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Ruth Koleva Premieres 'Candy Coated' Video & Her Soundtrack of Pride

Ruth Koleva Premieres 'Candy Coated' Video & Her Soundtrack of Pride

Ruth Koleva Premieres 'Candy Coated' Video & Her Soundtrack of Pride

The Bulgarian artist shares her brand new video, as well as a playlist of the songs that helped make her who she is.

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Ruth Koleva is done with "Candy Coated" promises in her delicious new music video, premiering exclusively on PRIDE.

"I always found it difficult to express my feelings, because I’ve grown up with the fear of abandonment," she tells PRIDE. "My mother left me when I was around 10 which caused a lot of struggles in my relationships later on. I would always fear rejection and would try to express my own feelings giving 'signs' which probably were wrong to begin with. I’ve been working on that for some time now and trying to be more calm and transparent and not fear rejection."

Koleva plays a game of cat and mouse in the video, knowing she can't trust whoever's been promising so much to her, understanding that there's no substance behind them. A heavy beat drives the track while she sings, "Take it all and all you've got is candy-coated promises."

At the end of the video, a quote pops up that reads, "Everyone should have the freedom to love and be loved," alongside a link to the GLAS Foundation, an organization fighting for LGBTQ+ equality in Bulgaria, a subject near and near to Koleva's heart. While she currently lives in New York City, she recalls a moment in her home country that changed her. 

"I remember when I was invited to sing on the first Sofia Pride 7 years ago," she tells us. "I was the first public figure in Bulgaria to agree and publicly show that they are part of the movement, I was thinking what 'surprise' should I do for the audience, and 'I'm Coming Out' was what made most sense to me. It's hard to believe now how scared I was during that first Pride in Sofia. There were more police officers than people marching, and a bunch of homophobes and right-wing nationalists were on the other side of the park shouting threats and slurs at people." 

To celebrate the release, Koleva shares her Soundtrack of Pride with us, where our favorite LGBTQ+ musicians share songs that made them who they are. We all have those songs that are forever ingrained in our coming-of-age stories. Songs that gave us hope, played during our first kiss, made us feel fierce, or simply helped us understand ourselves a little bit better. Oftentimes, this is particularly true for LGBTQ+ artists.

For Koleva, it calls back to her experience at Sofia Pride. 

"I remember when I went on stage and started singing how free, loved, and liberated I felt. How much in place I felt. That moment I knew that I was out! I voiced my love and support and nothing will make me feel scared to be where I belong ever again. My soundtrack starts with that special song since it's something marking a milestone in my life." 

"I've put together some of my favorite Pride month songs, which I also love singing! You can find a song by Russian band t.A.T.u, 'Ya Soshla S Uma,' which translates to something like 'I've lost my mind.' It was a lesbian anthem when I was a teenager and had greatly influenced my taste. 'Rebel Rebel' by David Bowie is my personal anthem and most special Pride song since I see so much of myself in it. 'Beautiful' by Christina Aguilera is one of the reasons I started singing when I was 11. This song changed my life and my perception. My parents got divorced and I was bullied in school on a daily basis (as many of us) and this song gave me courage and faith that all this will pass because we are beautiful, no matter what they say. Finally, you can hear my song 'Oceans' which has become something of a Pride special and an LGBTQ+ anthem on its own."

Listen to their Soundtrack of Pride playlist above and check out the rest of the series here! 

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!