Techno, Salsa & Pharmacy Windows: An Interview with Natalia Escobar

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photos: Alicia Kassebohm

A power woman with many careers: Natalia Escobar is many-faced, ‘many-named’ and many-talented’. Ultimately, when she served the first sounds to ever push Berghain’s new Säule floor through wave rhythms, drony Techno and experimental Electro a bigger audience came to realize that Miss Escobar is a Berlin force to be reckoned with. Yet, where others reach artistic capacity, the Colombian beauty seems to only really get going: Art exhibitions in various cities, making her own music under different aliases, DJ sets for Vivienne Westwood or the Techno Temple itself. If you don’t have her on your radar just yet, she should be now! Catch her DJing this Saturday at our 10 Year Anniversary and read on about Natalia’s favorite dancing spots, her beautifully simple love for Berlin, and her upcoming, first ever EP.

Andy by Andy
on September 1st, 2017
in Music, People

The Abstraction of Pop by Aérea Negrot

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The question is not, what is Aérea Negrot doing, it’s more: What is she NOT doing? The Venezuelan-born, Berlin-based artistic all-rounder works in every art form that comes to mind: She sings, performs, produces, DJs… She became internationally known for her collaboration with the dance floor superpower of “Hercules and Love Affair”, but only referencing this stage of career would limit her art. Her eclecticism jumps from pure energy behind the decks, over a love for experimental productions, to a voice filling a concert hall with every tone from a high falsetto to a roaring baritone. We still remember her mesmerizing avant-garde performance at Volksbühne. Before she’s spinning our 10 Year Anniversary event this Saturday, we met up with the Queen of Versatility and talked about dirty club corners, drunk aunts, and her exciting upcoming projects.

Andy by Andy
on August 31st, 2017
in Music, People

The Unexpected Beauty of Berlin Captured by Konaction

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Konrad alias Konaction is one of the most important and influential Berlin Instagrammers, over 130 thousand followers speak for themselves. He is a master in capturing Berlin’s unusual, nonconformist beauty, in grey skies, concrete walls and geometrical shapes. Like hardly any other Instagrammer he has managed to keep a level of originality in his stream of photos that always makes you look forward to the next one, always makes surprised to see a side of the city that you never noticed before.

We met up with Konaction and talked about the usefulness of hashtags, photogenic hotspots and how he makes all of Berlin desire a Plattenbau apartment.

Andy by Andy
on August 11th, 2017
in People, Photos

Understanding Berlin’s Gentrification from an Architect’s Perspective

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There is a ghost in town that will probably not get busted or disappear into thin air. Every day gentrification becomes more and more a real issue transforming neighborhoods, streets, and buildings from affordable, multicultural and diverse to posh, homogenous and boring.

But the issue of gentrification is not as simple as that. It’s a complex sociological and economic challenge Berlin is facing right now and solutions from politicians and urban planners alike are more than urgent.

To understand the phenomenon from a different perspective we spoke to Itay Friedman who is not only researching and writing about urban development and architecture but also working here in Berlin as an architect.

Claudio by Claudio
on July 10th, 2017
in Stories

Boys of Berlin: Musician Sion Hill

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At iHeartBerlin we always look for inspiring people in the city who we can present to you. So when meeting the musician Sion Hill last weekend, who is the supporting act on Pete Doherty’s tour, we took the chance and asked the newcomer some questions.

Alicia by Alicia
on March 7th, 2017
in Music, People

Shaping our City: Nicolas Defawe from Urban Spree

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Nicolas Defawe

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…

Frank by Frank
on November 1st, 2016
in People

Shaping Our City: Yasha Young – Director of URBAN NATION

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Yasha Young

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.

Frank by Frank
on October 11th, 2016
in Art, People

Shaping Our City: PANSY – The Hostess with the Mostest

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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.

Frank by Frank
on September 29th, 2016
in People

The Flower Wonder of Berlin by Rebecca Louise Law

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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.

Frank by Frank
on April 12th, 2016
in Art, People

The Berlin Experts: Give Something Back to Berlin

Volonteer Alejandro Martha Gemeinde

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.

Olga by Olga
on October 6th, 2015
in People, Stories