Music🇧🇬 Bulgaria

Kristian Kostov releases “Intentional” to start his new music era

Following his shift into hyperpop in 2021, and releasing music which fits exactly in the space where pop music finds itself, Bulgaria’s Eurovision runner-up, Kristian Kostov, releases “Intentional”, a self-reflecting low-key pop ballad with huge production and storytelling lyrics.

“Liar, it takes one to know one”

“Intentional” is a co-release between Kristian Kostov and the experiential and experimental music project, VOSTOK, which links the artist himself intrinsically with his songwriting brother, Daniel Kostov, and music producer Sasha Xuman. There are clear elements of the Time EP which have influenced the production on this track, but at its heart and soul is Kristian’s lyrical storytelling.

In this era of shorter-length pop songs, usually to tie into hopeful success of discovery through TikTok trends, “Intentional” clocks in at 2:40 using the slightly uncommon 3/4 time signature. This slower tempo and choice of time signature keep the listener intrigued as to what’s about to come, with the ‘missing’ fourth beat encouraging listeners to wait in expectation for the chorus.

What is notable is the heavy strings and piano instrumentation throughout the track, bringing easy comparisons to a modern-day James Bond theme, and certainly the storytelling lyrics such as “liar, you’re a liar, takes one to know one” and “tinder makes a fire, I’ll let it burn” which would clearly fit with the plot of a cinematic production too!

Kristan Kostov wears his "Daily Reminder" black t-shirt merchandise.
Kristian Kostov represented Bulgaria at the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 with “Beautiful Mess”. © Kristian Kostov

The mic drop of the beat dropping in the chorus after the hook… well, that shit is well and truly intentional, to steal the artist’s own words. Take a listen for yourselves and you’ll see what we mean.

One of the stand-out elements of this song is the subtle elements of production, such as repeats of ‘liar’ after the first use of the lyric, and the way the second verse changes pace upon ‘fire’. Its a testament to the trio’s artistry and creativity that they thought about each lyric in detail for the production of “Intentional”.

Ultimately, “Intentional” is a very different change of pace from the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 runner-up but one that fits with the artist’s ethos themselves of always evolving, creating and regenerating their artistry. Kristian himself has described this release as ‘joyful therapy’ due to the circumstances in which the song was created during a time of significant upheaval for the artist in moving from his home city this spring to find a new home where he could settle personally and professionally.

During the coronavirus pandemic, we took the opportunity to sit down with Kristian Kostov to talk about his life since representing Bulgaria at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2017, where he achieved a second-place result with “Beautiful Mess”. Watch his long-raging discussion with Nathan which covered his participation in Kyiv, his appearance on Singer in China and what’s next for Kristian Kostov on our website and our YouTube channel.

Stream their latest releases:

You can stream “Intentional” on all streaming services now:

You can also catch-up with VOSTOK’s releases here:



Nathan Waddell

I am the Editor in Chief of ESCXTRA, a huge Melodifestivalen fan and love sports. You can find me singing along to Scandinavian Eurovision entries, listening to the latest chart music on Spotify or watching the football and tennis on two different screens at once.

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