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Bulgarian super band tops rock charts in Greece and Portugal

Philanthropist Milen Vrabevski: People in the Balkans should know that good things come from Bulgaria and that a helping hand, friendship and brotherhood are not phrases devoid of meaning

Photo: BGNES

A song by Bulgarian band Intelligent Music Project has topped the charts of three Greek radio stations, while Chilean Ronald Ronnie Romero, vocalist and frontman of the band, became number one in Portugal. Dr. Milen Vrabevski stands in the core of these events as he is author of the music, lyrics and arrangements of all the songs of the super band. He is a person known for his charity activities and philanthropism. In the studio, Dr. Vrabevski has been finishing work on the sixth album of the Intelligent Music Project. In addition to Ronnie Romero, whom we know as part of the popular rock band Rainbow, the recordings include Styx drummer Todd Sucherman, John Payne of Asia, Robert Rondinelli of Black Sabbath, Carl Sentance of Nazareth and Richard Grisman of River Hounds.

Dr. Vrabevski has told us more about the success of the band in Greece:

"It turns out that there are fans of rock music who just needed to learn that Bulgaria was a center of successful collaboration with top stars and that world-class rock was created here. In the charts, we quickly overtook bands like the Rolling Stones, Scorpions and others of my favorite bands I have loved since my childhood. Cultural integration and other terms sound like clichés, but they are full of meaning if one responds adequately to vicissitudes, especially in times of crisis."

Д-р Милен Врабевски

Dr. Vrabevski also told us about past and upcoming performances of the super band:

"We have had success in several other countries, including Portugal. There, our second album won the album of the year award of one of the most authoritative music magazines. Our new project will be released in March and in May we will have a promo tour in the Balkans, Greece and Romania. Turkey shows some serious interest, as well. So far we have been the only project of this kind in Bulgaria and we plan to continue showing this good example. It is good that people talk more about Bulgaria in a positive way. We are making a global product and it must be shown to the whole world. That's why we present it in English. I think we are quite successful in expressing our ideas in this language. Every song carries a serious message."

Before the lockdown musicians from the Intelligent Music Project had a very successful European tour. According to Dr. Vrabevski, the interest of the audience is due primarily to the renowned musicians part of the band.

Promoting Bulgarian music around the world is not the only large-scale initiative of Dr. Milen Vrabevski. Before the lockdown, he gathered children from the Bulgarian diaspora in the Western suburbs, Ukraine, Moldova and the Rhodopes for seminars twice a year. At the seminars young people studied Bulgarian language and history, entrepreneurship and even robotics in an entertaining way. But even in the current times of isolation, Dr. Vrabevski has not forgotten the Bulgarian communities abroad.

"The pandemic is an obstacle but it is not the end of our activities. We see it as a change of opportunities. We have already had several breakthroughs in educational initiatives funded under Erasmus and other programs. We have planned additional initiatives for cross-border cooperation with our western neighbors. We have been looking for opportunities for communication between children from the region and eliminating hate speech. When I invest, I do not ask people about their self-identification. It is important for me that people know we are sincerely helping to make their lives more beautiful. We carry civilizational spirit and model and they transmit these values in turn. For me, this is true European integration."

Interview by: Magdalena Gigova

Editor: Albena Bezovska

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: BGNES, Bulgarian Memory Foundation