Nameless is the brainchild of third-year BIMM Berlin vocals student Jana Cuepper, whose dark indie-pop sound is sure to grab your attention. As her beautifully produced debut EP Opacity dropped late last month, we caught up with her to find out how she curates her melancholic melodies in such an intriguing way.
What was the inspiration behind the record?
Mainly scenarios from my past, and reveries or made-up scenarios caused through overthinking – but also the mental states of anxiety and depression, and how they can infect you and the ones around you. I wanted to create an album with a strong emotional connection and wanted for the record to build towards song eight dynamically, and then drop completely for the last song.
The name Opacity was chosen because there are more layers to a person than you’re able to see at first. You cannot judge them by a single look. You don’t know what they’ve been through, their details, their dreams or nightmares, but they do exist.
It’s the same with life sometimes. It’s so unfathomable and you just get overwhelmed and frustrated. You know there must be more to it, but you just can’t find the key to open all the locked doors and discover the layers you want to see. You just have to take the journey and see where it will lead you. I think Opacity is the name that describes all the songs in an overview. Each song is a layer, a phase of depression and grief and a reminder that sometimes you have to look deeper.
What did your process involve?
I just started writing lyrics, lots of them. I always write them down fast so that they catch the emotion while I feel it. This mostly happens during the night, when I’ve had a bad day or week. It’s also like writing a diary. Once I write it down my mind feels lighter – it’s like therapy for me. Then, I sit with the guitar and find chords that feel right. I am not a good guitarist though! After that, I mostly work on it with a better guitarist, then with backing vocals and then add bass and drums.
Once all nine of the songs for Opacity were done, we rehearsed a lot and went to Noize Fabrik. We had a whole week of recording, editing, mixing and mastering with Béla Csorba, who really helped to shape the sound of the songs how I wanted. After everything was done, I released it through a release gig at Noize Fabrik on the 21st of June.
Do you have a favourite line or section of the album?
My favourite line would be from Resentfully Born: “I am too much, my feelings are shattering, my thoughts are dark and twisted”. My favourite part is the ending of Introvert’s Perspective when we sing the uhs in three harmonies.
Can you describe your sound in three words?
Melancholic, sombre, vulnerable.
What’s the best thing about studying at BIMM Berlin?
There are a lot, especially now I’m done and can look back over the three years. Firstly, I have made a lot of progress with my voice and with my songwriting during my time at BIMM. I have been pushed a lot in the courses because I am not the most confident musician, but this has helped me develop and I am grateful for every critique and piece of advice I was given.
Secondly, I have made some of the best friends I could have have wished for. And thirdly, I fell in love with Berlin, it’s such a nice city to study in.