“The intention of Pop Music” Kobakov explains, “was to make a solo piano album that paid homage to both of my worlds - the first half of my life as an Eastern European and the second half of my life as a Canadian. The traditional elements represent my time in Bulgaria while the modern elements represent my life in Toronto.”
Kobakov points out that the album title is intentionally tongue and cheek. “It’ll throw some people off” he admits, “this is obviously not a pop album in the modern sense of the word. However, I did take a pop approach to the music in that all the pieces are under five minutes long, there’s a focus on melody and recurring themes - and there are guest vocalists.”
The guests that Kobakov quietly alludes to are Emily Haines and Tunde Adebimpe, lead singers of Metric and TV On The Radio. “I have a ton of respect for them", says Todor, “they were the only voices I envisioned on the album. I wrote the pieces for them and I’m very grateful for their contributions.”
Composed over a six month period and performed on a 1948 Steinway Model L that Todor picked up “for a bargain” on Craigslist, Pop Music showcases Kobakov’s craftsmanship as composer, pianist and storyteller. Inspired by Kobakov's own life experiences, the pieces on Pop Music encompass happiness and sadness, softness and boldness - often within the same song.
“That’s just life” muses Kobakov “sometimes it’s great and sometimes it’s not. Dreams come true, but more often they don’t. I try to reflect that honestly in my music.”