D E N A is a young songwriter and producer from Bulgaria who has recently relocated to Berlin, and if the three songs currently on her Soundcloud are anything to go by (they are), she’s one oddball Eastern-European pop-star in the making. Her track “Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools” is destined to divide opinions like the war in Iraq, but is obviously far more important. It’s one of the most gloriously unselfconscious pop songs we’ve heard in far too long, managing to sound like M.I.A but without the uncomfortable self-importance, yet with all the crossover appeal that “Paper Planes” had.
The video might even be better than the song itself; marrying the Balkan bounce of the track with Bulgarian market traders and chubby kids who are all too eager to check D E N A out. Make sure you spot the kid with attitude at 1:52, because with a searing stare like that he’s probably a star-in-the-making, too. The no nonsense, precise production of “Games” is just as appealing, as well, and confirms that D E N A isn’t just capable of amusing videos or one hit wonders, she’s got some serious songwriting and production talent, too.
PS – yes, as if things couldn’t get any weirder, that is Erland Øye of Kings Of Convenience and The Whitest Boy Alive fame looking brilliantly incongruous next to D E N A. She contributed vocals to a couple of tracks on the last Whitest Boy Alive album so it’s only natural that he pay her back by dropping some dance moves.