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Interview with Elitsa Todorova, who will represent Bulgaria at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Samo Shampioni (Only Champions).
Elitsa Todorova & Stoyan Yankulov are multi-talented musicians, bringing together the best in terms of vocals, styles, and instruments. They are famous especially for their innovative ways of combining traditional singing, percussions and modern influences.
Elitsa Todorova was born on 1977 in Varna. She studied music, specialising in authentic folklore
singing and in percussions. She attracts the attention of both the audience and the critics with her
specific voice - strong, deep-toned, clear and hardy, the tone-quality being one of a beautiful and
rich ornamentation. She worked at the State Dance and Music Ensemble in Varna, in the choir The Mystery of the Bulgarian voices, and the Cosmic Voices of Bulgaria choir where she performed authentic Bulgarian folk songs, and compositions in Yiddish and Sanskrit.
In 2003 Elitsa Todorova began working with Bulgaria's most popular and renowned drummer and percussionist Stoyan Yankulov. The unique Elitsa Todorova-Stoyan Yankulov Duo
turned into a phenomenon in no time. Elitsa Todorova develops a percussions-playing style of her own, combining quick ostinate rhythms on the tarambuka with synhronised tarambuka with synchronised playing and singing. The result is a mosaic of unique vocal movements and impeccable musical improvisations.
She plays traditional percussion instruments in a most non-traditional way. The singer easily mixes traditional folklore with jazz, drum and base, ethno-motifs, classics and spontaneous improvisation.
The result is fascinating. In her repertoire Elitsa Todorova plays instruments like the tarambuka, drums, maracas, clavess, old silver coins, shepperd's chimes, horses' bells, a magical thunder-wand, guirro, chimes, but of all musical instruments the best, in her opinion, is human voice. Through combining authentic Bulgarian folk songs with the energy of percussions Elitsa Todorova presents in a most touching way the core, the potency and the emotional power of Bulgarian culture.
Stoyan Yankulov was born on September 10th in Sofia. At the age of eight he started taking piano lessons. At the same time he showed interest for percussion instruments. Since a young age he was the base of musical bands as a drummer, and he eventually graduated majoring in percussion instruments. Yankulov plays with rock and jazz bands, with folklore ensembles and with jazz-rock and fusion bands.
Stoyan Yankulov has already won many highly-ranked prizes. He records jazz, pop and ethnic music. This has significantly influenced his unique playing style. He manages to produce orchestral sound on percussion instruments. Sometimes the listener has the impression that there is more than one percussionist playing. "The acquisition of other techniques - from bass, piano or other instruments is useful in this process. For me to play means to communicate", Stoyan describes his very own style.
Yankulov breaks and stretches the traditional way of playing drums, tupan, percussion by applying new techniques and non-standard musical ideas. Combining authentic folklore with new ways of expression with percussion instruments Stoyan Yankulov reveals the unlimited variety and emotional intensity of the unique Bulgarian culture.
Elitsa & Stoyan have already performed together on the Eurovision Song Contest stage together in 2007, gaining the fifth place in the Final with Voda - the best placing for Bulgaria to date.