Following her debut EP release ‘Elements’ on POPOF’s FORM Music, we sit down with rising Bulgarian star Gallya to discuss the techno scene in Eastern Europe, her burgeoning Set About label, early musical inspirations and more…
Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with DMC World.
Thanks for having me! It’s a pleasure!
Where in the world are you right now?
Right now I’m in Sofia, Bulgaria working in my studio.
On August 24th, you released your Elements EP on Popofʼs FORM Music imprint. Please can you tell us a bit more about the record?
I’m very excited about this release. These are my favorite tracks I’ve made in a while. It was a dream of mine to release on FORM for a long time but I didn’t have any contacts there. But one day Popof just sent me a message in Instagram saying he liked my last release; he’s one of my favorite producers, so I was very happy. A couple of weeks later, I made these tracks specifically for FORM. What makes this release even more special for me is that the release date is exactly on my birthday so I have two things to celebrate.
For those that aren’t so familiar, how would you describe your sound?
Its very hard for me to describe my own sound haha, it may be easier for those who are not familiar to check out my Beatport and see for themselves.
What is the dance music scene like in Bulgaria? Has it developed much over the past few years?
I think its getting better and better. The scene is not as big as in Western Europe but there are a lot of real techno fans. People here love techno and I’ve experienced the best parties in Bulgaria both as a fan and as a DJ. I really think I have a special connection with the crowd here and after every gig I feel more inspired and energized than ever. We do Set About events twice a year here and every time I’m very excited and nervous.
Please can you tell us about your label ‘Set Aboutʼ?
I launched the label three years ago with my label partners Metodi Hristov and Marin. Since then we have worked very hard on our Set About project. We are trying to support not only famous producers but a lot of unknown talented artists. A lot of amazing music will be out soon! For example, we have a very strong compilation release coming at the end of September with around thirteen tracks from very interesting artists. Also we are planning a few very big label showcases including one in Sofia on December 21st. Will not say more about the line up but itʼs very cool haha.
What do you enjoy most about running your own label?
I love everything about running the label. Itʼs like a child for us, but the best part for me may be when we go on business vacations in Amsterdam during ADE or Sonar in Barcelona. Usually we rent an apartment for a week and spend the week only discussing the label and making plans for the future. Marin lives in Vienna and we do not see each other very often, so I love these trips when we are all together. Also we do all the work on the label ourselves. We don’t have anyone working for us, so from cutting tracks and upload to send t-shirts to fans, it’s all us three. Itʼs not easy but we love it!
And what are some of the biggest challenges?
My biggest challenge has always been to get over my self-doubt and ignore the dark side of me. Everyone has that, haha.
Who or what are your biggest musical inspirations?
My biggest inspiration has always been the parties. Before I started producing and DJing, I was a big fan of techno music. My first party was when I was fifteen and after experiencing that, school wasn’t interesting any more haha. When I decided to become a DJ, I was at a party with Sven Vath DJing in Bulgaria. I will never forget that one because it’s when I first really believed I could do it! So nothing can inspire me more than a good party. There are moments when I come back from a gig and the party was awesome, and even if I didn’t have time to sleep, I turn on my PC as soon as I’m home and start a new track. Outside of techno music, my favourite commercial artist is Justin Timberlake. I always find something in his songs to inspire me. I think there’s inspiration to be found in all music – I often listen to iTunes top 100 and even in the tracks I don’t like, I’ll find aspects and certain parts that inspire me. I also really love old- school hip-hop.
What do you think is the key to achieving success in the music industry over long period of time?
To be successful for a long period of time is not easy. Everyone can be on the top for a day, but not everyone is capable of dealing with the pressures that come with success in the long term, which is why it’s so hard to maintain. But one thing that’s for sure is that just producing and playing good music is not enough. Success comes from being well-rounded and creative with every aspect of your career outside of just the music. And last but not least, for a long period success you need a good management for sure.
What are five records that are performing particularly well on the dance floor for you this summer?
Claudio Ricci – Warschauer Strasse (Metodi Hristov Remix)
Tony Dee – Pray (Original Mix) [InDeep’n’Dance Records]
Gaston Zani – It`s Time (Metodi Hristov Remix) [Set About]
Vale of Tears – Control (Atroxx Remix) [Unity Records]
Uto Karem – Illusion (Drunken Kong Remix)