Who, What, Why

WHO WHAT WHY: Fredrik Blank

9th October 2017


WHO are you listening to at the moment?

I like Animal Collective, especially the albums ‘Sung Tongs’ and ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’… and Vampire Weekend’s first two albums. Caribou, Lia Ices, M.I.A. and Manu Chao are other things I have on my playlist at the moment.

I’m also constantly exploring music outside the anglo-saxon world. African music, Brazilian music, flamenco… Brazilian music is very important to me. The album ‘Afro Sambas’ by Vinicius de Moraes and Baden Powell is great! The Tropicalia scene from the Brazilian ‘60s – artists like Caetano Veloso, Os Mutantes, Gilberto Gil, Jorge Ben or Gal Costa – is very inspiring. They were banned and imprisoned by the dictatorship in Brazil back then.

‘Los Gitanos de Caí’ is flamenco from Cadiz in Spain. I like them because they have this punky intense energy. It’s great to incorporate these elements into music. Montag Mania does it well because it comes out as something totally different in the end. And then we have The Beatles, David Bowie, The Smiths, the punk movement, post-punk, indie, Bob Dylan… music history is always there for me somehow.

WHAT do you love about Berlin?

The lack of stress, the creativity, the international vibe. There’s a lot of love in this city! You might not notice it first, because no one is trying to please anyone with good service or good behaviour. Berlin is definitely becoming the creative centre and hotspot of Europe.

Even though gentrification is hitting Berlin big time, it’s still a great place to be if you want to do something different to just working, going home, watching TV or social media, struggling to earn money, or buying design furniture for your apartment. Here you can live an alternative life and people don’t care about how you look, whether you have fancy clothes, your status, your career or the amount of money in your bank account. Nobody cares as long as you’re nice and know how to relax.

Still, I’m a bit worried. In ten years, the Berlin we know might be gone. Then the rents might be too expensive and the investors might have taken over the city. But I still hope for the best. Berlin will hopefully be Berlin for a long long time to come!

WHY did you choose the BIMM Berlin Songwriting course?

You meet passionate people. You learn about the music business, which is something that I’ve never quite understood before, and you get the chance to go deeper into what this is all about.

You learn about songwriting, theory, publishing, music programmes, sound design and mixing. Some tutors and staff here at BIMM are actually really special personalities . The college is a hub – there’s a network of contacts spreading out from BIMM all over Berlin and England and some interesting doors can be opened here.