“Collaboration starts with a smile”
Ethletic Soundscape Nr 3. Podcast Astrid North
Astrid busted out on the German music scene as the lead singer for band the Cultured Pearls. When I met her she had already moved on to produced her 1st solo album and was on her way to her second and third. She made her first experiences as a singer with the student band Colorful Dimension in Berlin.
In March 1992, she met B. La and Tex Super, who at that time were studying at the Hamburg College of Music and Theater and were looking for a singer for their band Cultured Pearls. The trio placed with four singles and four albums in the German charts. Sleepy Eyes, written and sung by North, appears in the soundtrack of the film Tor zum Himmel (2003) by director Veit Helmer.
In 2005, she participated in the charity project Home, which produced an album for the orphans of the “Beluga School of Life” affected by the tidal wave in the Indian Ocean and the subsequent flood disaster. Henning Rümenapp (Guano Apes), Kai Wingenfelder (Fury in the Slaughterhouse), Maya Saban and others were involved in the project (alongside the Waisenkindern).
I met Astrid North early after my Berlin arrival. We were both performing at a love song event put together by Lüül Ulbrich at WABE in Berlin. I was struck by this thin brown princess (I later became aware that she is actually a queen) alone at her piano with a powerful chocolate drenched voice that came from the depths of body emotion and soul. I was in love. I felt emboldened and a sisterhood was struck.
Photo and Photo in Header: Mathias Bothor
S: How do you feel about collaboration?
A: Smiling at each other, just being together and working together. I also like to be alone. I like to express my ideas first, by myself before I express them to others. Just to kind of see how it feels for myself without any distractions. It’s still a work in progress and I’m sure it will last a whole lifetime. To, see how all that works out. It’s always different with every single person and every single group of people. It’ll stay challenging and wonderful at the same time.
S: What is the role of the artist?
A: An artist is able to express things that other people might not be able to express but might also feel and have gone through and they might need healing …
S: What would the older you tell the young you?
A: The older me would tell the younger me about the music industry I guess it would be the same thing I would tell myself about life, it’s a constant change, nothing stays the same and it’s important to be with yourself and find yourself and to stay aware of your emotions and your feelings and of course your art. Keep at it, stay with it and don’t get fall for all of the glittery stuff. Not that I did.
S: Why do you do what you do?
A: Career activities kind of flew in from somewhere to me. I wanted to be a marine biologist and music just came in. I always did a lot of sports and moved a lot and (teaching) yoga came in. I realized how needy I am of it, how it helps others, how it makes others and me happy or takes me to different places in mind and body.
S: What is your favorite family recipe?
A: It would probably be something like fried fish or gumbo.
S: What is the role of the artist in revolution?
A: The artist can have a lot of roles, it can be the words that are used, it can be the musical feel that’s felt, it can be the freedom that is expressed, it can be the pictures, the paintings, that go out and mean something. Music that means something.
S: What do you do when you are not making music?
A: (laughs) I love to cook and I love to be outside. I love to swim, I love the sun. Actually I love horseback riding, I wish I could do it a lot more. I love to be with my family …
S: What is your favorite recent hero action?
A: What I would like to say to heroes is that I would like to make a new word. I’m sure it has been used but would like to call them Sheroes.
Astrid North – “Miss Lucy”
Astrid North – “Dither”
Astrid North – “Lightning” – live in 2008 with the Bremer Philharmoiker and Marcus Poschne
Interview by Saudia Young