Written by Rowan Howard

Dr Milen Vrabevski is the music manager of the Bulgarian production company, Intelligent Music. Dr Vrabevski is a composer and musical producer.

On their website, it states that: ‘The ambition of Intelligent Music label is to promote the Bulgarian cultural heritage, contemporary music and performing arts throughout the world by creating a unique musical product featuring performers of international authority and fame.’

With this in mind, our interviewer, Rowan Howard was eager to discover more about the label, the band, and also Dr Vrabevski. 

When did you first discover your passion for music?

I’ve been doing music for a long time. I really started getting into it whilst I was studying medicine at university. I learnt how to play the piano and the guitar. I have other ventures that take up my time; a typical day for me is very busy, consisting of meetings, studio work and concerts. I don’t actually see myself as a composer, however, music is just my passion.

What music did you grow up listening to?  Are there any specific bands that have inspired your work? 

I think because I have worked with members from big prog-rock bands, people normally associate my inspiration with those bands. I grew up listening to bands like Black Sabbath, Rainbow and The Beatles. I guess my inspiration came from bands like that.

From listening to your work, specifically your most recent album Sorcery Inside, I feel like you were inspired by bands like Blue Oyster Cult, Van Halen or Rush? Is that true?

I’ve not actually heard anything from them, but it’s nice to know it evokes other styles.

What inspired you to also create a rock musical (Azure Square)? Do you have a theatre background as well as music? 

No, I don’t actually. I just really like musicals! Every time I come to London with my wife, we always go see musicals. I’ve seen We Will Rock You 17 times. 

Oh wow, so is that one your favourite?

It must be! I’m also a big fan of Mamma Mia. 

There is clearly a strong intention to omit positive messages throughout all your work with Intelligent Music. Why do you think that is important in the world today in 2019? 

I think it’s important especially today in this mad world. I am already a positive person anyway and I always have been. I believe everyone is here on this planet to help each other, but to also live for themselves and they should find the magic within themselves. I think that if you want and believe that good things will happen to you, they will. It’s like uh…

Like the law of attraction?

Yes, exactly that! I couldn’t remember the phrase then so thank you. I want to pass this message and the magic of music onto my children.

On your projects, you have worked with some big figures in rock music like Joseph Williams from Toto and John Payne from Asia. Which musicians would you like to work with in the future?

Yes, I have worked with singers like John, Joseph and Carl Sentance. We all became acquainted through music and I also became acquainted with Simon Phillips. I enjoy working with Simon so much, that I don’t think we want any radical changes. On our forthcoming album, Life Motion, which will be released in February, it features the vocals of Ronnie Romero from Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, so that’s something new.

The lyrics in your work are very uplifting and focus on allowing the listener to find, as you say, their ‘own source of magic’. Should we expect this same lyrical content on Life Motion?

Yes, all my work is positive. Like I say, I have always been a positive person and I want to share my knowledge. I believe that you shouldn’t keep the knowledge within you to yourself, you should share it, and music is a great way to do that.

Obviously today, the genre of progressive rock is not as popular as it was 30 years ago. Do you think the hype could come back? Could Intelligent Music be the company to make that happen?

No, we don’t try to bring the hype back; we don’t take ourselves too seriously. If we produce a song and we like it, it stays. That’s our process. There are a lot of great styles out there right now and we don’t try to deter away from that. You can’t judge someone for liking a certain genre of music; I think it’s good to have variety. 

Intelligent Music’s latest album, Intelligent Music Project IV – Sorcery Inside, was released in October.

The album features Simon Phillips (Toto, Judas Priest), Carl Sentance (Nazareth), Richard Grisman (River Hounds), John Payne (Asia) and Joseph Williams (Toto).

To read our review of the album:

Find out more about the band here: http://intelligent-music.com/