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Artist of the Week — DJ Stan Kolev, DJ Matan Caspi & Poli Hubavenska

April 9, 2012 by · No comments

An Interview with DJ Stan Kolev, DJ Matan Caspi and Poli Hubavenska

Matan Caspi & Stan Kolev

Stan Kolev’s bioStan Kolev Bio

Matan Caspi’s bioMatan Caspi Bio

So how did the madness get its start, how did you start DJing?

We’ve always been involved in this world called music, since childhood. We both fell in love with electronic music a bit more than a decade ago and started to experiment with production back then, parallel to that we were developing our sound engineering techniques and developing our production skills.

How would you describe your sound?

We both try to create a combination of house genders from the Deep Progressive, Melodic, and Emotional House Music with a heavy bottom to the Progressive Tribal Tech House kind of sound. It can be on the edge of commercial sometimes, or even funky tech house.

As musicians we love and respect many styles and we just do what we feel like at the moment. The past few months for us was an experimental period, we were trying to create and achieve a unique sound that we feel is missing in many tracks nowadays.

We want to make it banging enough for the big room floors and the big labels, even touching a bit the commercial pan but yet not losing the underground soul in the music and by this touching many more listeners.

In addition to DJing, you’ve done some great productions. What was the inspiration behind Mantra?

Stan Kolev

Stan: Matan invited me to play a gig with him in Kiev and it was the first time we actually met in person. He picked me up from the airport and we headed straight to his studio to make a track and that’s how we came up with Mantra.

The name of the club which we were playing that night was Mantra, so we decided to call the track Mantra. This year on 11th May we are going to play there again so it’s a nice way of closing the cycle, more than that you can be sure that a new Mantra will be born.

We used some ethnic elements in the track so I mentioned to Matan that I was recently contacted on facebook by Poli Hubavenska, a young Bulgarian folk singer which wanted to work with me.

So when the track was finished I sent it over to her and she recorded her amazing vocals in Bulgaria.

How did you two hook up?

Matan: We knew that we both were following each other’s work for a while and one day Stan decided to invite me to be a guest on his monthly radio show/podcast “Awakening”. Then we’ve met in Kiev and the rest is history.

Hi Poli, can you tell us a bit more about yourself? Who is Poli Hubavenska?

Of course. I am Poli Hubavenska, I’ll be 21 soon and, as you already know, I’m involved in music. I’ve been singing from a very early age; I was 7 years old when my first performance before a large audience took place and so to this day the stage continues to be a major part of my life.

I graduated from the National Music School “L.Pipkov” in Sofia as musician and singer of folk songs, and right now I’m studying pop and jazz singing at the New Bulgarian University. I am interested in different styles of music and I think I’m good at a lot of them.

Poli Hubavenska

When and how did you get started with music and how did you choose Bulgarian folk music?

My parents are the primary reason. My father can play the guitar and so my sister and I grew up with rock music (smiles). She and I would constantly sing together, and continued doing it for fun whenever we had time. My mother was the person who directed me to folk singing.

I still remember the first audition she took me to – I started crying and didn’t want to enter the hall. However, she talked my fears away, and today I am glad that my mother was more stubborn than me (smiles again). In my family folk music has always been held in high esteem and that’s why I chose precisely folk singing – I’ve been listening to folk songs ever since I was a child and wanted to learn to sing that way. And that’s not easy at all.

Poli Hubavenska

You are going for “Management and Production in the Musical Arts” at the New Bulgarian University. Does that mean that besides being in the video clips, in front of the microphone, you’ve been thinking of staying behind the video camera as well?

I think that the major I’ve chosen is quite interesting and can open many doors, if someone is interested enough in it. I learned quite a few interesting things and continue to learn. I guess I’ll make a good producer. I’d like to help young people like present self who are talented and are trying to fulfill themselves, some day.


What meaning does the title of the track convey?

Except that Mantra is the name of the club where we played together last year, the meaning of the word mantra is achieving or being capable of creating some kind of a spiritual positive transformation, if by words, emotions or music. We both feel that this is what we want to reflect when people listen to our music.

Poli, Stan Kolev and Matan Caspi’s new house track feat. you – “Mantra” – was recently released. How did the three of you hook up? How was this project possible from a distance?

The song reached 48th position in the world top 100 of the progressive house music chart Prior to my participation in the grand finale of the tour STAN KOLEV & FRIENDS LIVE, which took place last summer, Stan gave me a disk and said: “Poli, listen to this track and if you like it, we’ll start recording in a week.”

The song was a demo recording Stan Kolev and Matan Caspi were working on. I heard it, liked it a lot and agreed to do the vocals to it. A few days after that we were already in the studio. In a nutshell, that’s how the three of us met.

Through the Internet the distance is easy to overcome, plus Stan Kolev is an outstanding professional and that makes working with him so much easier and very comfortable at the same time.

The song has a unique oriental-house-folk sound to it. What do you think is the message of its beat? How did you feel when you first heard the finished production?

I’d say that “Mantra” has an international sound. It turned out to be a very interesting track and the fans appreciated it. Each one of us invested something in it, something ours, I’d call this style. The song achieved its goal, namely to give goose bumps to people no matter what nationality they are. That’s is the most important thing for a song.

Are there any new joint productions coming? Tell us about your upcoming projects…

Matan Caspi

Matan: We already have four collaboration tracks and this is just the beginning.
Our latest track, Matan Caspi, Stan Kolev Feat Al Jet – Silent Space just got signed to Blackhole Recordings. In addition we are currently running together our own label Outta limits where we mostly release our own music but not only.

If we get a great track from other talented producers and we really like it, we release it as well. It works pretty well as we have similar sound and taste so when we produce together we complete each other’s ideas and we think the result is fantastic. Our next release on the label will be on 11th April with Matan’s new single featuring Mykle Anthony – ‘Surprise Me’ including a great remix from Stan.

Poli: Of course. A new track is coming soon. I can’t tell you more about it at the moment, but you’ll find out (smiles).

How has growing up in Israel/Bulgaria and then moving to Ukraine/the USA influenced your musical tastes and style?

Stan Kolev

Stan: I was definitely influenced by the Bulgarian folklore music growing up in Bulgaria. There is something magical about it. I was so amazed the first time I used Bulgarian Folk vocals in a house track. It sounded unique, so I continued doing it.

Matan Caspi

Matan: I grew up in the north of Israel in a small city by the beach called Nahariya. Growing near the sea was everything for me, from an young age I was surfing and getting all my positive energies from the sea. I couldn’t ask for a better childhood. Moving to Ukraine was unexpected.

It was not easy for me to leave the coast line, but at the end I believe that everything happens for the best, and I can really say that the big change in my musical career happened after the moving… so I guess it is just destiny.

I’m sure that the next step in our mutual development in our work will be that I will move to Miami so that we can work together in the same studio and not only through the internet or meeting each other on gigs)

What images and emotions do you want your music to invoke in the listener?

We want to give people goose bumps…))) we want to deliver something new and fresh, out of the ordinary. That is why our label also called Outta Limits, something raw and innovative material even overwhelming and not obvious.

Is there a dream artist you’d like to produce with?

Stan: Matan Caspi
Matan: Stan Kolev

About the videos of your tracks – do you have a say in their making or is that the labels’ job?

Usually we think it’s the label’s job, but the artist should do his best to push his release as well. In some cases some labels don’t bother to do it anymore. We believe that it’s not because the labels don’t want to do it but more because nowadays the amount of electronic music released on labels is enormous and it takes up a lot of work and resources from the label, especially if it’s a small label.

We as a label owners always try to do our best in promoting our releases. In the past we couldn’t do a promo video, at least not for every release, as there were other obligations prior to that but now that we run the label together, it’s easier to do this kind of promotion work.

Do you approach a remix differently than an original track?

We both try to deliver our best weather it’s a remix or an original, the only difference is when we start an original track we don’t really know to where it will flow. In a remix as you already have musical parts from the original track so you should somehow build your remix around those but then again either way we try to do our best.

About the tracks with vocals – which one comes first usually – the melody or the lyrics?

It’s different every time. Whatever comes first… Sometime we get a good vocals and if we think it has the potential we compose the melody to the vocals and sometimes the other way around, we make a good track and if we think it needs some vocals so we search a good singer so can fill the gaps. At the moment we are working closely with Al Jet (Alex) a talented Ukrainian singer that is doing a really good job!

It’s amazing how universal deep progressive and house are – they bring together DJ’s from all over the world and their tracks travel the globe with the speed of sound. Is that what makes this kind of music so unique?

Definitely! The progress of the world and technology has given its stamp on the electronic music. Many of us will say it’s a bad thing, as nowadays everyone, for small budgets and bit of knowledge in production programs and some musical education can make a track very easily, same way speaking of opening a label and releasing the music.

As a result of that tons of new music released every day are flooding the digital stores making it hard to follow & search for good music not to speak of making it harder for others to reach your music… It not an easy job to make your music stand out among this big breached market, but we prefer to ignore this fact and see it as big challenge as well respect the will of others to expose their music to the world.

Where can people listen to you live? Any upcoming events/tours?

Stan: I have upcoming shows in Early May in Bulgaria and Ukraine with Matan
and in Chicago in June. Matan as well might have a tour in Mexico soon which is being planned at the moment. Please check our facebook pages for exact dates and confirmed tours.

What are you working on right now, Poli?

I’m currently working on several projects, but prefer to keep them secret. You’ll find out about them soon.

Poli Hubavenska

What are your plans for the future?

I don’t any specific plans. I have several goals that I’ve set for myself and will pursue, and that would make me happy if I should achieve them.

Do you have a favorite verse from a song – yours or someone else’s – that you consider particularly
beautiful and energizing and that you’d like to greet our readers with?

I have many favorite songs and favorite verses accordingly, but I the most energizing part of a song is the chorus. There is a relatively new song by Jessie J, called “Who you are”.

To me, the chorus of this song is particularly expressive and if I have to rephrase its message, I’d say: sometimes it’s difficult to follow your heart’s desire, and at times you are ready to give it up, but if you continue to dream, then, you’ll continue to believe.

And if you truly believe, you’ll get what you want. Let “Mantra” and this message be a greeting to your readers.


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