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Dessy Tenekedjieva – “Dignity, respect and realization of human rights are extremely important”

May 5, 2012 by · No comments

Interview with the singer, actor and producer Dessy Tenekedjieva by Dessislava Berndt

Translation by Polina Georgieva

I met Dessy last year at the Bansko Jazz International Festival. Our common love for music met us. Natural and cordial, Dessy promised to give an interview for our readers. I really wanted to show not only the actress, singer and producer, but the person herself – Dessy Tenekedjieva. Meet her, find her, admire her and love her the way we do!

01 Жоро Марков
Dessy Tenekedjieva, Photo: Joro Markov

What do you dream of?

I dream about having a significant role in a big European production, because for the last years I have been mostly concentrated on music. But I can’t hide it’s getting harder and harder for big international companies to be financed. And I’m talking not only as an actress, but also as a producer.

I dream that my son Josif is healthy and happy, and so are my favourite people around me. Recently a lot of close friends and besides – young people left us…

Dessy i Yosif
Dessy and Josif, Photo: private

Talking about this, I dream about preserving the memory and popularizing the personality and creations of Stoyan Kambarev.

On 23 April, at 19 h in “Sofia Live Club” for the third time there will be the Official ceremony of giving the art awards “Stoyan Kambarev” 2012 (

I’m happy, that even though it is a new award, it has established undoubtedly as the most awaited and prestigious award for new artists in Bulgaria.

Establishing this award was led by our desire to stimulate – both in terms of moral and financial aspect – the young people, who have devoted themselves to the art, and are trying to develop their own individual signature and talent.

At the end of 2008 we commemorated 10 years of the early loss of Stoyan. This provoked a circle of his friends and colleagues to establish this foundation and thus to continue his mission.

The founders and the members of the foundation “Stoyan Kambarev” are 20 – some of the most talented and vivid representatives of the Bulgarian culture: Elin Rahnev, Kolio Karamfilov, Samuel Fintzi, Dimitar Gochev, Georgi Lozanov. I’m the chairman of the foundation.

Last year the award for art was given by the former President of Republic of Bulgaria /1997-2002/ and honorable member of the foundation Peter Stoyanov. A special award was also initiated and given in person by the Bulgarian politician and former foreign minister Nadejda Neinski. This special award included a visit at the European Parliament for all the nominees and introducing their art in Brussels. This event went two weeks ago and it had great success and was considered very interesting.

s petar stoyanov i nagradenite2011сн-Божидар Марков
Mit Peter Stojanov and the winner in 2011, Photo: Bojidar Markov

In 2012 the first Big Award for art “Stoyan Kambarev” was won by the movie director Kamen Kalev for his film “Eastern Plays”. Last year we decided to look for completely new and unknown in the media artists. We nominated the painter Kaloyan Iliev – Kokimoto and the actress Elena Dimitrova. Winner of the bronze statue of Kolio Karamfilov and a money award of 3000 leva was the theatre director Vasilena Radeva, and among the other nominees there were even two students – 18 years old movie director Julian Spasov and 17 years old poetess Teya Denoljubova.

This year again,a compere will be the top journalist from Darik radio Drago Simeonov, who during the years has been partnering with the favourite actress Tatyana Lolova and the famous journalist Diana Naidenova. So far in the two years at the ceremony-concert have taken part some of our biggest musical stars: Vasil Petrov, Miro, Grafa, the opera singer Ina Kuncheva, maestro Kristiyan Koev, Vasil Parmakov, Bobi Vulchev, the bands D2 and Strings.

What’s your everyday rhythm?

My life is on wheels. I travel a lot and I always have a ready suitcase in the trunk. I often miss flights. I was born on the day of astronautics, however I’m afraid of heights so my friends are used to not waiting for me at all – twice a year I miss my flights.

reklamno lice suzuki,сн. елена спасова
Modeling for Suzuki, Photo: Elena Spassova

What’s the most important thing that people should know about you?

I work a lot, sometimes I don’t have time to sleep more than 4 or 5 hours, and that’s disastrous for the voice and the nerves of any artist and singer. Besides filming in the cinema, I record songs, make videos and have concerts and performances. I work on many projects as a producer and they suck on my “leisure time”. People think that our job is easy and it’s only fun. They are way too wrong. And the next thing, I’m not sure if people want to know it…

dessy T.
Dessy Tenekedjieva, Photo: Elena Spassova

I’m far more sensitive, more emotional and vulnerable than I appear to be. Sometimes I swing into extreme moods that are hard for my friends to bear, however are typical for the artists. In front of the people I’m always strong and with a smile on the face – I have a few different faces and always know how to behave at certain places. But I’m always sincere; sometimes way too sincere, even uselessly. But I’m a genuine person and very loyal friend. I’d love to have as loyal and faithful friend as I am myself.

What other interests do you have?

I’m a face and a good will ambassador for Youth for Human Rights International – YHRI for Europe and Bulgaria. This is a big international organisation with headquarters in Los Angeles and was founded 11 years ago by Dr. Maria Shuttleworth. During the last years, the organisation has developed as a global world movement with hundred thousand followers. Some of the most famous ones are Tom Cruise, John Travolta and the jazz musician Chuck Corea.

dessyt_concert_fr Елена Спасова

In relation to this, a month ago I was in Brussels where I had a solo concert for the world day, appointed by UN for protection of women and children from sexual exploitation and international traffic. For the second year in row I shared the stage with the Belgian percussionist Franc Cappe. Before the concert I gave a talk in front of the guests and claimed my position as a citizen and as a human on this painful problem. Official guest of the event was Mr. Sardan Sarver – the president of the European Institute for peace and development. The hall was full of many guests and representatives of the institution from different countries.

For me the dignity, respect and consideration of the human rights of an individual are extremely important. Young people should know their basic human rights and when they are violated they should turn to a right defending organization.

Look! You asked me for different interests, and I started talking about work again (laughing).

suzuki,сн Елена Спасова
Modeling for Suzuki, Photo: Elena Spassova

I really like reading at night before falling asleep. I like the sea, surfing, skiing, tennis and chocolate 🙂

You travel a lot. Have you got favourite destinations?

I travel a lot on business and I can’t remember for how long I haven’t been on a long vacation. In the weekends, I usually go skiing in Bansko or Borovetz, because they are close. Years ago I had more time and I’ve been skiing in some of the nicest ski resorts in Europe.

I love Italy – Florence, Rome, Venice… I often go on business trips to London and Paris. I also like New York, because it is a cosmopolitan city and for the vibrant live there.

Dessy Tenekedjieva, Photo: Pavel Tschervenkov

Recently I often go to Brussels. I found out that it’s not just a business and administrative city, as I used to think, but it also has small cosy streets with unique atmosphere. And Grand Place – it’s unbelievable, as if you are in a different era, at the end of the 17th century.

I also love Berlin, because of the strong creative charge and the concentrated artistic energy it has. Any minute there you can see lots of interesting and unusual plays, concerts and performances. But let’s not forget, that Germany is one of the few countries in Europe that have a significant budget for art and it’s their national priority. A few years ago I had a big concert in the official ballroom of the city-hall in Berlin, celebrating Bulgaria joining the EU. I was well impressed that right after that, the Euromaxx team, Deutsche Welle, got in touch with me. They came to Bulgaria and made a special and quite attractive documentary about me and my career. I find Germans to be really fast and reflective in regards with their work.

What’s the biggest satisfaction and the biggest challenge for you?

I’m satisfied when I finish a certain creative project, but at the same time I feel sad, because it’s over. I’d say I’m really hard to live with. I need to calm down; I’m constantly out of time.

Modeling for Jean Paul Gaultier, Photo: studio МЕМ

I want to try to be more positive and to enjoy the little things in life. Lately I’ve been missing many of the joys and beautiful moments in the relations with my loved ones and with my friends. And I shouldn’t, no one should. We live only once… at least in this life.

Dessy, thanks a lot for the interview! Lots of success and see you soon!

Please read also our interview (/ with Dessy Tenekedjieva in “Artist of the Week” dated April 23th 2012.

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