photography by Roberto Brundo
Sofia born singer and producer Daniel Stoyanov aka Bulgarian Cartrader is a real whirlwind with an incredible energy. And there must be several hearts beating in his chest, not questioning, just always pulling forward. While some people get melancholic or thoughtful, for the talented musician living in Berlin the only way is forward. After his first two singles ‘Golden Rope’ and ‘No Other Drug’, he releases his new piece Mavrud out of his upcoming debut album ‘Motor Songs’. We wanted to know more and talked to him about the feeling of home, cultural cliches and the revealing moment of making an album.
Your new track Mavrud is a potpourri of different influences. How did this track come about? And what is the perfect moment to play it loud?
Of course in the car (smiles) or if you’re intending to have a nice backyard, – blockparty with good food and loads of red wine …
I had played the catchy synth line years ago on a borrowed Dave Smith synthesizer and the track was laying around on my laptop for ages. One day I started adding verses to it and I immediatly felt the urge to take this one home, I mean really home to Bulgaria. I remembered that I always wanted to write a song about a typical sort of wine from Bulgaria called Mavrud – I gave it a twilightish, delirious twist, added some high snares for that outkast stankonia vibe, played a blood sex magic red hot chilli peppers baseline and … started digging it… it’s TV on the radio, meets OutKast’s BOB meeting RHCP meeting again something uniquely Bulgarian.
Your debut album “Motor Songs” is also in the wings. Would you like to tell us a little bit about it?
Oh it’s my baby. I was working for a long time on songs, even pre pandemic, always looking for that special blend in terms of production. I did my 10.000 hours studiotime then – kind of earned my degree as a producer there (smiles) and eventually I ended up having all these very personal songs on my hard drive – but to really wrap it up and finish it as a body of work. This started by me watching an interview with James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem, him sitting on that extremely ugly couch of red bull academy – that interview lead to a revealing moment for me – I remember calling up Victor my management the next day and telling him, dude, I’m making an album, bet your money on that!
“I remembered that I always wanted to write a song about a typical sort of wine from Bulgaria called Mavrud.”
You live in Berlin at the moment. How come?
For 9 years already… Just a place on this earth you start living, loving and creating, which over the years becomes a second home.
Do you miss your hometown sometimes?
Yes, but some things must remain missed…
To what extent does Berlin inspire you for your music? In Mavrud I think I can also hear more Bulgarian influences?
Inspiration is a very fluid process, I mean its not like I go to a concert or an exhibiton and return home afterwards and start writing music. Sometimes you are in the midst of doing jobs you don’t really like, but you’re forced to do them. Forced to develop your crafts in order to finish the job in order to earn a living… and then, at some random night your soul opens up and you start really expressing things, and creating. I think Berlin is like a net spinning out of work and stressful as any metropol city is. And this pressure can stomp you or lead you to higher grounds. Concerning Bulgaria and Bulgarian influences – well, it is the blood in my veins anyway, but I’m trying to avoid cultural cliches in the music. There’s a lot great Bulgarian folklore music, but it’s sort of like a very strong seasoning, you have to be careful when using it, or the taste of your food becomes to one dimensional.
“I’m trying to avoid cultural cliches in the music.”
You have already worked as a dancer, background singer and songwriter with artists like Solomun, Casper or SEEED. When did you know it was time for your own project?
One of this jobs is a lie, but I won’t tell you which one it is. (smiles) I don’t want to sound rude and it’s of course not the full picture, but when I saw my GEMA Abrechnung 2 years ago (it’s the German royalties for writers), I realized that I’m definitely at the bottom of this food chain – this worked like a push factor for me. Sometimes it’s that plain and easy, haha.
You own a sheepskin coat that your great-uncle Ivan gave you. How important is family to you?
Unfortunately things started to feel a bit strange for me at home, my family is kind of split and a bit torn apart because of personal reasons – that´s sad. But my great-uncle Ivan is still kicking it and he is a great guy and one of my best friends in my life. Goga is calling me every second week from my grandmothers house, so I can chat with him, and then have a very loud chat with my grandmother, she´s almost 90 – so it’s a lot of shouting you know. Family is … a lot of shouting in Bulgaria … I dearly love it.
We have Sofia on our road trip list this summer. Please give us some tips on what we should definitely do there? (smile)
Go to Sofia, go to Plovdiv when you have time too, do your tourist routine – and then rent yourself an Airbnb on some random village somewhere in the mountains – best is the Rhodope Mountains. There, when the day is slowly ending, you can step out for a walk and encounter the unique soul and entity of Bulgaria. Bulgaria is that simple, humble life in those tiny little villages.
“Some random night your soul opens up and you start really expressing things, and creating.”
And one word in Bulgarian we should know?
Фкусно (spelled Fkussno) meaning – tasty … like Mavrud (smiles)
Last question: Any message you want to share with our readers?
Yes, I’m really sorry for all the mistakes in my grammar. I hate writing on a laptop and I was a bit in the hurry today (smiles) … I really hope to see you on a concert anytime soon and do all this in person. In order for that to happen, go and stream my stuff, and if you like it … well I’m sure you know what’s to do next. (smiles)
We will do (smile) and thanks for your time!
23.4.2022: Support: Sirens of Lesbos@Zenner, Berlin
7.5.2022: Bulgarian Cartrader Live @Dreamhouse
30.05.2022: Bulgarian Cartrader Live @ The Bardot, Los Angeles, USA
08/2022: radioeins/Parkfest, Berlin (tbc)
21.09.2022: FluxFM Bergfest, Berlin