Two weeks ago he achieved Bulgaria’s best-ever Eurovision result when he reached second place with his song “Beautiful Mess”.
And now that he’s back at home in Moscow, Kristian Kostov is pondering his post-Eurovision future.
Speaking to the Russian edition of Hello! , the 17-year-old delivered a mature and realistic assessment of how one can capitalise on the Eurovision glory.
“It is important to act quickly,” he said. “In fact, there’s only a month after the Eurovision that you’ve not yet been forgotten.”
Thankfully for Kristian, who was born and raised in Moscow to a Kazakh mother and a Bulgarian father, he’s already experienced a surge in popularity in several markets — namely Bulgaria and Russia.
As a teenager he moved to Sofia to compete on X Factor Bulgaria.
“I was an outsider,” he says of landing on Bulgarian soil. “And now after the ‘silver’ [at Eurovision] they all say: ‘Here he is — our boy!'”
He considers Moscow his home but holds his Bulgarian roots close to his heart and was living in Bulgaria in the months prior to Eurovision Song Contest, so that he could fully commit to preparations.
As he told wiwibloggs during the London Eurovision Party in April, he considers himself from “somewhere between Russia and Bulgaria.”
After finishing second on X Factor he developed a solid fan base in Bulgaria, which led him to sign with Virginia Records.
Speaking to Hello!, he also revealed details of his Eurovision selection.
“Bulgaria strives to be young, progressive, dynamic — and although there were other contenders, let’s say, a little older, the country was not afraid to take a risk in sending me. At first I didn’t accept the proposal — I was wildly tired — over the last few years, I literally wandered from one competition to another. Secondly, I knew deep down inside — well, the competitive atmosphere isn’t for me. And then suddenly I thought — why not? I believe in the whole country! And I risked it for those who follow and believe in me.”
Kristian, who worked with Eurovision legend Dima Bilan on The Voice Kids Russia, says that he would have been honoured to sing for Russia at Eurovision.
But he points out that the selection process in Russia is rather closed — it’s handled behind-closed-doors by the state broadcaster. Furthermore, and as an illustration of how humble he is, he also admitted that he doesn’t yet have the profile for the gig.
“[Russia sent] Dima Bilan, Sergey Lazarev, Polina Gagarina,” he said. “And then 17-year-old Christian, whom no one knows? I myself, like the audience, would be in an uproar!”
Being a Bulgarian Muscovite with a career and a fanbase in both countries, he’s had to think hard about who to target moving forward.
“Russia is a large market and I certainly would not want to lose it. So now I’m working on new material, including some in Russian. I will say this. My aspiration is as follows: 50 percent for the whole world, 50 per cent — separately — for Russia.”
Kristian also talked about his future studies in music, explaining that he went through the audition process for the prestigious Berklee College of Music in November. The school is located in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States, but his audition took place in Germany, where Kristian travelled along with his brother Dani.
Kristian tells the Russian magazine that he completed all stages of the audition and has been accepted into the school. But, as with most private institutions in America, it’s very expensive: full-time undergraduates paid $40,082 per year in 2015-2016. He doesn’t want his family to pay for it, so has postponed his studies until 2018.
Kristian won’t be the only Eurovision alumni from 2017 who knows the school, as both Croatia’s Jacques Houdek and Portugal’s Luisa Sobral are former students. Jacques attended several summer seminars in Europe while Luisa finished a BA degree in music at the school in Boston.
Are you loving Kristian’s interview with Hello! as much as we are? What do you think of his future plans? And will you be following him? Let us know in the comments box below!