Born in Goa, India, but raised in Dubai, UAE, second-year Songwriting student, Esther Eden, has already cemented herself as part of Berlin’s eclectic music scene. With a distinctive electro-pop sound, catchy melodies and sunny vocals, the composer and vocalist talks us through the challenge of moving over 6,000 kilometres from her hometown to start a new life in Germany.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR HOMETOWN AND BERLIN?
Culture is definitely the biggest difference, as the UAE is an Islamic country while Berlin is part of a secular state.
HOW DOES THE MUSIC SCENE IN BERLIN COMPARE TO YOUR HOMETOWN?
I started writing my own music around four or five years ago. That’s also when the music scene in Dubai started to rise and I was lucky enough to be a part of it. In contrast, Berlin has been known for its art and music scene for many years.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE BIMM BERLIN?
I chose BIMM Berlin because as soon as I arrived in Berlin, I felt weirdly at home, even though I’d never lived here before. I noticed how nice everyone was – and how aware of each other they are. For example, I was confused about a travel ticket one day, standing on a crowded platform, and without looking for anyone or asking for help, someone noticed me and decided to help me.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU ALWAYS ASK YOUR FAMILY TO POST YOU FROM HOME THAT ISN’T AVAILABLE IN BERLIN?
Not really. I got most of the important things when I first arrived here. If I’m craving some Indian or Arabic food, there are loads of restaurants and ethnic stores where I can find masalas and so much more.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT STUDYING AT BIMM BERLIN?
I love how diverse and accepting BIMM Berlin is. Since it’s smaller than some of the other BIMM campuses, it’s more intimate. Everyone knows each other, so there’s a real sense of community.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE MOVING FROM YOUR HOMETOWN TO BERLIN TO STUDY?
I don’t think you’ll feel much of a culture shock, as Dubai is very international too. Being adventurous, I personally loved the move. I do enjoy going back to Dubai to spend time with my family and friends every six months, but I also love new experiences. On our induction day, our principal, Nick Donovan, said to say yes to everything, even if you’re out of your comfort zone. I’ve embraced the idea, as I really believe that the best way to learn is through experience!
Photo credit: Omar Tartoob