Home ENGLISH Kristian Kostov – a citizen of the world who reaches ‘untouchable’ heights of the heart
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Kristian Kostov – a citizen of the world who reaches ‘untouchable’ heights of the heart

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Материалът на български виж ТУК.

Kristian Kostov represents Bulgaria at Eurovision 2017: Celebrate Diversity
with the song “Beautiful Mess”

Text: Ralie Blag
Translation: Neil Scart

With his performance in the Bulgarian edition of X-factor in 2015, Kristian already seemed to be giving notice that something very special had appeared on the scene. With the look of a child but the voice and soul of an accomplished performer, this young man moves us intensely with the emotion he puts in and gives out with all his heart. What’s even more amazing is that he does the same with ease in his contact with fans and all people around as well. Open, approachable and charmingly sociable, he gets rid of unnecessary barriers with his directness and affability, which can truly inspire admiration in anyone who’s had a glimpse of the way he behaves on the stage, backstage or in the media. It’s pretty certain that his big and loving family has had a benign influence with their cheery atmosphere and solid support. No-one in the family is excluded from full involvement in his appearances and even the opinion of his little sister is sincerely given due consideration.[1]

Diversity within unity of action and thought – it’s almost as if we could assign just such a characterisation to the figure which Kristian embodies. Even the words of his Grandad in Moscow, who sent him good wishes in one of the introductory spots when Kristian took part in X-factor, are noteworthy, if we think about it: ‘My wish for you is that you may always serve people honourably and nobly and call for peace between nations…’

This remarkable aspect of Kristian’s nature stands out especially strikingly with his entry for this year’s Eurovision Song Competition, representing Bulgaria with a powerful work of art in the form of his song ‘Beautiful Mess’, which was written especially for him by Borislav Milanov (and the whole team of Symphonics), who spotted the boy on the TV show. I can’t say Kristian’s debut in Bulgaria, the song ‘You Got Me Girl’ (2016), really touched me, because here we have all the elements of standard pop culture without anything special apart from the boy himself :-) but the quality and values of his new song are indisputable and charming, right from the lyricism to the subtle presentation video introducing the song initially. And most important of all, with this song Kristian is right up there with the winners, showing his full power to devastate emotionally: something he really knows how to do and which truly marks him out (although entertaining songs really suit him too and his debut feat. rap “Next Level” is cool). In this case there isn’t the usual toying with emotions but a profound experiencing of them, which overwhelms with the universality of its message. Alongside this, the song is absolutely masterfully polished in musical terms.

For me personally, the idea of the spirit of the new millenium represented by Kristian conquering the European stage this year really appeals. Because apart from the fact that he embodies unity within national diversity extremely well because of his origins, by a happy constellation of circumstances, he has become the first real performer in the Eurovision to have been born in the dawn of the new century. ‘Joy is the smile of Wisdom’ says the theologian and sage Vaklush Tolev and it would be truly wonderful if more wisdom could be felt in our thoughts and deeds by now, so that the joy in our social and personal lives could be more stable, constant and freely flowing. Or our love be ‘untouchable’ :)

This young man with that beautiful name Kristian (actually, I was struck by the overall choice of names in his family: his elder brother is Daniel, i.e. ‘God is my only judge’ in translation, whereas his little sister is Sofia, i.e. ‘wisdom’) radiates such sincerity and purity towards those around him that I hope and keep my fingers crossed that any potential malice or lack of understanding on the part of people will not touch or hurt him and that this will even change the aggression in some people in a way.

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[1] Kristian was born in Moscow; his Mum is from Kazakhstan and his Dad from Bulgaria. The three of them, along with his siblings plus his cousin and aunt (although they have their own separate flat), Grandad and dog (grandmother passed away) all squeeze into their big apartment near the centre of the city. As a true citizen of the world, after appearing on the Russian, Bulgarian and now the European stages, Kristian has now taken his next step musically by successfully applying to study at the Berklee College of Music, Boston (USA), though he’s not actually going to start studying there until 2018 due to his many concert commitments around Eurovision.

Kristian Kostov Highlights

 

What would you do if you weren’t a singer?
I think I could be a nice teacher. I really love to teach people something new.

– Kristian Kostov for Eurovision Song Contest Channel, 2017

__________

I’m reading a lot of comments that I don’t sound authentic because I’m just a 17 year-old guy who doesn’t have a clue about the world and so on. I just want to say that the 17 year-old youngsters are not kids and we are interested in more things than buying fancy shoes or another movie on the TV. If I have a mission this year, it’s to make this cliché about young people crash and burn.

– Kristian Kostov, www.good-evening-europe.dk, 2017

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Every time I perform Beautiful Mess it’s as if I’m entering some special state which I can’t explain. The song takes me over completely and it seems as if it’s the song leading me and not the other way around. It’s a unique sensation, I’ve never experienced it before with any other song.

– Kristian Kostov, www.eurovision.bg, 2017

__________

I don’t want people to think that I’m Russian and this is a Russian song (“Позови меня”/ Call me) so it’ll be really easy for me. It’s not like that. The task is all the harder for me. I have to sing it in Russian in such a way that everyone forgets what language it’s in – for everyone to just listen to the music and be moved... by me.

— Kristian Kostov, X-factor Bulgaria, 2015

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I admire many performers but the one I admire most of all is Ed Sheeran. I know all of his songs by heart and I sing them all. I want to be like him: to write my own music and sing my own songs up on stage and sometimes do an acoustic spot in my concert – just to sit down with the guitar and have a sing.

— Kristian Kostov, www.eurovision-bulgaria.com, 2017

__________

I dream about quite a few things, but my greatest dream is to fill Wembley Stadium or so. I’m probably Ed Sheeran’s biggest fan and when I saw how that boy had filled Wembley and hundreds of other stadiums only with a guitar, a loop machine and his voice… Yes, I read about him saying he was exhausted and that he wants to get out of the music business for a bit. I can’t say it’s sad because he released an album couple of months ago, which means I have something to sing for now, something to listen to :)  Let him have a rest for a while, write another 12 hits, and then make a comeback like a king. He’s just a super-cool guy. I’d really like to get to know him and to work with him. For him to write me a song,  maybe to write a song together, for him and me to sing it together on one stage… Let’s hope it happens…

— Kristian Kostov, Bulgarian National Radio, 2017

__________

Every single performer has to invest their emotions, that’s really important. A few weeks ago I was in Paris at a Justin Bieber concert. I can say for sure that he wasn’t putting in any emotion and that was clear to see. If you watch Ed Sheeran, he just stands on the stage with his guitar but there’s a lot of feeling and that gets you on your feet. I’m not a great fan of being too showy – people start to forget about the music. If you do something from the heart, it’ll get through to people and they’ll notice you. Ed is an idol for me and I want to be like him. I’d like to perform this kind of music in a venue like ‘Madison Square Garden’, that’s my greatest dream.
*
To be honest, I’m not interested in the lives of performers because I could be disappointed. I feel I want them to be perfect people and that’s why I prefer not to know much about their lives.
*
It’s inspiring when you see that a 16-year-old boy like Bieber is world-famous and provokes hysteria. He’s no longer a person, but an idol.

Do you dream of this kind of success?
No, I want to be even more famous.

He’s hounded by the paparazzi and worse still. Are you ready for fame like this?
I can say for certain that I am ready. That’s my dream – not a childish whim. I know I’d be able to cope with it and that I can give a piece of myself to people.

Are you afraid that fame could change you ?
I can’t say yet. I hope that I won’t change. I might become less happy. Bieber says that he can’t remember who he is any more. He’s not stupid and he’s not irresponsible but he’s changed a lot and he’s bound to be tired. For example, Shawn Mendes hasn’t got lost, he does really cool stuff. It depends on the person.

– Kristian Kostov, interview by Georgi Giuzelov, ‘Show’ Newspaper, 2016

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My brother is my guru. Since I was little, I’ve tried my best to do what he does. When my big bro’ started to play the piano, I was upset: ‘Why is he playing and I’m not?’ (That’s how Kris started to play the piano at the age of 3 or 4, then at 6 his mum enrolled him for singing since he was really shy and was even too embarrassed to say his name in front of strangers.)  My brother already has a career as a composer. He graduated in international law because for us it’s really important to have someone who understands the legal side of the music business. Dima Bilan taught me how to carry myself on the stage, how to sing, how to give my whole spirit and emotion in a song.
*
I’ve been in Monte Carlo – it’s a unique place but I can’t understand why people describe it as the coolest place in the world. For me St. Vlas (on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast) is a much more beautiful and welcoming place. In Monte Carlo they’re very snobbish: ‘Who are you? Don’t talk to me. I wear more expensive clothes than you, I’ve got more expensive stuff.’ I felt really uncomfortable and out of place there.
*
Two years ago I got an invitation to sing on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Children’s Rights during the General Assembly of the UN in the USA.
I was on the same stage as world stars like Yoko Ono, Katy Perry and Hugh Jackman, I sang in front of princes and kings… It was really strange for me. I put my jacket over the back of one of the chairs in the hall and they all rushed towards me: ‘Not there, not there!’ I asked why. And I looked at the arm of the chair: ‘The King of… some country or other’ it said! I was the only child invited to sing there. That’s incredible!
*
In Russia people are more reserved. They just look at you side-on. Maybe they recognise me but they’re not going to come up to me because they’re embarrassed whereas here in Bulgaria they might kiss you all over, hug you, shower you with presents – they’re really sweet and kind… The girl fans from the X-factor gave me loads of furry toys as gifts, I want to give them to the kids in one of the orphanages. I like furry toys but I’m 15 now plus how am I going to take them all to Moscow? (he laughs) I haven’t told them that yet but I hope they’ll understand me. In Russia I don’t have any boy fans on social media because they’re jealous that all the girls look at me as an idol. That’s the reason they’re ready to shove me aside and they put up quite a lot of hate comments about me. It’s really funny, I haven’t done anything to them. In Bulgaria it’s not like that – here I’ve got both girl and boy fans. And whatever they think, they tell you in person, not anonymously. I really like that.

– Kristian Kostov, interview by Valeria Kalcheva, www.blitz.bg, 2015

__________

I think there must be some kind of curse on me to the effect that Kris has to work non-stop, he can’t stop working for a moment and he can’t sleep at all. I won’t deny it: I have dreams, I have ambitions… I hope one day to be able to be the equal of stars like Justin Timberlake or Bruno Mars. I’m convinced that I have what it takes to achieve this and the main thing is for me to work an exceptional amount.

– Kristian Kostov, Kid’s Music, 2016

Kristian Kostov – Beautiful Mess
lyrics

When the world shakes us,
trying to take us out of line
fear of tomorrow
feelings we borrow for a time

Water so deep,
how do we breath,
how do we climb?

Though we stay in this mess,
this beautiful mess tonight

And we don’t have a thing to lose
no matter what they say or do
I don’t want nothing more,
our love is untouchable

Even in the line of fire,
when everything is on the wire
even up against the wall,
our love is untouchable

Our love is untouchable!

When the colours turn grey
and the lights all fade
to black again
we’re in over our heads
but somehow we make it back again

Water so deep,
how do we breath,
how do we climb?

Though we stay in this mess,
This beautiful mess tonight

Cause we don’t have a thing to lose
no matter what they say or do
I don’t want nothing more,
our love is untouchable

Even in the line of fire,
when everything is on the wire
even up against the wall,
our love is untouchable

Ohhhh
Ohhh no no no

Even in the line of fire,
when everything is on the wire
even up against the wall,
love is untouchable!

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