She may not yet have released a debut album, but Berlin-based MC DENA (Denitza Todorova) is already drawing lofty comparisons to artists like M.I.A. and Santigold based on the strength of singles “Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools” and “Boyfriend.” But where the latter ladies pen lyrics steeped in metaphors and nuance, DENA (for whom English is a third language) doesn’t concern herself with hidden messages or agendas. The simplicity and directness of her rhymes and self-programmed MPC basslines make her brand of “girl from the bloc” pop an infectious, refreshing game-changer. DENA first got noticed with her impressive vocals on two of The Whitest Boy Alive albums, and her first solo project is a 7″ by Finnish producer Jonas Verwijnen.
I caught up with her at Jonas’s Kaiku Studios in Berlin, as she was putting the shiny finishing touches on her behemoth party opus, benevolently dedicated to art, fashion, and the pursuit of fun times.
DESTINY’S CHILD: I’m inspired by hip-hop, R&B, and music from the ’90s. I’m totally into Destiny’s Child! It’s my favorite band. But I also listen to beat music, like J Dilla and Madlib. Destiny’s Child is the music where singing and rapping is perfectly combined. I care for harmonies and chords. I don’t have this “anti-pop” or “commercial music” thing. In Germany, there was this famous [quote:] “Good music, I dance. No good music, I not dance!” I’m not American or English. I don’t have this filtering connection to the lyrics of all those groups. When I listen to Jay-Z, I probably get about ten percent of what he’s saying! Growing up in Bulgaria, my only connection to music was MTV… and it was a bit delayed. So, maybe I’m a bit behind.
Check out the full article on Interview Magazine.