Nas Neychev on Bulgaria’s student lyrics writing competition and the realities of being a promoter
Nas Neychev is an all around music guy with a wonderful initiative – a lyrics writing contest that aims to spotlight talent from all over Bulgaria. Like us at Drooble, Mr. Neychev’s goal is creating a community based around high quality songwriting.
With the Student Lyrics Competition, he wants to address problems like lack of criteria and respect for lyrics in Bulgaria by giving creators an initiative to be active and uniting writers, musicians, and film creators. It’s a fascinating project, so we asked Nas a lot of questions about it, as well as the business side of his daily musical activities. There’s a lot you can learn from this interview, so give it a thorough read!
Pleasure speaking to you, Mr. Neychev! We understand you are currently focused on the Student Lyrics Competition 2017. Tell us more about the initiative!
This year’s competition fulfilled the objectives of the initiative – creating a student society of songwriters. Students from Sofia University, University of Veliko Tarnovo, University of National and World Economy and Tech University of Sofia were included. All texts were 146 and finally 19 finalists were nominated. We’re working on the lyrics of the winners Ivan Savov, Marie-Violet Yovkina and Desislava Petrova, as well as texts of finalists like Lyubomira Peteva. The songs will be ready next year and it will be performed by Valentine Rain, Teddy Russeva, Gabriela Daganova, Sabina Bodurova and Alexandra Alexandrova. The competition is annual and the registration of the next issue 2018 is going to be open in January.
What is the lyrics competition’s ultimate goal?
I often speak about the communities. The history of music has presented many societies most of them are game-changers, but problem solving is their main goal. I see a problem with writing texts; I think it is a problem that does not use the philological criteria for writing in music, the lack of respect for lyrics, and this does not allow writers to be active. If there is a society gathering all creators as writers, musicians, film creators etc., we can be very useful for the students and for the Bulgarian language.
Based on experience from previous years, how do you expect this year’s event will turn out?
I know we are improving the organization process and more music creators support us now. In 2016, this was only a fresh idea with no future; nowadays we are watching the growth of the community together. My expectation is to drastically improve the value of the recordings. Maybe it is not an expectation, because it is on the to-do list.
What are the biggest challenges in organizing the competition?
After the award ceremony, we assign teams to work on the songs. The most difficult task is the team’s availability. Another difficulty is finding musicians, because we want every aspect of the works to be authentic.
Have you discovered incredible lyrical talent thanks to the Lyrics Competition?
Absolutely, we have participants who are already writers, but have never adapted for songs. However, some of them have started writing for the first time with an entry for the competition. Every one of the finalists has incredible lyrical talent and they all are available for collaborations.
Tell us about your activities as a promoter and booking agent. Musicians are always fascinated by the people who work on the business side of music!
Music is not only art and culture anymore. When you write a song, you have to decide what the song is about, does it have a social impact, do you want to be Gary Clark Jr. or Taylor Swift. I am trying to guide the artists about their path on the business side of music. There are songs for the radio, songs for festivals, songs for awards etc. We must find the path for a song together, involving the people and the media. Well, I am maybe promoter only on my blog nasneychev.com, but the real title is an organizer or a consultant, rather than a booking agent. Nevertheless, you can book lyricists and singers at @nasneychev. I study the music business on my own and “booking agent” is only a tab on my Drooble profile.
What are your biggest accomplishments as a promoter and booking agent?
The Student Lyrics Competition is my biggest accomplishment as a promoter. It is a growing community. I can promote creators. I will organize more meetings. The idea was made as I was trying to promote my writings, I work mostly with students, and we do not have the time and the money for paid promotions. Therefore, we need a network, Bulgarian lyrics will not refuse cultural value, students are looking for attention and they reduce the quality of their works for attention. We have it – @student.lyrics. It is more than a competition.
Likewise, can you admit what your biggest – or funniest, at least – failure was on the job?
I was very close to organizing a music festival at Sofia in 2014. I am working on it. So many branded festivals and concerts have been organized in 2014 and it became a problem with the lack of sponsorships or media partnerships. Sometimes, we have to wait for the right time.
How far do you ultimately want to take the Student Lyrics Competition and how do you see yourself in the next five years?
The competition is annual. I wish for excellent lyrics and after few years, I will officially become a booking agent. I hope the Student Lyrics Competition will be special for the Bulgarian lyricists. We will keep making more songs and events. You will see. I have many ideas.
How has being on Drooble helped your musical and business activities?
Thank you for backing me up this year! You are invited to vote for the Community Award 2018 – the newest addition on the Student Lyrics Competition. Drooble is an international web place for the music industry. I found artists who are going to work with me. I write lyrics in English. The business activities will start soon.