BIMM Berlin students, Ritzy Park, have made quite the name for themselves with their engaging live shows, and this week’s Behind the Track – ‘Mama Earth’ – is the first song released from their anticipated debut EP, ‘What We Know’. The track boasts haunting harmonies, potent, plaintive lyrics and a folk-rock sound you can’t help being hooked by. It’s been well received by audiences and reviewers alike, so we took the opportunity to chat with the band’s keyboardist and BIMM Berlin Songwriting student, Elias Graversen, and take a look behind this irresistible track that he also happened to write.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION/IS THERE A STORY BEHIND YOUR TRACK?
‘Mama Earth’ came from the frustration of hearing politicians denying human-caused pollution and climate change, when the signs are so clear around them, just for the sake of continuing to make more money than they could ever need.
My mother works with agricultural development, so I hear a lot of stories of how farmers around the world are affected by environmental challenges, such as desertification, drought, floods and ever-more irregular seasons. It’s easy to forget about that when living in an urban environment like Berlin or Copenhagen.
WHAT DID YOUR PROCESS INVOLVE?
While I usually start with a melody and chords, ‘Mama Earth’ started completely stripped down. It was one melody repeated over and over again, but with new lyrics every time. It was inspired by the work-song tradition of African-American slaves. With the band, we gradually made it a rock song, but the intro still has that simple texture of vocals and kick just marking the beat. We couldn’t come up with a sexier name, so in the end the working title stayed.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE LINE/SECTION OF THE SONG?
My favourite part is probably the last verse, because when we perform it live, Ylva Brandtsegg (drummer), Tristan Banks (guitarist), Karolina Beijer (singer) and I all sing harmonies and it feels so powerful (I’m a huge Queen fan). My favourite lyric is probably “Sell me the world but still tomorrow the dust will take back what we borrowed”.
DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND IN THREE WORDS
Daring, rock, melodic.
WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT STUDYING AT BIMM BERLIN?
It’s the people that BIMM brings together. The members of Ritzy Park would probably never have met if we didn’t study together. Of course, studying at BIMM is also a great reason to live in this awesome city called Berlin.