful entry “If Love Was A Crime”. The songwriting team is also joined by Alex Omar and Alexander Blay.
The Executive Producer of the Contest in Bulgaria and Head of Delegation, Joana Levieva-Sawyer, is also very satisfied with the final result of the efforts this year. She said:
“To be quite honest – we received more projects than we expected considering the big requirements that we had. The choice was extremely hard, but that was very pleasant pain to suffer.”
Bulgaria have a long-term vision for the future
Joana Levieva-Sawyer continued on, describing Bulgaria’s new found approach to the Eurovision Song Contest.
“We believe that Kristian will represent Bulgaria with dignity and success. He is a very interesting artist and quite an extraordinary young guy. I am speaking not only about his qualities as a performer which are obvious. Initially, I was really shocked by his way of thinking and how mature he is. He also has a very specific sense of humour. This year we will show you a really very interesting character and a song with a message and meaning.”
“Other than that, I really hope the knowledge we get this year from this cooperation will help us to build the long-term future of the contest in our country by establishing a well-produced national final which could be only possible in a close partnership with the Bulgarian music industry and beyond.“
Poli Genova and the “If Love Was a Crime” team brought Bulgaria their record-high 4th place finish in Stockholm last year.
What do you make of Bulgaria’s choice for the Eurovision Song Contest 2017? Let us know in the comments below if “Beautiful Mess” is everything you had hoped it would be!