+1 (403) 234-9875
011, 611 - 10 Avenue SW
Where did “DrovSky” come from?
Beau ShiminSKY: Some theatre screens aren’t wide enough to fit “Music by Kristian Alexandrov and Beau Shiminsky” in the credits, so we decided to adopt the Hollywood supercouples’ penchant for portmanteaus and become... DrovSky.
Why did you decide to form this dynamic musical duo?
Kristian AlexanDROV: We first met in 1996 and crossed paths off-and-on over the years. We started working together occasionally on projects in 2003 and found we really got along. We had a lot of fun.
SKY: And our musical sensibilities complimented each other well. Kristian is an incredible musician on bass, drums and keys. We both play across a wide range of styles but most importantly, we collaborate well together. Kristian is classically trained and I’m, well, uh... classic-rock trained.
What superpower does Beau bring to the collaboration?
DROV: He always has a super positive attitude that we’ll get the job done. He’s a great problem solver.
What superpower does Kristian bring to the collaboration?
SKY: He brings two. First, he’s easy to work with. Doesn’t have an ego. Second, Kristian’s experience and passion allows him to compose music in almost any style. Pop, jazz, cuban... even country. We’re both multi-instrumentalists, but Kristian’s on a whole different level.
DROV: A lot of composers mostly play keyboards, so I found it interesting that Beau came to this industry as a guitar-player first. It really allows us to collaborate and approach writing music from different backgrounds.
Based on what you have said so far, and your harmonious relationship... Do you ever butt heads?
DROV: No, I don’t think so.
SKY: I don’t know if we’ve ever butted heads but I think we’ve questioned why we’ve done something, or think that it can be done another way. There’s never been a time where I’ve walked away going, “That was a struggle.” We fight for the same result.
DROV: The reason we don’t is probably that we put the project and the esthetic that it needs to be first, rather than our individual artistic goals. This is something that we are hired to do. There is always a common goal and we leave egos outside of the studio.
SKY: Our agenda, is not the agenda. Our agenda is to do something we think is right for what the client has asked for. Or what we think is right for the piece we’re covering. Honestly, I have never given it that much thought and I don’t even think about it when we start a session.
DROV: Nor do I.
When you are composing, do you have a preference for the type of project you work on? Commercials, theatrical scores, jingles?
SKY: I have no preference.
DROV: Neither do I. I think that is actually effective, it’s what keeps it fresh. Sometimes we have to do a jingle for 15 seconds and Beau has to hit a certain visual which poses a certain challenge, but I welcome that as much as a 20-minute piece we have to do that moves in different directions and is a little more wide open as to what we have to provide. I can’t say that I prefer one more to the other.
SKY: I get a bit more anxious about one or the other... like when we’re starting a big project that’s longer and has more cues and more direction to go in, it can be a bit overwhelming – initially – with all the ideas and possibilities. Whereas, the 30-second ads are quick and it’s kinda met with a different excitement. Preference? No.
DROV: I am equally excited to look forward to being in the studio for 4 hours to bang something off, or to be coming in the studio for a week and know that we are going to be there everyday trying to come up with music.
Do you have a place you usually start?
DROV: It’s different every time. Every job requires something else.
SKY: I don’t think there is any general rule when we walk in.
DROV: Beau is the one that meets the clients first hand. It’s quite rare that I am there for that. A lot of the time Beau is the one that gets all the specifics from the client, so a lot of times, I would say Beau lays down the ground work as far as esthetic. But sometimes he will have an idea or I will have an idea. It’s not a set rule, it’s how it happens.
SKY: There are times I’m completely blind and we both go, “Try this! Try that! Try this!” and we see what works. Sometimes we just feel it out ourselves. That just goes to show what we have here. We don’t have to school ourselves on the process.
+1 (403) 234-9875
011, 611 - 10 Avenue SW
Any music you don’t do?
DROV: There is probably something we haven't done.
SKY: We haven’t done death metal.
DROV: No death metal. I don't think we’ve done a polka, or tango either, but I mean, we are able to kinda do anything from the pop, rock, classical, jazz. Definitely the mainstream styles, we are able to cover.
SKY: We’ll give anything a try.
Kristian, you’re classically trained and Beau is classic-rock trained, where did each of you get your initial training?
DROV: I was born and raised in Bulgaria where I was lucky to go to music school. The more specialized music facilities in Canada start later on at the college level. But you can imagine a school from grades 1-12 with the absolute focus on music – that’s what I graduated from in both the piano and classical percussion.
When I moved to Canada, I went to university for a couple of years, but mainly, I just started playing and touring, honing my craft on the stage and learning as I went. My dad is a musician, so I was exposed to the studio since I was a kid and always loved that.
SKY: My family really has no musical background or past as far as I am aware. Except my grandfather was fortunate enough to get a piano and play a bit. I saw a guitar in the Sears Wishbook. It wasn’t just a hobby... it consumed me. I started when I was 8 at a beginners group class where we’d learn The Who “Squeeze Box” or something of that era in the mid 70’s.
I think it was a bit of a surprise to my father when I got that interested in the guitar. He totally embraced my enthusiasm and went searching for a good instructor. Found a cool dude. Beatles one week, classical the next, country... and so on.
As a kid, you’re not really listening at all those styles of music, but it happened for me every week. So, I did that for a few years, but when I was 12 or 13, I moved to Calgary and stopped formal training and I didn't take another guitar lesson. I just played. I was in a punk band at 14, and of course when you’re playing music most days you get better and that was the training from then on.
What would be your desert island album or song?
DROV: That’s really tough... I am going to have to bring my iPod with me. Ha ha, I can’t name one. I don't think I can choose one.
SKY: Zeppelin box set would do if I had to choose.
Do you have a favourite movie score?
DROV: The one that hit me really hard would be the score for Amadeus. For some reason just the way that movie was produced and the score was used. it was probably the first experience where the sound of the movie was profound to me.
SKY: The Star Wars theme was huge on that level for me. Requiem For A Dream was killer.
How many tattoos do you have?
DROV: I don’t have any. I think Beau has enough for both of us.
SKY: Kristian, that will be our next thing. DrovSky tattoos.
Do you have a favourite key you like to play in?
DROV: Not for me.
SKY: No. I’ll fuck around on the guitar, whatever were doing, if were using guitar at all. But nope. I couldn’t care.
DROV: C sharp minor is not my key (ha ha ha)
SKY: D minor is the saddest key of all.
If you had to come up with a nickname for each other what would that be?
DROV: For Beau... I’d call him, “Rockstar”... you know why right? He’s kind of a rockstar! If I had to come up with another one it would probably be, “Decaf.” Our names are already so freaking weird I just call him, “Shiminsky!”
SKY: Yeah, and I call him, “Alexandrov”! Weird. Wow.... yeah, you know what, a nickname just doesn’t feel right.
Based on that, it seems like DrovSky is the perfect fit, then.
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