Song of the Day: Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools by Dena

D E N A is the music project of Bulgarian-born, Berlin-based songwriter and vocalist, Denitza Todorova. “Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools” is a single from her debut album, Flash.


Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools (12)
Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools
Cash – one thing I ain’t got in the hood.
Dimond rings – I don’t need them.
All I want is chill with my friends by the swimming pools.
Sun is something that is here, not.
Walking in the cold and imagine that it’s hot.
Winter’s long and the summer is too short.
Nothing in between. I’m always wanting more.
Hanging here and wishing to be there.
Ending up with not really being anywhere.
I know that the grass is always greener on the other side.
Nothing I can do about it when I’m not satisfied.
Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools
Cash – one thing I ain’t got in the hood.
Dimond rings – I don’t need them.
All I want is chill with my friends by the swimming pools.
SOS – SOS – SOS – SOS (4)
If you are listening to this in a hot country.
Please come rescue me I’m give what you need.
I’ll bring my friends we’re just about twenty.
If you got a swimming pool, than we can be hanging (2)
Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools
Cash – one thing I ain’t got in the hood.
Dimond rings – I don’t need them.


Can you tell us more about that song? The chorus is so infectious, it’s practically made for parody videos, but what does it really say? We couldn’t find it on Rapgenius, but it isn’t about how all that swag is amazing, right?
“Well, it’s a little tricky, the chorus goes on: “Cash, one thing I ain’t got in the hood. Diamond rings, I don’t need them, all I want is chill with my friends by the swimming pool.”
The things is that, of all of my songs, these are the most minimalist lyrics I’ve ever written. For me it was a total experiment to strip down everything I wanted to say to just some key words. My producer convinced me that this should be the next track, whereas I was like ‘whaaa?’ It’s so minimal, I knew that in order to explain myself properly I need to visually add more content, to show what I mean. We were trying to think of places in Berlin, trying to reflect our everyday truth, or at least the vibe of it. We thought of flea markets, the director had one in mind, the Grenzallee one in Neukölln, and I’ve always liked images that are full of objects, so then we knew we had it.
The people on the market responded so well, it was the most epic time ever. It was a bit crazy for us, because while we were shooting, we were just three people, a shitty lens, no makeup, no anything. Everything was spontaneous, but the fact that we had this compact team and we built this cart with wheels so we could move the camera around, we were totally invisible there. I mean everybody knew we were shooting something, I was lip-syncing and interacting with everybody, but we weren’t separated from the other people there. The amazing thing was that everyone was feeling it. We played the song for everyone, asked them permission. Between takes I was waiting, talking to people telling me how they moved here from Serbia in the 80s, I heard so many stories. I had the feeling it was cool for those people too, something was happening, everyone wanted us to go to their booth. It helped that we spoke Bulgarian mixed with a little bit of Serbian and Turkish, and took our time to hang out with people, even selling some stuff. It was so cool.
Making the video we were just obsessed with finishing it, with making sure it looked good. Of course we knew some people were going to see it, I thought, at least I’d have been happy just to show it to a Berlin crowd, just to share it with Berlin. So when it showed up on the Fader blog, and it started popping up all over the place internationally, it was a kind of success I’d never even thought about.
Can you tell you us about your videos? How involved are you?
(…)For “Cash…”, I went to some other friends, and we tried to come up with something together, because they’re great artists, their stuff is in museums and everything. One’s a photographer, also from Bulgaria, so I brainstormed with him in particular about the content of this song, because it was really important for me to add more of a visual explanation to those lyrics. Listening only to my own lyrics, I wasn’t really convinced that it was explained enough.

Interview by  via Stil in Berlin

Born and raised in Bulgaria, she moved to Berlin in 2005, where she focused on writing music, singing and programming beats. She stepped into focus as a guest vocalist on the two The Whitest Boy Alive albums and has spent time honing her self-composed beats and finding her signature sound: a unique brand of pop, 90’s inspired hip-hop and native Balkan beats.

She released a number of tracks, causing a stir throughout the blogosphere along the way. Support slots for the likes of Das Racist, Icona Pop, The Whitest Boy Alive and LCMDF and a jam packed schedule at SXSW earlier this year have seen her live show grow from strength to strength and led to a notable nomination by leading German media Spiegel as one of the Top 10 international Pop-acts to rise in 2013. Her début album, Flash, is set for a March 2014 release.  []

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