Iva Lorens has been called “the young hope of the Balkan music scene” after the recent release of her debut single “Never Get Better”.
The Belgrade-raised songwriter/producer has released her sultry, heavy-bass track as part of an upcoming EP trilogy that follows themes of jealousy, disharmony and melancholy, encrypted with lyrical metaphors and secret messages.
Born during the Yugoslav war, she began writing songs when she was 9, later exploring her lyricism through-out high school by recording demos and eventually beginning to create her sound in her bedroom after moving to Berlin for college. Lorens, a former MTV Adria VJ, was heavily influenced by artists such as Depeche Mode, Kate Bush and Massive Attack.
The music video for the debut single “Never Get Better” was created in her hometown by uniting a team of inspiring post-war Yugoslavian youth, who share the same hunger for novelty and authenticity in a country ruled by turbo-folk.
Inescapably relatable due to her diary-like honesty, Lorens unapologetically delivers her narrative with emotion by layering her vocals on down-casting pop melodies making her entry to the global alternative pop inevitable.
We caught up with Iva doing tequila shots in a darkened bar on a rainy afternoon in East Berlin, and this is what she told us:
indieberlin: Tell us a little bit about your musical background.
Iva Lorens: I started writing when I was 9, but i found my lyrical style at around 16 which is when I started making demos in my dorm room. No one really knew I sang and made music until about a year ago. I’m quite shy, even though most people wouldn’t agree.
indieberlin: How did you come up with the name Iva Lorens?
Iva Lorens: My sister and I played The Sims all the time when we were little and our virtual family carried the surname Lorens.
I put what I think and how I want to say it in writing and pray they’ll never know it’s them.
indieberlin: How does the songwriting process work for you / in your band?
Iva Lorens: Usually something happens in my life and i just go to the corner and write in my phone or i’m unable to talk to the person who the song is about so I put what I think and how I want to say it in writing and pray they’ll never know it’s them.
I tend to fall up the stairs, never down the stairs. Stairs and I are just in a complicated relationship.
indieberlin: If your music was a movie, which genre would it be in?
Iva Lorens: A romantic psychological thriller… if there is such a thing
indieberlin: Tell us a secret about yourself.
Iva Lorens: I tend to fall up the stairs, never down the stairs. Stairs and I are just in a complicated relationship.
indieberlin: What music are you listening to right now?
Iva Lorens: I’m obsessed with Rosalia, i’ve also been listening to the new Vince Staples and Ben Khan.
indieberlin: What was the last concert you went to?
Iva Lorens: Lolo Zouaï in Amsterdam, no one knows her yet, but you will soon.
indieberlin: What was the nicest compliment you once got?
Iva Lorens: My friend Lara once told me that i’m one of those people who is more and more beautiful as you get to know me, that was a good one. Also, my friends dad said my voice sounds like a mermaid and anyone who knows me, knows I love mermaids.
indieberlin: How do you feel about covering a song?
Iva Lorens: I have a few covers up my sleeve, but i like to make them my own.
indieberlin: In ten years you look back to today and think:____
Iva Lorens: Wow, I was terrified and excited about everything.
Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a ‘recovering musician’, he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.