Globalization and digitalization can result in the strangest effects these days … and no, I’m not talking about the impending climte crisis or the current pandemic chaos. It also had a fascinating effect on music markets and the understanding of artist relevance and reputation. Technically, Kristian Kostov is already quite famous and way too overqualified for our Listen Ahead category, you might say. Following his participation in the infamous Eurovision song contest in 2017 the Bulgarian-Russian singer already had a quite successful run in China and other Asian countries. But have you heard of him yet? Probably not. Superstar in one part of the world, newcomer in the other – what a fascinating time to be alive, right?

In terms of production and vibe Honest feels like a pop song for the here and now. A track Justin Bieber would come up with although he’s currenty not capable of doing so as it appears to me. On the outside the track feels like a fluffy piece of smooth pop but on the inside it tells a story of betrayal, textbook relationship breakup that also comes with a twist that I’m not spoilering here. The sinister video, drenched in finest Blade Runner colours underlines the darker undertone as well. But apart from that it’s just a really catchy piece of pop with an infectious groove and just the amount of class a song like this needs to perfectly balance between mainstream appeal and something a little more subtle. So, yeah Kristian Kostov‘s on the rise and we hope you’ll follow him on this journey.

Every Monday we’re updating the 50-track-strong Listen AHEAD Playlist on Spotify, adding ten strong songs by sill relatively unknown artists at the beginning. This week’s new picks also include fresh songs from Naheli, Gunnar The Fifth, Arliston, Elis Noa, Vistas and more. Follow the playlist right here on Spotify and give these new talents a chance.