My name is Milen Slavov. I was born and grew up in Bulgaria. In 1997, I emigrated to the United States.
First of all, my pseudonym SLAVMAN does not intend to represent the Slavic ethno-linguistic group or any other ethnically related group; it does not represent the Slavs as a tribe.
It’s interesting how everything came to be. I was born and grew up in Bulgaria. In 1997, I (28 at the time) emigrated to the United States. I began exploring all sorts of markets, following the drive to express myself as a music performer, teacher, composer and producer. Finding work and creating a professional image in that regard was the priority. Of course, there were downs and ups but by 2003, things were looking promising. I was putting my name out on the market to build recognition and lock work contracts.
As unbelievable as it sounds in 2019, in 1997 the Internet was not massively implemented in everyone’s daily life; not in the USA and especially not in Bulgaria. However, consistently, the Internet made it possible for easy access to information, posting, searching, researching, etc. Around 2006, surprising messages started to show up in my inbox.
Being a first-generation emigrant is challenging. Many times some of the main challenges are related to recognition and acceptance by others. I was putting a lot of effort into contacting a lot of people in the cultural/educational/entertainment industries, saying: “Hello! I am Milen Slavov, accordionist-composer-producer. I’d love to hear back from you and explore a mutually beneficial working relationship.” Back then, most people I contacted never answered; some hired me; and some wrote/called back with a surprising to me comments and questions.
“Hello Mr. Slavov. Are you a judge in Bulgaria? Interesting – a judge seeking professional music booking in the United States. Are you doing music on the side?”
“Hi Milen. We see you are a doctor playing the accordion professionally. How did this happen?”
“Hey Milen. We are working only with professional artists. You being a sports coach is not of interest to us.”
I knew something odd was going on. Well, a quick search on the Internet for Milen Slavov showed that there was a judge named Milen Slavov, a doctor Milen Slavov and a sports coach with the same name.
Then, I thought a pseudonym could fix the misunderstandings; a pseudonym that is appropriate for a person and for a brand. The process for choosing a name went on for a while. Finally, I realized: my great-great-grandfather’s name was Slavi; my grandfather was Slavi; my brother is Slavi; my last name is Slavov; I’m SLAVMAN.
In 2011, I founded SLAVMAN, LLC. I also started adding my new pseudonym SLAVMAN at the end of my legal name. SLAVMAN with all capitals to distinct the pseudonym/brand name from my legal name. And that’s how Milen Slavov-SLAVMAN came to be.
January 21, 2019