I’ve never known anything else other than music. I was accepted into Sofia Music School to play the violin when I was six, but I hated it. So I stopped and switched to classical percussion. I obtained my pedagogy degree from Sofia University Klimenr Ohridsky. I used to play for one of the biggest TV shows in Bulgaria. Then I quit, because I wanted to travel and to do something different.
I moved to London in 2008. Being a percussionist, living in London is brilliant. I’ve met so many different musicians from all over the world and I’ve learned so much about percussion. I also started teaching at MMF (Merton Music Foundation) Morley College, BYMT (Bromley Youth Music Trust) as well as my own Lil Percussion Academy. I even published a book! I love the energy that just goes on all the time. Especially with the kids, you pass the energy onto them on the stage, and then it’s coming back to you. It is magic!
Life is not easy for everyone, but the life of a musician is more fun and colourful. I think every musician lives in their own bubble. Sometimes you have to get out of the bubble to deal with the real world, but then you go back and function happily inside.
If I’m upset, if I cannot play the music or I cannot teach, I turn my unhappiness into lyrics. Music is me. I live and breathe it.
Sometimes your personal life may suffer because work and life is so blended. We are more free but we also fight for our freedom. You can’t take it away from us.
Some people go to work and then go home. They don’t have any bubble. Where is the magic? We are living in a magic world! It’s not the musicians who make this up. It’s real. It is all up to you!
If you don’t like what you do now, change it, do something today. Living for the weekend is wrong. Living for the summer is wrong. What about today? You don’t have all your life to sit and wait. Whatever it is, go and find it. Don’t plan too much. The world changes so quickly that it is impossible to plan. Plan as much as you can to be a responsible human being, and then, just live the day. In the end, it doesn’t really matter, your life, but you have to make it matter, don’t you?
Lilia Iontcheva, founder of Lil Percussion Academy