Deep within the forest and empty, open fields of Niedergörsdorf, just a few hours away from Berlin, a psytrance, techno, multi-coloured, neon spectacle covered the area for the Zurück zu den Wurzeln [Back to the Roots] Festival. With multiple music floors in and around the forest, art workshops and sustainable fashion, one stage, the ‘Inspirations Bühne’ organised, built and produced by Berlin’s own Berlin Meets Wroclove, amongst the festival floors showed the most diversity in music and creativity. IndieBerlin gets the insider on the next generation of Berlin’s creatives.
Before the artists even arrived, the Berlin Meets Wroclove team of the Inspirations stage, headed by Nazife Demir, put every bit of passion into their stage and their vision.The stage was built with only a very small team of people over two weeks before anyone arrived on the 7th, decorated in ribbons from top to bottom, tyres covered in gold shining paper, had a ‘Transformation for Donation’ area in which you can be dressed up and have your picture taken for any donation and the highlights of the area were the heart-warming and inspiring wooden sign quotes that have inspired Nazife throughout her life, including ‘Sharing is Caring’; ‘Love Your Age’; ‘Trust Yourself’; ‘Think Globally, Act Locally’; and ‘In the end I always get my vegan cheese’, that she wanted to pass on to the world and provide happiness to the festival-goers. Her goal within her company Berlin meets Wroclove is to show the world the next generation of creative artists and music-makers and help these up-and-comers get the credit they deserve and need.
The ‘inspiration’ behind the Inspirations Bühne was the connectivity it created; all the workers, Nazife and her team, the photographers, myself and the media team, and all the artists helped to set up and help each other throughout the process of the festival.
The artists representing Berlin meets Wroclove were the most diverse collection throughout the whole festival; from singer/songwriter, rock bands, visual artistry, techno DJs, and philosophical storytelling. IndieBerlin found out more about each of their art’s and had an exclusive stage-wide interview with these young creatives.
Tristan Banks, from Britain and Egypt, is a musician new on the scene, having been guitarist for up-and-coming Berliner bands Ritzy Park and Moa McKay & Band. Now coming to the stage for the first time as a solo artist at the festival, he showed us a unique combination of talents, including a cover of The Rocky Road to Dublin by The Dubliners, showing his background in Irish folk, his own songs Levantine Eye, The Heart, and Oscillations that are rooted in Celtic folklore and even performed an Arabic song demonstrating his Egyptian roots. Keep an eye out for this one!
Naari, a three-piece band, with singer Neeraja Nari from India, drummer Ylva Brandtsegg from Norway and bass player Viktor Velinov from Bulgaria, that demonstrated some indie rock mixed with haunting and surreal vocals and beats ranging from calm and steady to upbeat and ready-to-dance. What was particularly special about their performance is Neeraja was able to connect all their songs through a story of Naari – meaning ‘woman’ in Sanskrit and the band’s name – so that each song was connected to the stories Neeraja’s childhood. You can follow Naari on Facebook to find out more about upcoming gigs and latest releases and listen to their latest tunes on SoundCloud.
MIN t is well known to indieBerlin and the scenes in both Berlin and around Poland – with her experimental mixing, layers, and vocals, her work is beyond creative. Electronic music with electric performance, her lyrics include feminist and female empowerment, including her latest release Her Story from her album Assemblage. Although her performance with Berlin meets Wroclove was temporarily disrupted due to electricity issues, she got the crowd dancing, moving and loving her beats. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram for more updates on gigs and releases.
Nomi Elektra was Berlin meet Wroclove’s live techno act every night of the festival and put on quite a show. With her progressive techno, she brought in an immense crowd that danced for over an hour to her tunes and even got regulars the following nights. With deep and dark beats and uplifting evolution in her tunes, not one person could refuse the call of dancing! During her set, the visual artistry of Lumikko was played in a loop in the background which added to the chill vibes the Inspiration stage created. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Soundcloud for more updates and tracks!
Bard Baitman from Israel, had a unique artistry and moved away from music. Bard’s cool and semi-psychedelic videography played on a projector while stories were told, ideas were generated, and Bard even connected with the crowd, advising and talking to some of the festival-goers about their lives, how to think about them in different ways and gave unique perspectives to people’s problems and ideas. The concept of interaction and reaching out to the audience was created by both Bart and Nazife – keeping with Nazife’s ideals of interactivity and connectivity. You can follow Bard’s Facebook and website for more ideas, character concepts, and storytelling.
Lumikko, otherwise known as Dominika Otto, from Wroclaw, Poland, is a visual artist and poet. She helped the entire set-up of the stage at the festival, but also demonstrated her talents through her poetry videos, including poems 24 (is weird), in which she had written a stream of consciousness on her first thoughts at 24 years old, with cool imagery of smeared red lipstick and thoughts of al dente pasta. Lumikko is skilled in photography and videography and her visual and poetical creations are available for you to see and experience on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram!
Néant, a three-piece band comprising of the haunting and beautiful vocals of Vera Arkelid from Stockholm, Sweden, guitarist Maximus Garbers from Berlin and drummer Ettore Carcano from Metz in France. They’re psychedelic melodies, insane and awesome guitar riffs and drum solos, their rock and ambience got the crowd head-banging, dancing and buying Néant,’s merchandise. Their melancholic and sometimes angsty songs related with the festival-goers and added something new to the Inspirations Stage. You can follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Soundcloud to listen to their tunes and keep up to date with more gigs and releases!
Palo G is an MC and DJ from Spain, creating her own songs including Purple Bra and her latest track Real Vibes. She primarily DJed for the stage at the Berlin meets Wroclove stage, bringing back R’n’B, hip hop, rap, and funk classics including Snoop Dogg and Shaggy that got everyone grooving and reminiscing in the hot sun. To see Palo G’s updates on new gigs and tracks follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
On top of these musical talents, we had circus acts and workshops held by Heinrich Foot and Payoul [Paul] Mac Sheepp, who showed the crowd during the day how to use circus sticks with a flourish and how to use fire in the festival’s fire pit at night.
These acts were truly compiled in such a varied and wonderful way, and indieBerlin got an interview with all of the performers at the Berlin meets Wroclove stage:
indieBerlin: Tell us a little bit about your musical background.
MIN t: I have started with classical music background, after some time I discovered jazz, soul and then ended up listening to electronic music.
Tristan Banks: I love to play all kinds of stuff, I grew up with metal, blues, rock, and folk. Being a musician is a family thing for me. Learned a bit of drums when I was super young, then picked up a guitar when I was 13, formed a rock band and started singing. I was in an Irish traditional(ish) folk band for a few years, then spent a year on my own figuring out my art and playing. I love most kinds of music, from super heavy, to super chill. Electronic or 100% organic.
NAARI: Soul, folk, rock & roll, R’n’B. Songwriters like Jeff Buckley, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen.
NOMI ELEKTRA: A lot of techno and darkwave.…but also punk, dub, oriental, gipsy, hip-hop/rap…
Segmented waves of delusion and psychedelia, framed on an oil canvas of the romantic era and a surreal dimension.
indieBerlin: How did you come up with the name __?
MIN t: I wanted to have a name which starts with the letter M. I used to love minimalistic music and art that time so I started with MIN. MIN t is associated with mint which reminds freshness.
Néant,: Néant is French for Nothingness, void. We were brainstorming ideas around words to describe the open field of atmosphere, space. Wanting to go further within the direction of our music we found inspiration from Jean-Paul Sartre’s book: Being and Nothingness -“L’etre et le néant’’.
NOMI ELEKTRA: Well, Nomi is my real name..and Elektra, on the one hand, is based a little bit on the character of the Greek mythology in The Flies by Sartre, who was repressed and was always a bit melancholic but then liberated herself, and on the other hand, because it sounds similar to electro. I want to make female* persons in electronic music more visible it is with an „a“ and I like the hard sound of the „k“ in German that I find it fits better with my music.PALO G: Anybody would assume that G means “gangster”, right?… I had no idea about this when I chose my name, G is just the first letter of my surname. Should I feel ashamed? lol
BARD: Storytelling has always been a hugely important thing to me since I can remember myself. This past year, as I was changing my gender identity – I was stumped for a name for myself as a man. I was also talking to a lot of people about my aspiration to be and live as a storyteller above all things. There were jokes going about that I am a bard, like in D&D. Which I loved! So I started using Bard as my playa name (burning man culture). But at some point, I realized that I really liked the sound and meaning of it. And decided to adopt it as my real name. My playa name is now Boy Wizard, in case you’re curious 😉
LUMIKKO: I was on my semester abroad in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland. We were watching short films in class and one of them was called “Lumikko: the little snow animal”. I liked how it sounded and it sort of stuck with me. Later I found out it basically means “weasel” in Finnish…
The world makes more sense when you structure it into a narrative
indieBerlin: Tell us something about yourself that you always wanted to say but no one has ever asked you yet.
LUMIKKO: Why yes, Mr. Gaspar Noé, I’d love to work with you!
indieBerlin: How does the songwriting process work for you / in your band?
MIN t: Usually I start with interesting sounds I created or picked from my library. Sometimes it’s just a short melody in my head which develops together with the production process.
Tristan Banks: All my songs are written in a different way. Experimentation, at the moment, brings me the best inspiration, finding something that is yours and running with it.
Néant,: The songs have different energies and sources of development. Sharing a musical moment is the entity of our band. Our influences allow us to think perpetually in different ways. Berlin being a strong music scene with electronic tendencies. We have the impression to take a turn on the artists we use to listen.
PALO G: I am normally high and listening to music, and suddenly I get a kick of inspiration or the idea of a cool rhyme/theme… and that’s how it starts.
LUMIKKO: When it comes to my favourite or rather…most vibrant projects it usually goes:
Earthly existence -> breakdown -> write down -> shoot & edit -> cry -> edit more -> post -> feel the internet love
indieBerlin: If you had to describe your music to a deaf person, what would you say?
MIN t: I would try to paint something that I feel while creating.
Tristan Banks: Sit down. This is going to take a while…
Néant,: Segmented waves of delusion and psychedelia, framed on an oil canvas of the romantic era and a surreal dimension.
LUMIKKO: If I had to describe my images to a blind person I’d say it’s like when you’re short on breath and you don’t know why but then you realize why and you finally take that deep breath and know things will be okay…. So I guess, like coming out of a panic attack? But also like walking down the street and suddenly smelling a flower shop and then fries and a mango milkshake appear in your hand and you get a call from your crush inviting you to a vegan sushi date.
indieBerlin: Tell us a secret about yourself.
NAARI: Two girls and a boy go to a bar. 1 orders a whiskey, another a cocktail and the 3rd some water. Who killed the mystery dog?
LUMIKKO: “Where is the line between self-limitation and knowing what you want? Is it hidden in the lemon cake?”
This is something I wrote when I was wondering about why I feel so disconnected from the world at times and then I saw one of my favourite bloggers post about some lemon cake she made and thought maybe the connection is in the simplest of things. And it is but I can’t always find it there either. Anyways, not a fan of secrets. Authenticity = less stress. There is no way around it really, secrets come out if they need to!
indieBerlin: Where do you get your inspiration from?
NOMI ELEKTRA: From my feelings…all my tracks are portraits of my emotions.
BARD: Everything that happens to me… stories I hear from other people. The world makes more sense when you structure it into a narrative – of the random progression of events and the way my brain struggles to tie them together into something coherent – I guess that’s what inspires me. I have to be in a good and receptive mood, though, to open up to things like that.
like walking down the street and suddenly smelling a flower shop and then fries and a mango milkshake appear in your hand and you get a call from your crush inviting you to a vegan sushi date.
indieBerlin: What music do you listen to when you’re touring?
NAARI: Abba, Radiohead, and lullabies.
BARD: Techno and Psybient and black folk metal and post-metal
indieBerlin: What was the last concert you went to?
Néant,: King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard
BARD: Solstafir and Myrkyr, in Berlin. I was ecstatic! It was incredible! I was so inspired by their visions!
indieBerlin: What was the nicest compliment you once got?
NOMI ELEKTRA: That they felt warm and in the right place – in the dreamy world that I created with my music, that is dark and deep but full of emotions and colours as well…
NAARI: That we could almost start a cult
BARD: Someone said the things I said filled them with energy and inspiration – that is exactly why I do what I do and it felt amazing to be told that it works!
LUMIKKO: Once my lecturer described my work as “innocent gloom” (sounds even better in Polish, trust me!) and it really helped me find my way. But also everytime someone writes me on Instagram or comes up to me after a screening (like on this festival) and shares with me anything that comes to their mind after seeing my work it’s the most beautiful. I want to make people feel inspired but most importantly I want to make them feel understood. So anytime anyone relates to my work in any way it’s the nicest compliment for me.
indieberlin: In ten years you look back to today and think:_
MIN t: I had quite interesting and intense life. And I tried my best.
in the dreamy world that I created with my music, that is dark and deep but full of emotions and colours as well…
indieBerlin: Do you dream in colour or black and white?
MIN t: Definitely in colour.
PALO G: I dream in film.
indieBerlin: Do you see your songs in colour or in black and white?
MIN t: Every song has its own colour to me. I can colour the whole scale of sounds.
indieBerlin: Do you want to greet somebody ;-))?
Tristan Banks: Thanks to everyone who came and made the experience so interesting and memorable. Special thanks to everyone in Néant for bringing all that gear! Thank you Nazife Demir for giving us this opportunity to play at such an event!
LUMIKKO: Not sure if “greet” is the right word but I want to thank Nazife Demir – the creative mind, the founder and producer of Berlin meets Wroclove for putting it all together, creating the space and making it possible and working super hard on preparing our area. And also a huge thank you to Ernest Newsky – our sound engineer and stage mastermind who made all the technical wishes happen and even left his work to be with us and help!