Thirty years ago renowned Bulgarian composer Stefan Diomov wrote the song „Hello, My Friend“ for a benefit concert in Burgas. The occasion was the birth of a new band in 1994 „Familia Tonika“ made up of all the performers from the groups „Tonika“ and „Domino“. „Their reunion, after various vicissitudes, provoked me to write a song about friendship and Peyo Panteleev’s lyrics fit perfectly,“ Diomov recalls, writes Bulgarian National Radio.
The song was very personal, it was composed with no intentions to be a huge success, but it became an instant hit and one of the band’s signature songs. And today, with its remake, it has recorded a new, this time international success. The lyrics are in English and the new arrangement gives it a country sound. It is performed by Neyko Genchev, known by his stage name Barney Esville, and Sarah Harralson, a rising country star from Nashville. „Hello, My Friend“ debuted at #23 on this week’s Hotdisc Country Music Top 40 chart. The Hotdisc charts are put together weekly using ratings supplied by DJs who give scores to every song on Hotdisc. The totals are averaged out per week to give an accurate guide to the songs which are being championed by the industry.
The credit for this project goes to Neyko Genchev, a professional musician and currently deputy mayor of Veliko Tarnovo. He also played most of the instruments. The recording features prominent studio musicians from the Capital of country music, Nashville, Tennessee. The post-production is by Maxim Goranov – the legendary guitarist of the Bulgarian rock band Diana Express.
Composer Stefan Diomov admits that when he received a phone call asking for permission to do an English version of his song, he didn’t have high hopes that it would enter the global charts. But now he is proud of the thousands of likes the song receives day after day from music lovers around the world. „This is a proof that a good song can sound equally well in all languages,“ Mr Diomov told the media in Bulgaria.
Musician Neyko Genchev told BTA news agency that the Country Top 40 list is formed by the opinions of more than 1,000 country radio hosts, DJs and journalists and is broadcast by 1,000 radio stations around the world in partnership with Nashville Country Radio. The song „Hello, My Friend“ entered the chart after competing against more than 300 new music submissions for the month of May. This is the second major success for Genchev and Bulgarian music, after the song „Live for the Day“ (a new version of a popular song by famous Bulgarian singer Rossi Kirilova) stayed on the same chart for more than three months this year.
Here is the original version of the song, sung for the first time by the legendary Familia Tonica: