A NEW CAREER IN A NEW TOWN – PART III

Today we publish the third part of Splendid Berlin’s feature on Berlin’s new wave of international musicians.

Art Direction & Photography: Heike Schneider-Matzigkeit

Hair and Make-Up: Frances McGilp

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LE-THANH HO

Originally from Munich, Germany.

Current residence: Berlin, Kreuzberg.

Singer, Songwriter, Actress.

Honestly, I never wanted to go to Berlin.

‘I am writing songs in German, the lyrics are inspired by stylistic devices from film noir and nouvelle vague movements. As an educated actress I am very much influenced by movies that move and touch me. I released an EP in May and shot a music video with the amazing Christopher Aoun. At the moment I’m working on my debut album with Flemming Borby. The studio is sponsored by Berlin Senat and I just finished a crowd funding campaign to cover all costs. I am pretty excited and looking forward to working with amazing and talented musicians from all over the world … and they all live in Berlin! Berlin is crazy! Honestly, I never wanted to go to Berlin. Now I cannot imagine leaving Berlin again! Feels like I found an unexpected home that allows me to do what I do. And to be who I am.’

www.le-thanh.de

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DYAN VALDES

Originally from Los Angeles.

Current residence: Berlin, Prenzlauer Berg.

Rock and roll musician, songwriter, DJ.

‘There’s nothing cooler or sexier than a confident woman on stage.’

‘We started The Blood Arm, a rock and roll band, in Los Angeles in 2002. After years of hopping back and forth across the Atlantic for tours and promotion, we took a leap and moved to Berlin in 2011. We all write the songs together, and I play keys and sing backing vocals. We’re currently recording our fifth studio album, the second to be recorded in Berlin – one more and we’ve done a Bowie! Since moving here, I’ve joined the seminal Hamburg indie band Die Sterne as their live keyboardist, occasionally singing backing vocals in German. With The Blood Arm, I’ve released four albums and two EPs. In 2010, I wrote, recorded and released a side project concept album of “response songs” under the name Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now! I’ve played shows and festivals all over the world – America, Europe, Asia – and have had unbelievable experiences and met so many incredible people along the way. Morrissey interviewed me to be his keyboard player over drinks at a hotel in Beverly Hills (the most exciting and surreal job interview I’ve ever had), and I played live with Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks fame at a club in L.A. When I started plonking away at classical piano at the age of five, I never expected that I would end up here. But I’m so glad that I did, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.’

www.thebloodarm.com
www.facebook.com/thebloodarm
www.diesterne.de

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NINA WAGNER

Born in Switzerland, raised in the United States.

Current residence: Berlin, Prenzlauer Berg.

Musician, poet, music journalist, painter.

‘I chose a life that challenges me to be a better version of myself, that kind of confrontation can hurt sometimes, but it’s worth it.’

‘I’m the singer of two piece electro rock band, The Unkindness of Ravens. We began our journey in London, but now reside in Berlin. We’ve released some singles, an EP, and an album called Virus. At the moment we’re finishing off the recordings to our next album, Killing Horizon. I’m interested in pretty much everything and I’m always inventing things in my mind. I tend to be a bit of a dreamer and am happy just sitting in the sun, watching people go by, and simply being. I’ve had the fortunate experience to exhibit some of my large scale portraits in Berlin and I tend to write poetry to help cleanse my heart out. At night I invent the best songs for musicals, but by morning the magic has evaporated. I’m fairly restless and need to always look forward to something. Trusting myself seems to be the biggest challenge, my heart so far has never lied, so you’d think I’d have learned by now…’

http://www.theunkindnessofravens.com/
https://www.facebook.com/ninawagnerart