Those with musical talent come in a wide array of styles but there are few as distinct as Ivo Dimchev. His performances are more theatrical as his voice carries a tone that calls for every ounce of your attention. Ivo talked about all of the skills he puts out on display from his latest album, Sculptures, to the provocative turn his act can take.
Kendra: You sing, write, choreograph. You pretty much can do it all, but what creative outlet was the first one to really take hold of you?
Ivo Dimchev: I loved painting as a kid. Then theater took over. Then choreography took over. I never imagined that one day I would be a touring singer and songwriter. And I’m still trying to accept this fact. The truth is that I enjoy them all…Painting, writing, acting, choreography, songs…One life is definitely not enough for a schizophrenic artist.
Kendra: Was your move from Bulgaria to London solely based on your career and what a place like London could offer?
Ivo Dimchev: I was never attracted so much in London. As a contemporary artist in the last 10 years, I have been invited only twice to perform here and I was invited both times by other artists, while my work has been programmed and presented at least 15 times in every major European city and festival. So I had a good reason for thinking that I wasn’t very welcomed in London and that probably the landscape is a bit conservative for my slightly controversial performances.
But now since I’m making conventional love songs and I see the extremely positive reactions of the audience after my two concerts last two months I realized that it’s a really nice place for my music. That’s why I moved here. And when I moved in I realized that It’s a very cool city and here I feel much better than in Vienna, Brussels or New York- the places I’ve been living mostly.
Kendra: Your style is both musical and visual, was it easy to find where you belonged in the scene once you settled in?
Ivo Dimchev: I’ve never had the feeling that I’m settled in. Probably because my personality does not allow such thing to happen. In the moment I feel in a safe zone I would find a challenge pretty soon or I will give myself an impossible deadline. I’m afraid that I’m too ambitious to be happy with anything. Some people are not fully satisfied ever, and I’m unfortunately one of them.
Kendra: Currently, you’re promoting Sculptures. What is the story behind this, and what can audiences expect?
Ivo Dimchev: Sculptures is my first studio album. I selected 12 of my songs and decided to collaborate with producers who could give a new perspective to the songs, something that I didn’t know about them. Kan Wakan, from LA, did a great job with some of the tracks. And I really love what Sash & Blazs did with my song “I Can Not”.
The title’s from one of the songs in the album called Sculptures, which I wrote for a performance of mine in which I’m interacting with several sculptures of the genius sculpture artist Franz West. I thought that its perfect title for the album, because for me the songs are really 3-dimensional, especially when I’m performing them live on concerts.
Kendra: Listening to some of your work, you have this beautiful melancholic sound. Do you pull from a darker place when you perform?
Ivo Dimchev: I use the energy of emotions like desperation, loneliness, rejection and I try to turn that energy into love. It’s a process of conversion in front of the audience. It’s exhausting sometimes, but its worth. It cures me in a way. It also cures the people looking at me, at least that’s what some of them say.
Kendra: You can be a bit provocative at times. Have you always been about pushing boundaries, even when you were younger and growing up?
Ivo Dimchev: You are obliged to examine aesthetic, moral, psychological boundaries as a contemporary artist. If we don’t do that there is no way the art to move forward. But as a songwriter, I think I’m pretty old fashion and conventional. It’s like taking care of someone. You don’t need to be experimental while trying to hug someone. You just hug this person. That’s enough.
Kendra: Other than Sculptures, what else is on your plate as we get into 2018?
Ivo Dimchev: I have a premiere as a choreographer on March 1st at Hebbel theater in Berlin. I’m making a solo for one American dancer Christopher Roman. I also playing live the music for the show on a piano.
I’m still touring with my contemporary dance theater performances but of course, my main focus is the touring with my songs. So I have a lot more concerts in music venues than shows in dance festivals. Which is good and proves that the music world is slightly opening its door for me.