Valkania was formed in 2010 by Viktor Mastoridis who is a songwriter, singer and plays bouzouki/guitar. They recorded 3 EPs and an album.
Up & Down (EP, 2010) recorded with Mariana Bogdanova as a singer, Rob Stutterheim on piano and Viktor.
Frozen Souls (EP, 2011) recorded with Mariana Bogdanova as a singer, Rob Stutterheim on piano, Rupert Gillet on double-bass and Viktor.
Roots (album, 2013) with Andy Dewar: percussion, Nikolay Baldaranov: guitar, Nikolay Angarev: bass and Viktor
Roots Revisited (EP, 2016). some of the songs from the album Roots were 'upgraded' with andy Dewar on drums and Rob Stutterheim on piano/accordion.
Today, Valkania's live setup is:
Viktor Mastoridis (gr/mk): singer, bouzouki/guitar
Rob Stutterheim (nl): piano/accordion
Nikolay Angarev(bg): bass
Andy Dewar (uk): drums
and Nikolay Baldaranov (bg) on a guitar, as a flying member
Viktor is the band leader and master coffee maker. He sings and plays bouzouki, baglama and guitars.
Born in Greece and raised in Yugoslavia/Macedonia, he misspent his youth listening to imported Mountain, Cream and Led Zeppelin records and found fame with an indie hip-hop band.
Viktor came to London via the Netherlands, where he had the idea of fusing Balkan folk with Western music. Valkania was born!
Andy plays cajon, darabouka and spoons. He’s a committed Londoner who fell in love with the 11/8 rhythm.
He can now point to the Balkans on a map of Europe.
He has written and produced music for film and TV and worked with artists including Boy George, Gallon Drunk, Labi Siffre and Lee Scratch Perry.
Rob is a graduated piano player with an excellent sense for style, colour, harmony, jazz and the best coffee machine in the band.
Lately decided to learn the accordion and takes master classes from Zivorad Nikolic, the accordionist of the Balkan band Paprika.
Nikolay is a graduated French Horn player, who is an excellent bass-player. He has a perfect hearing, can sight-read, and a has the best stage presence in the band. Loves pickled cucumbers and peppers.
“Nikolay the Younger” plays tambura, bouzouki, guitar and bass and sings.
A child prodigy from the Bulgarian mountains, Nikolay won the national competition for folklore instruments six times.
He played in military bands, taught music at the University of Sofia and spent a happy period living in Greece, eating baklava and performing in the Laika Proastia orchestra.