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Sealiah – “It’s all a question of willingness, when you are doing something with your best will”

February 26, 2010 by · No comments

Interview with Sealiah by Dessislava Berndt

Translation: Nadejda Nikolova

Sealiah was formed in 1999 and is comprised of Daniela Miteva and Franck Helwina .Their music mixes the Bulgarian voice of Daniela with Spanish, oriental and gypsy rhythms, combining traditional music with a modern sound.

The band has sold more than 35,000 copies of their first album “World Influencia” not only in Bulgaria, but in many other countries such as Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovene, Slovak Republic, Poland, Hungarian Republic and Czech Republic.

With their first single “Posednala malkaia moma” in July 2003, the band took for 29 weeks the 23rd place in the top 100 chart on BTV and top 10 on MMTV. Their second single “Cherna svatba” was released in March 2004, and their second album “Camino” in 2007.

In their album “Camino” Sealiah recorded the song “Ay tu eres” as a duet with Chico & The Gypsies and a cover version of the song “Comme toi” of Jean-Jaques Goldman.

In February 2008 the band made their 3rd video “Magic Sofia” with the Bulgarian director Vassil Stefanoff, with whom they have worked on their other videos as well. At that time the band was invited on the TV show on TV2, where they performed the songs “Maiko” and “Angel”.


Daniela, what drove you to form the group in 1999 and how did you pick the name?

In 1999 Franck published an advertisement in the newspaper searching for an interpreter for records. A friend of mine, Zoia Angelova, found that advertisement and called him. After they met, they decided to record three demo singles, since Zoia is an ex-soloist of the ensemble “Filiph Kuteff”.

A few months after they met came the possibility for a tour. Zoia couldn’t make it, so she asked me to replace her. After I recorded three demo songs it was decided that I would continue with the band. And for Sealiah, this is the Guardian angel of the oldest son of Franck, who is named Angel.

When did music become a larger part of your life?

Music has always been a part of my life, but it becomes my profession with the foundation of the band and recording in the studio, in which we are now working with different musicians.

What are your relations with the Bulgarian bas Boris Hristov and did they have any influence on your choice to devote yourself to music?

He is a cousin of my grandmother, and from an early age I have had the possibility to listen to his performances on gramophone records, but sadly I don’t have his talent. His music has influenced the building of my talent and musical culture. Since I was child I’ve been taken to the opera and three times a week I was audience to the regular church chorus of the church “Sveti Sedmochislenici” where my grandmother would sing.

How did you end up in France and how did your working with Franck start?

I have come to France to study law, but today the juridical education only helps me to make contracts in the musical business. And our working together started with the creation of our recording studio.

How would you describe the character and sound of the music you are producing, and which kind of public do you address it to?

We hope that our audience is universal, without geographical and age borders – this is our wish. But the reality is a bit different; we are mostly listened to in the USA, Canada and Australia. And about the character and the sound of the music, I haven’t honestly asked myself that question. For me, it’s all a question of willingness, when you are doing something with your best will.

Franck has been working with “Los Ninos de Sara” from the band ALABINA and Chico & The Gypsies, which represents French gypsy music. What influence has this on Sealiah?

After recording a song for the group Chico & The Gypsies („Oh Maria” – in the album Freedom) the idea of duet came by itself, and that’s how we recorded „Ay tu eres” from the album „Camino”. And “Los Ninos de Sara” made the record of the album „Еspagna tiene sabor” in our studio, taking one of Franck’s song “Maria baila – dancing maria”, in which I had the pleasure of recording the backing vocals. But apart from this, I don’t think that working with other gypsy bands has had any influence on Sealiah. The rhythms of gypsy’s music are the same, but the styles are different.

You work and live in Montpellier; do you have connections and contacts in Bulgaria? Do you miss anything Bulgarian there?

There are many Bulgarians in Montpellier, especially students, because the city is famous for its universities. In our home there are many Bulgarians – normally, abroad people find each other. I can’t really say that I miss the Bulgarian things – I miss Bulgaria, but sadly I can’t go home more often. When you have children you have to consider things like school, etc. Franck wants us to go to Bulgaria more often and constantly repeats that when the children are grown up we will have the opportunity to spend 3 months there, but there’s plenty of time until then.

What plans does the band have till the end of 2009 and for 2010?

At this moment the band is working on its new album, because recently we’ve been contacted by a French label, which would like to propose the songs from our previous albums for movie productions. And if this proposition comes true, the world’s doors are going to be wide open to Sealiah. There are many other productions which are being realized now, but we will talk about them in detail next time.

Have you planned concerts or live performances, and if you have where?

This year we had the desire to participate in the musical concourse Eurovision between the candidates for the presentation of Bulgaria, but recently we found out that the rules for electing a candidate are different this year – the musicians are first going to be selected after an inquiry, in which professionals from Bulgaria will participate. And because Sealiah doesn’t have those kinds of connections to influence the professionals, we had to give up. And this was the main planned performance for now. This year we are more concerned with two other projects, in the creation of which Franck is involved and which take most of our time. And I must say that a band like Sealiah is a great investment, and in this time of financial crises people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about culture.

How can we order your albums?
Our albums are available on following websites:

And for people who would like to get our original album “Camino” in the classic (postal) way, they can send their orders to; the price is 10 Euro plus shipping charges.
It’s a pity, but our first album is completely out of stock.
In the end I would like to say thank you for the interest in our music, and see you soon.

Photos by Sealiah

Categories: Frontpage · People & Culture · Stage


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