After our interviews with Berlin city shapers PANSY from Yo! Sissy Festival and Yasha Young from Urban Nation we are coming to the third and final part of our interview series that is inspired by Heineken’s Shape Your City campaign. While the winners of The Cities Project are already working to make their bar concept a reality in the beautiful city of Cologne, we had a chat here in Berlin with our latest interview partner Nicolas Defawe. If his name doesn’t ring a bell for you, you might know some of the amazing spaces that he was and is involved in such as the awesome, but sadly closed HBC, the short-lived +-0 in the old Postbahnhof building, and the Urban Spree gallery at the RAW area.
Nico is one of the people in the alternative cultural scene of Berlin that we have collaborated with a lot over the years with many of the events we did with iHeartBerlin and its sister project Designer Scouts. It was always such a pleasure to work with him because he has such a positive and supportive spirit and he is the type of guy that you can easily go and steal horses with (this is a funny expression we like to use in German that means that someone is game with just about anything). In our interview with him and his Urban Spree partner Pascal Feucher we revisited some of the old places and looked into the future for the current one…
Recently we kicked off a new series of interviews about the movers and shakers of Berlin inspired by the Shape Your City campaign by Heineken, a competition for city shapers in the making who aspire to help create a bar built on the basis of their personal concept. In the first part we introduced you to party and festival organizer PANSY who spoke with us about the changes and prospects of Berlin’s nightlife.
For the second edition we want to venture from the nightlife into the daylight and bring up one of our favorite topics on the blog: Street art. Berlin is full of it and cherished for it. Especially in the last couple of years so many new incredible works have been added to the walls of Berlin making it huge open air gallery for contemporary art. What many people might not even know is that a big part of the new murals in Berlin were organized by Berlin-based contemporary art platform Urban Nation. We spoke with director and curator Yasha Young about the development of this project and their plans to open the world’s first big street art museum.
photo: Manuel Moncayo
Berlin is greater than the sum of its parts. Why is that? Because some of the parts stand out. They are the people who actively shape the city into the place that it is – some like to call them the movers and shakers. Without these individuals the city would be pretty boring and grey, but thanks to their involvement, enthusiasm and creativity Berlin gets illuminated with colors, fun and positive vibes. With a new series of portraits we want to bring attention to some of these city shapers that might otherwise stand in the shadow of their own projects. We interviewed three people that are important to us and whose projects give life and meaning to iHeartBerlin.
Our inspiration for this series was the Shape Your City project by Heineken, a competition for city shapers in the making who aspire to open up their own bar. Currently the jury is evaluating all the submitted concepts and soon the winner will be revealed. Exciting! Find out more about this here.
Today we want to start our portrait series with PANSY host of many fantastic nightlife events in Berlin and co-founder of YO! SISSY, Berlin’s very own fabulous queer music festival that’s been happening since 2 years now. In our interview we spoke about the changes in Berlin, the responsibilities of party organizers and the future of Berlin’s nightlife.
When you look around the streets of Berlin, on the tables of people’s homes, on Instagram, we are invaded by blossoms and flowers these days. The glorious beauty of Spring I like to call it. But the warm season is not the only one giving us the bright colors of nature; London-based artist Rebecca Louise Law had her Berlin debut in the past week with her stunning sculptural work. But her material is neither paint nor paper – she uses flowers. Lot’s of them actually. For the Bikini Berlin she created a huge site-specific installation that has the visitors of the concept shopping mall marvel at the beauty of nature. Hung from the ceiling, thousands of flowers form a mesmerizing sky of blossoms that are as enchanting as the Spring itself. We spoke with Rebecca about her new work and her relationship to Berlin. Read our interview and see more photos of the installation at Bikini Berlin after the jump.
photos: Kalle Kuikkaniemi
In our time it’s increasingly important that we all work together and no matter where you come from – humanity is of great importance! For our next edition of The Berlin Experts we interviewed the makers of a great platform that offers a variety of social projects in Berlin. Everyone can join the projects and “give something back to Berlin”. There is already a huge amount of hard-working volunteers and since 2012 the platform organizes community projects that aim to better the lives of many different groups of people in Berlin. There are language courses for foreigners who migrated here, creative evenings, workshops, food events and so much more. Since 2013 there are also many projects to help refugees and other people in need.
Read the interview after the jump and have some impressions from the work of Give Something Back to Berlin.
It’s been quite a while but we finally came up with a new edition of The Berlin Experts – an interview series that introduces you to some amazing experts of Berlin and its cultural scene including art, fashion, music, nightlife and media. As you may remember we already interviewed Finding Berlin, überlin and Johann from Circle Culture Gallery among others.
This time we want to introduce you to the Berlin radio station BLN.FM. Founded in 2009, the aim of the radio station is to provide an independent media offer with a focus on electronic music.
If you enjoy listening to electronic music of all styles you can tune into their radio stream from all over the world – 24/7. Furthermore BLN.FM runs its own web magazine, where you can read interviews, artist features and get some tips about Berlin’s city life, society, movies and art. Read the interview with the guys from BLN.FM and find out more about their recommendations for the best Berlin bands and career tips for musicians after the jump.
Berlin is known worldwide for being home to one of the most influental and thriving scenes for electronic music and club culture. Countless musicians and DJs are based here and are successful with their productions and in the clubs, not just here in Berlin but also all over the world, often with the “Made in Berlin” seal of approval.
Jan Blomqvist is one of the young talents of Berlin’s electronic music scene that managed to stick out of the masses and within only a few years he gained a huge fanbase that reaches far beyond the city limits. He grew up with the success of legendary clubs such as Bar25 and its follow-up Kater Holzig. Now he plays in the most popular clubs in the world and at big festivals. His music is a clever fusion of melodic electro-pop, deep house and minimal techno – a combination that melted the hearts of many club goers and music lovers. His last EP was released back in July and features his summer hit Time Again which is one of his most impressive tracks to date.
We visited Jan in his studio on a lovely Autumn day and talked with him about his music and his relationship to Berlin before we went with him to explore some of his favorite places in the city. Enjoy our interview and exclusive photo series with Jan Blomqvist after the jump. We would like to give a warm thank you to Italien menswear label Antony Morato who supplied us with oufits for the photo shooting and inspired us with its #antonymoratoplaces focused on creative European cities. Enjoy the perspective on our city through the eyes of one its most promising musicians
Since 2007 Niconé brings together urban club and fashion culture. Alexander Gerlach and Helena Kapidzic combine passion, style, elegance and humor. The music has become synonymous with a versatile vision of contemporary house music that isn’t afraid to surprise as being mature and playful in equal measures. In 2011 Niconé released the Romantic Thrills album together with his good friend and constant partner in crime Sascha Braemer. Now, two years later, Niconé is presenting the first full-length solo album, Let Love Begin, on Stil vor Talent.
In our interview with Niconé we talked about music by Blümchen, Casper, Robin Thicke ft. Pharrell, Lorde, Snoop Dogg, Village People and Mano Le Tough.
There is no need to introduce Booka Shade. The Berlin-based duo is one of the world’s most successful acts in electronic music. Most of the time, Arno Kammermeier and Walter Merziger are touring almost non-stop: in Germany and Europe, in South and North America, in Australia and Asia. Nevertheless they have found time to produce their fifth album Eve which was published just recently. It contains 12 songs and features collaborations with Fritz Helder (Azari & III), Groove Armada’s Andy Cato and Fritz Kalkbrenner.
In our interview with Booka Shade we talked about music by Yello, New Order, The Cure and dOP. More after the jump.
Eric Pfeil was the man behind legendary German music TV shows such as „Fast Forward“ featuring Charlotte Roche or „Sarah Kuttner Show“. After a while he got tired of television and started to work for FAZ, where he wrote a diary about Pop music. In 2010 he published a book called Komm, wir werfen ein Schlagzeug in den Schnee at Kiepenheuer & Witsch. Now he released his first album Ich hab mir noch nie viel aus dem Tag gemacht. The music is a combination of Italian Pop, Jonathan Richman, Kevin Ayers and Lloyd Cole.
In our interview with Eric Pfeil we talked about music by Flaming Lips, Bruce Springsteen, Ja, Panik and Raffaella Carra.