Berlin in 2018 represents Europe’s creative metropolis number one. “Berlin reminds me of what New York was like in the early ‘80s,” Honey Dijon, iconic DJ, and cultural encyclopedia, told Clash in an interview in 2017, “It hasn’t been tainted as bad. It retains its rawness and roughness, it’s really young and still somewhat affordable. So there’s a lot of young artists.” – The European city that attracts musical talent ain’t London no more. Take a look at the following list of exceptionally talented and unique artists, and you’ll see: We have entered a new era of music made in Berlin. Whether short momentum or the start of bigger things to come. Don’t miss these 12 amazing, new music videos from Berlin-based artists!
Planningtorock – Much to Touch
The latest single by iconic Berlin-based queer artist Jam Roston, otherwise known as Planningtorock, is a refreshingly danceable and catchy Electro-R’n’B tune, co-produced by The Knife’s Olof Dreijer. The song is taken from their surprisingly intimate and personal latest album “Powerhouse”. The music video shows Finnish dancer Maija Karikunen perform to the song’s quirky flute sounds and rhythmic percussions on what seems like a giant prop from the set of “Where the Wild Things Are”. Take a look.
Molly Nilsson – Gun Control
“Gun Control”, the newest single of the Swedish-born “Wahlberlinerin”, stays true to her psychedelic, lo-fi sound-aesthetic and takes us on a melancholic night-bus ride through Neukölln just as much as to a dreamy Californian sunset. Her eighth studio album “2020”, released November second, is a new chapter for the Girl with the neon-yellow hair. “Twenty-Twenty is about emerging from the husk of your old self,” reads Molly‘s album description, “It examines the near future, seeking out clarity, reflection, renewal, and opportunity. Here, the pop auteur is haunted by the late Prince, channeling Courtney Love and Lou Reed, anger and love.”
FHAT – Pleasure
FHAT – that’s international sounds based in Berlin. The duo, fusing Hip-Hop, R’n’B and contemporary Electro-Pop, met at a party in Los Angeles but – by chance – decided to choose Spree over palm trees for their shared creative journey. “I applied for a few travel credit card and we pulled an EAT PRAY LOVE! And ended up in Berlin,” Aaron (and Sedric) told the blog Music Musing And Such. The video for “Pleasure” shows Olisa Odele, from the Netflix show “Chewing Gum”, on an unusual expedition through Berlin. Their fresh and catchy sound makes the talented coupling one of the most exciting up-and-coming acts emerging from the Big B.
MIKEY. – Love Levitation
Epic. That’s the short version of everything that happened after MIKEY.’s first EP release “Paths” in June 2018. Lastly, the Berlin-famous nightlife persona has stepped into the bright daylight and with breathtaking outfits, emotionally complex songwriting and a stadium-ready voice, made jaws literally drop to the floor. The music video to “Love Levitation”, already the third video release from the four-track EP, needs nothing more but a one-shot of MIKEY. draped in a yellow-green onesie that screams ICONIC and their soulful vocals to glue our eyes and ears to the screen.
Godmother – Drowning in Data
Godmother – that’s Cabaret-inspired critical theory in pop music drag. The group is lead by singer-songwriter Joey Hansom who, in an interview with The Pink Snout, shamelessly explained that he bonded with his fellow band members in a Berlin sex club: “We agreed that a lot of music by so-called queer bands was lacking substance. And that bands with queer content were often lacking musicality. A bottle of lube later, Godmother was born.” The video to “Drowning in Data”, from their first self-titled LP, is like a Windows 97 screensaver on acid. Think circling 3D animations and robotic voice over.
Alice Rose – Berlin is for Dreamers
“Berlin is for Dreamers” is the new single by Alice Rose, the glitter-faced, Danish-born Boho Queen, whose documentary-style music video takes us back to late summer days on her signature sonic pattern of dreamy harps, violas, and cellos. It’s the perfect audio-visual soundtrack for anyone wanting to escape dreary December days. Alice’s new album, fittingly called “What to Do in the Rain”, was released this November.
Poison Arrow – Casa Show
Poison Arrow, the production alter ego of multimedia artist and DJ Natalia Escobar, is serving a mysterious, fluorescent trip in slow motion in her new music video to Casa Show. The track is part of her remarkable EP “If You Don’t Love Me’ released earlier this year. “Casa Show is a cantina for broken hearts,” she explains, “It evokes the tension of the time spent inside this place; a requiem for lost innocence that conjures the laughs and laments of the working girls and the hidden stares of the voyeurs.” – and we got goosebumps all over.
Lara Maria Gräfen – Paradies
The Berlin blogger/influencer/musician/multi-talent is the only artist in this list singing in her German mother language. Longing for new inspiration, the Berliner traveled the deep south of the United States and found new creative vision in ancient mysticism and underground country sounds. In her new video to “Paradies”, Lara Maria appears like dark voodoo priestess who is also really into flower power and tripping on psychedelic substances on a deserted volcano island. If that sounds hard to imagine, watch for yourself.
Sarah P. – Mneme
When writing her new EP “Maenads”, the fairy-like singer-songwriter Sarah P. drew on her Greek heritage. The video shows her as “Mneme”, the ancient muse of memory, together with her two sisters. Through faded, analog imagery, paired with whisper-like lyrics to meditative drum beats, the 28-year-old lures us into a hazy summer dream dressed in white.
Drina – Alaska
Sharp black bangs, giant hoops with a tight and sleek fashion choker – they might be born-and-bred New Yorkers but Drina’s lead-singer is giving Berlin rebel girl at first sight, even though the video to their latest single Alaska takes us, staying true to its title, into a wintery forest landscape. The title of their single might be frosty, but that dark and sexy synth-pop got us all hot and bothered. Watch out for this Berlin newcomer in 2019!
Dan Bodan – Sisyphasia
The Canadian-born artist is a product of the early electronic scene of Montreal but, in need of a change of scenery, moved to Berlin already in 2007 and made a name of itself in the German capital for inspired, yet unusual contemporary music experimentations. In the video to his latest single “Sisyphasia”, Dan takes us on an ambient journey into the wilderness, watching a protagonist who, to sum it up, is facing some personal difficulties with a bunch of stones…
Stephen Paul Taylor – Shortcut
Stephen Paul Taylor is a self-proclaimed “Post-synthpop retro wave musician living in Berlin – the glittery, glammed-up lovechild of Depeche Mode and the B52’s”. His latest album is fittingly and self-ironically called “Synthpop Is D3ead”. The video to “Shortcut” is the best Kindergarten musical theatre production you will ever see, featuring clouds and lighting bolds dancing in choreography on a Berlin street corner.