Sevi (band)

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OriginSofia, Bulgaria
Genresrock, alternative rock, hard rock, heart rock
Years active2010 (2010)–present
MembersSvetlana "Sevi" Bliznakova
Rally Velinov
Pavlin Ivanov
Delyan Ketipov
Past membersValentin Nikolov
Todor Todorov
Vladimir Donkov
Peter Bratanov
Ilian Iliev
Bobby Zasheff
Tania Apostolova
Temelko Temelkov
Ivan Angelov
Desislava Markova

SEVI are a Bulgarian rock band from Sofia. The current members are Svetlana "Sevi" Bliznakova (lead vocals), Delyan Ketipov (lead guitar), Rally Velinov (bass guitar) and Pavlin Ivanov (drums, percussion). The band describe their music genre as heart rock,[1] a name given to their style due to the emotional, heartfelt content and message of their songs.

Their debut album, What Lies Beyond, was released on June 14, 2012 in Bulgaria.[2] There were four singles to the album, along with music videos, as the first two ("Can't Stand the Pain" and "Limited Edition") were released before the album, and the other two, "Victim" and "Speed Up" came few months after the studio album. On April 23, 2014, Sevi released "On My Own", the first single to their second studio album The Battle Never Ends.

The band went on a national tour on June 27, 2012[3] in support of their debut album. The What Lies Beyond Tour ended on September 27, 2012. Soon after, the band started working on acoustic arrangements of their original songs, inspired in part by a performance they gave during a live session at Z-Rock Radio[4]. This led to an acoustic concert that the band performed on November 30, 2012[5], in addition to the video debut for the third single from What Lies Beyond. The acoustic show was recorded on February 13, 2013 at the Sofia club “Backstage” and released as a full-length DVD/CD package called The Other Side of Sevi.

SEVI performs at a huge number of Motorcycle Events and Festivals in Bulgaria throughout 2013. They launch the opening of the bike riding season in Sofia, with a performance on a moving flatbed truck platform, while being followed by a motorcade of avid riders. The event was captured on video, footage of which became the single "Speed Up".[7]


2005–2010: Sevi solo career[edit]

In 2005 Svetlana "Sevi" Bliznakova is invited by Italian record producer Rocco Milano to take part in a CD compilation with the song “On My Own, which she had co-written with Pino Biaggioli. The song is recorded with the Italian rock band "Eldritch" and in the beginning of 2014 it is re-arranged and re-recorded by Svetlana Bliznakova's band SEVI. Svetlana is (as of 2016) the only Bulgarian singer to have performed in the show of Sky Italia in "Club Lost" during the Sanremo Music Festival in 2007. She co-writes many new songs with Rally Velinov, himself a musician and songwriter, who arranges many of Svetlana compositions. The same Mr. Velinov later goes on to become the bass player, and a key figure in the band SEVI. In the summer of 2008 Svetlana, records 11 new songs in collaboration with Rally Velinov and guitarist Peter Bratanov. In January 2010 with the idea to create a wider platform and develop her career, claiming a stake in the music business, together with Rally Velinov, Svetlana starts a band, which she names after her own nickname, SEVI - making the band, in essence, an extension of Svetlana herself.

2010–2012: Formation, Sevi band and What Lies Beyond[edit]

The band SEVI is formed in January 2010 by Svetlana Bliznakova on vocals with Valentin Nikolov – drums, Tania Apostolova – keyboards, Rally Velinov – bass guitar, Todor Todorov – guitar and Vladimir Donkov – guitar. In August 2010 the two guitar players leave to be replaced by the former guitarist of Bulgarian alternative rock band "Awake" – Peter Bratanov.

By the end 2010, the band has already recorded their first single – "Can't Stand the Pain." In February 2011 they also shoot a video for it, but the single is released several months later, by which time Peter Bratanov has already left the band. In March 2011 SEVI brings in Ivan Angelov to fill the position of lead guitarist.

The original rock style of the band impresses local audiences and many media outlets and in very short time SEVI are played and invited to many radio and TV shows: the late show "Denis & Friends" on BNT 1,[8] SKAT TV,[9] Z-Rock Radio, Bulgarian National Radio,[10] "Radio ORV",[11] etc...

As of January 10, 2010 some of SEVI's songs enter in the permanent "Golden Archive" of the Bulgarian National Radio.[12] On November 13, 2010 SEVI win first place award for original composition with the song "Fighter For Happiness" at the "Sonic B.A.N.G competition Bulgaria".[13]

The next year, on June 24, 2011 Sevi releases their first official single and video "Can't Stand The Pain". It is the first video by a Bulgarian artists to be shown at movie theaters, between ads and upcoming movie trailers. [14] "Can't Stand the Pain" and SEVI are named "Band of the week" by Rock Symphony Radio in Lima (Peru).[15]

The summer of 2011 is very successful for SEVI. The band tours extensively in Bulgaria, playing festivals and other open stages. At the "International Festival – Belozem 2011" they win the "Special award".[16] Later the in same year, on the precise date of November 11, 2011 (11 / 11 / 11), SEVI release their second single and accompanying video to the their song "Limited Edition".[17]

In January 2012 the band decides to organize a festival, dedicated to the emerging Bulgarian rock scene, and original rock music. This becomes the "23 & 1/2h Rock IT Marathon," with the event taking place at the Sofia club and bar Rock IT on March 17 and 18 of 2012.[18] The event features 30 bands that take the stage over the course of two days. In the middle of 2012, guitarist Ivan Angelov leaves the band and is soon after replaced by Bobby Zasheff.

Two weeks later, on June 14, 2012 Sevi release their first official album "What Lies Beyond".[19] Later that June, the band embarks a national summer tour in support of their debut release.[20] November 30 of 2012, SEVI releases their third music video "Victim" as a prelude to their first all-acoustic live set.[21] Nine days later, on December 9, Svetlana debuts her collaboration with Sugar Djs. The tracks is billed as "Sevi feat. Sugar Dj's" presented their new track "Shocked". On March 23, 2013, SEVI opens the bike riding season in Sofia, with a performance on a moving flatbed truck platform, while being followed by a motorcade of avid riders. The event was captured on video, footage of which later becomes the single "Speed Up".[7]

“Speed Up” quickly zooms to the top of the Kamenitza Rock 40 chart on Z-Rock Radio and maintains a position in its top 10 for 30 weeks.[23] During 2013, Sevi does a lot of performances on motorcycle meetings and festivals, including performing one of their most notable concerts so far – The "Last Call for 2013"[24]. That show is also a heartfelt goodbye with guitarist Bobby Zasheff, who leaves the band as his family is to relocate abroad.

Bobby is replaced with Temelko Temelkov (guitarist for LieVeiL))[25].

The beginning of 2014 signals yet another lineup change where keyboard player Tania Apostolova is replaced by Dessy Markova – experienced keyboardist, who has worked mainly with cover bands, cruise musicians, and is a rockin' music pedagogue. In June 2014 SEVI are chosen to take part in Kavarna Rock Fest 2014,where an international jury chooses SEVI to be the opening act for the night of the festival that will feature the bands: Europe, Krokus, Gus G, Pretty Maids.[27]

In July 2014 SEVI start their first European tour[28], which features dates in Italy and Serbia.

2012–present: The Other Side Of Sevi and the thematic shows[edit]

The promo of the single "Victim" gives SEVI yet another opportunity to present themselves in a more imaginative light. After a performance at “Hijack Acoustic” for Z-Rock Radio, Sevi decides to create a full repertoire of acoustic arrangements from the songs that featured on their debut album What Lies Beyond.

The acoustic live show becomes the third original concept of SEVI's themed shows. The first one is created for the "What Lies Beyond Tour 2012" and it presents the band as pirates (in full regalia, replete with functioning cannon), scouring the world's stages gathering new fans by the thousands. After the "Pirate Show," and later the same year SEVI present their second themed show – the "Route 66 Show". The stage is set with an old-style gas pumping station, like one would see while crossing the border between New Mexico and Nevada; guitarist lighting a cigarette dangerously close to the pump; the keyboard player in dirty overalls as a mechanic who's ready to take a quick peek under the hood; and the rest - a small team of desperados, ready to set up camp anywhere and entertain the locals. Along they way, while developing these shows and promotions, SEVI start to compile ideas for their second studio album, teasing audiences with the occasional live preview of a new track.

SEVI second full-length release is entitled The Battle Never Ends. The album is presented at Sofia's club Rock IT on Friday (May) 13th, 2016. Living up to their reputation, the band had prepared a special show for the evening. The stage set to look like the aftermath of a battlefield, the musicians (including two guest backing vocalists) dressed in black, covered in a cloud of haze. The show starts with a soundscape of brutal winds, clinging swords (courtesy of Rally Velinov) and it features the vocal talents of prominent Bulgarian actor, Asen Blatechki, who reads out lines from the album's eponymous track: "It nevers stand... and prepare yourselves...'cause the battle...never...ever...ends" cueing the band to blast into the opening riff of the song! After the performance, SEVI welcomed guests and excited fans into their Fan/VIP area backstage for drinks and selfies.


Over the years, SEVI has become notable for their theatrical and original approach to their stage shows.[1] The stage is also decorated to match the theme of the evening; sound designs, scenery, costumes are always integral to the show. SEVI's first such concept, the so-called Pirate Show, was developed in order to enhance the audience's experience for the promotional release of What Lies Beyond, the band's debut. Apart from the stylized costumes, the band members had tucked daggers and pistols into their britches, laid down chains, hanged cobwebs, and scattered skulls around the stage, with the beginning of the show being signaled by cannon fire, courtesy of their own, non-deadly but quite LOUD prop cannon. This theme was taken on the road for the “What Lies Beyond Tour 2012”.

A month after the first Pirate Show performance SEVI returns to the local stage with their second stage design “Route 66.” The stage being made to look like a small gas station on a US highway going nowhere, the musicians themselves were in full character; dusty and road-weary, looking for a place to lay down their hats and strike a chord or two.

Following this order, SEVI comes up with the idea to rearrange their songs into a multi-genre acoustic performance. Coupled with the video presentation of the song “ Victim", SEVI set an intimate stage/scene inviting folks to hear and enjoy the band's softer side. The stage is decorated like a cozy and familiar room, hats and umbrellas hanging on hooks, candles shining a soft light on Svetlana's silouette, and a chandelier similar to the one used on the video for "Victim."

One of SEVI's most notable shows - "Last Call for 2013" - finds Svetlana in a Steampunk top hat with goggles, leather gloves and chains, with large metal plate fashioned into the band's logo which adorns her microphone stand. This metal logo remains a contast feature till this day. Guitarist Bobby Zasheff is equally dashing with a leather vest with a pocket watch on a chain peeking out from its pocket.

When it came time to present “On My Own", one the first songs to be featured on SEVI's second release - The Battle Never Ends, the stage is decorated to resemble a train station, with the musicians acting out bits and scenes from the music video to the delight of fans. [32]

Band members[edit]


Associated musicians

  • Jimi Sobara
  • Sugar DJ's
  • Zyggie



  • What Lies Beyond Tour (2012)
  • European Tour (2014)
  • SEVI ON Tour (2015)

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 1st place at Sonic B.A.N.G competition Bulgaria with "Fighter For Happiness"[2]
  • "Band of the Week" at Rock Symphony Radio, Lima (Peru)


  1. ^ "SEVI Show Photo Gallery".
  2. ^ Sonic B.A.N.G.

External links[edit]