Prins Thomas’ Norwegian-rooted Full Pupp imprint shares its first album release of 2020 coming by the very capable hands of label mainstay and deep house connaisseur Ivaylo.

Our good buddy Ivaylo has been deeply involved in both the Norwegian and international circuits for over two decades. Next to running his own Bogota Records and being part of the Jaeger Oslo crew, he is responsible for managing a multitude of Prins Thomas run imprints like Full Pupp, Internasjonal and Retti Fletta. With his music firmly rooted in house and its myriads of forms, ranging from the deeper soulful and jazzy sounds originating from the US of A, to the more contemporary style from the Romanians and the Chileans, Ivaylo now offers a new 8-track album experience.

To mark the occasion we reached out the man to hear the latest and gain some insight about the LP’s creation.

Hey Ivaylo, good having you here and thanks for taking the time to talk with us! What have you been up to and how have the last few months been for you given the current global situation?

Hey guys, thanks for this invitation! Calmly enough, last months has been actually not so different, than what I normally do – working in the studio, managing Prins Thomas’s labels including mine Bogota Records and spending all free time with my 3 kids and wife (kids & beats 🙂 )

You’re about to release your third studio album, following your earlier adventures into the LP format in 2013 and 2014. Was there any surge of inspiration in particular that led you back to the format and how long has ‘Ensom Kraft’ been in the making?

For me the idea of writing an album has always been accomplished with changes in my life – that’s basically what happened, since I started to work closely in the studio with Thomas, almost 3 years ago. The particular story about the album comes from, when me and Thomas were driving one night in my car and I had the track “Ensom Kraft” on the car player. Thomas liked it and asked me if I would maybe consider to write an album. As we were already working together on previous releases I did for Full Pupp, it felt like a new opportunity to collect all my music influences from 20 + years and present a mixture of sounds on the LP format. I couldn’t think about a better label, with such a wide musical spectrum!

Tell us about the writing process for this particular album. How did you approach ’Ensom Kraft’ and were there any creative challenges you faced during the process? And tell us a little about the coming together of the whole record.

As all tracks were projects I have started for years and never finished properly. I think in the beginning we had something like 15-20 tracks to choose from. It took me and Thomas more than 2 years to finalize most of the tracks and eventually choose 8 out. What was a major opener for me in the writing process, was when Thomas started to mixdown everything, sound pictures became cleaner and suddenly there were space for more sounds to be added. Also you can clearly hear Thomas bass touch on both “Landing” and “Skandinavis”.

Regarding creative challenges I was lucky enough with not having many, as the whole idea and vibe of the album came clear to me from the very start point, with the opener track “Ensom Kraft” (meaning “Lonely Power” in norwegian). I simply wanted to create a little story for my time of moving from Varna in Bulgaria in 1996 to Norway and all musical changes I faced – I guess it is only in my head though, but hopefully it can give the listeners a little perspective of the musical journey I went through 🙂

As the press release, Prins Thomas co-produced, played instruments and helped mix down the record. How did you experience working together on this project being such close friends?

I felt like a yacht with lovely wind in my sails 🙂 Jokes aside, it was a really easy and naturally coming process, as we know each other well! Knowing how detail-focused Thomas is, I was loaded with patience for the time it took and trusted in his opinions. As I already had the tracks written down, it was pure privilege having someone like Thomas, taking care of all small and super important details on the sound picture of every track.

Traveling across a wide soulful palette, your musical stylistics touch quite the mélange of genres. I’m curious to hear about some of your earlier influences. When did you get involved in music and how did things progress from there?

This is a long one… I grew up in communistic Bulgaria in the 80’s and 90’s, back then we didn’t have much information and simply opportunities to listen to anything else different than what was projected by the government – it was actually illegal to listen or promote “west music”. My father used to work on shipping boats in the 80’s and as he had the opportunity to travel around the world, he always would “smuggle” some records with him on the way back home, mostly rock and roll and disco (LOL).

Every summer holiday I used to go to my grandparents house (farm) located in a small village and in 1989 (I was 15 years back then) I managed to record on tapes (cassettes) most of the music I had from my father and bring them with me on the summer holiday. There was a small local bar in the village with a dance floor and decent sound system (it was LOL when I remember). I asked them if they would like me to be their discjokey for the summer, as I had music that nobody else had (in the village), they let me play! I spent a week writing down all track names and length in a small note book, so I could be able to change volume faders on the double cassette player they had. I played there every weekend for the whole summer of 1989 – life changer! This is how I started for the first time in my life to feel the dance floor.

Later on in the same year another life helper came to me, we got 2 students in medicine from Nigeria as neighbours and they were often throwing student parties in their house – those parties man – pure love! We became really close friends (I still call them brothers) and I must say they were the ones who really introduced me to black and soulful music! Funny enough a year later, I suddenly became totally in love with Jazz, as 16 years old in Bulgaria in 1990, it was a very odd thing. I kept collecting rare jazz tapes and got into learning to play the drums (never consider myself as a drummer). I think the Jazz (which I’m still in mad love with) opened my musical spectre in total!

Fast forward in 1997 friends of mine opened the first club for electronic music in my home city Varna, called “Comics”. This must be the most important era of my life, I got involved as a booker in the club and resident. Had the chance to meet so many amazing artists and friends for life! Being introduced and working with American house music creators at that time, was really a gate opener – the rest is history.

‘Ensom Kraft’ will be released via Full Pupp – a record label you’ve been closely involved with for years. I can imagine it was a no-brainer that your next album should be released on the label you’ve been calling home for so long. Can you tell us about your personal Full Pupp story and how your connection to the label developed over the years?

My story starts with Prins Thomas. The label has always been interesting for me, it has this kinda familiar-not familiar sound. I’ve known Thomas for years and used to go to the parties where he was playing in Oslo. Few years ago I moved to a new house and funny enough, to find out that we became neighbours. As I started to write music for the label me and Thomas were hanging (still do) everyday in the studio and discussed new releases and demos sent to all the labels he ran. In December 2019 it felt very natural for both of us to have me start as label manager for all labels and mostly help Thomas with the amounts of work he received.

Aside from your album, how is the Full Pupp release schedule shaping up for coming months?

Aside from my album, this year is mostly about our 15 years anniversary series. We have part 4 coming out September 18th and last part 5, October 16th I would like to use the opportunity now and mention that we are also starting a new sub label from Full Pupp called, Full Pupp Ekspress. Considering this effect Covid had on the whole music industry, Full Pupp Ekspress is our platform of releasing music quickly (mostly digital) and with a bigger volume of releases per month. Names like Sigurd Gurvin, Christian Engh and David Røsset are some of many both well established and newcomers to be released!

To round off, given the current Covid situation, what are you looking forward to doing the most when things begin to return to normality?

Being able to travel!

Ensom Kraft is scheduled for release September 4th. Grab your copy HERE.