Yamirah Gercke is a guitarist who was born in Boston and raised in Berlin. The daughter of two well-known musicians in the German music scene, the seven-year-old Yamirah fell in love with the flower-covered guitars of the Bootsy Girls, the band her father played with in the nineties. The crush turned into a lifelong love affair and she ended up at Berklee College of Music, graduating in 2016 before returning to her beloved Berlin.
Yamirah is a well-known guitarist on the scene these days too; from Bad Ass Freaks, the duo she’s played in with her father, Lenjes Robinson, to The Buzz Bullets, a Berlin-based rock band, she’s been around the block. Pressure is the first album she released under her own name but it was still a collaborative effort that included her father Lenjes Robinson and friend Anto Karadim. The music has elements of Jazz, Funk, Rock, RnB, and Balkan music brought alive by a full band.
Yamirah says “The title track Pressure always felt a bit cinematic, as if it needed a story to be told with it.” The match was made in heaven, Oravayka and Yamirah came up with themes to create the feeling of pressure for this new music video. It connects a dystopian lonely vibe with depression through brutalism-architecture in Berlin and a fairly wild looking skateboarding protagonist.
We asked both videographer and artist a few questions:
indieBerlin: How did the song come about?
Yamirah Gercke: I felt the bass line of song like a heartbeat I knew I wanted to create a song where that would not change to create tension. I had just come out of a failed relationship and that was a feeling I had, so I converted it to music.
indieBerlin: Why instrumental?
Yamirah Gercke: I just like instrumental music more than words just emphasize feelings that are already in music.
indieBerlin: You play different guitars in the video, did you use all of them when recording the song or…?
Yamirah Gercke: I played all those guitars on the Album not sure which one I used for the song Pressure
The song is about loneliness, the pressure, depression, tension.
indieBerlin: Why do you play music?
Yamirah Gercke: I always played music, since my parents are musicians.
indieBerlin: What’s the song about?
Yamirah Gercke: The song is about loneliness, the pressure, depression, tension.
indieBerlin: And Oravayka, tell us something about the making of the video?
Oravayka: Shooting in Berlin can be tricky for a small production like we did in the sense of unpredictability. For instance, there is suddenly a construction or there is an event taking place, where you plan to shoot. But are both colourful and depressive sides of Berlin, especially for music videos, so it’s easy to find locations to shoot.
What you watched now has left us confused as well. We just know that it’s not a love story.
We wanted to have brutal architecture in the video, which Berlin has and as well as the Berlin cliches, such as the subway and the view of the TV tower -which brings most of us some feelings that we can relate to Berlin.
Let’s say the final version of the music video is not to explain but to feel. We had an explanation version of the video when we first started to think about it, yet what you watched now, has left us confused as well, as the people who made the video. We just know that, it is not a love story.
Other than Berlin, we would like Yamirah’s music to reach out to international music lovers, through our not-your-typical-jazz music video.
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.