Introducing Germany-based band LOLA FUNKT that started in Freiburg, a small city in the South of Germany. Formed by guitarist Thomas, bassplayer Bastian, drummer Max and singer Caroline. I stumbled across their music recently and was very happy that I did as their music was something different I hadn't known I had been wanting to hear for a while until I heard them. These four musicians will treat your ears to a perfect combination of poetic lyrics with a warm guitar sound, mixed with some cold breakbeats and spherical synths alongside expressive, beautiful velvet vocals. I got the opportunity to speak with singer Caroline and ask her a few questions which you can read about below:
MHB: How long has music been a part of your life and how did it come to be a part of it?
Caroline: Music has always been a part of my life from a very small age but on a more unconscious level. I've always been into lyrics and poetry. So, even up until now, I think I'm more into words, storytelling & the mood that music creates.
MHB: Did you always want to be a singer? How old were you when you realized you can sing?
Caroline: I actually didn't know I could really sing but I always had a drive to do it. At the age of 20 I decided to study voice at the 'International Music College' in Freiburg with not really having a clue of what it means to be a professional musician. But, I think that saved me and at times still saves me now.
MHB: Do you play any instruments? If so, which and for how long?
Caroline: I play a bit of piano for the purpose of songwriting. Basically to find harmonies for a song.
MHB: Who are some of your biggest musical influences and why?
Caroline: My mother listened to lots of Blues music such as Ray Charles, Fats Domino, BB King, Prince and so on which have definitely had an influence on me. I used to listen to a lot of Hip-Hop as well. There are so many great artists out there right now with some of my favorites being Fink, Alt-J, Hiatus Kaiyote, FKA Twigs, Regina Spektor, Matt Corby and so on. But I really couldn't decide. There are too many inspiring acts. I just love listening to them and I especially love to hear and see them live at their concerts as I did a few days ago with Matt Corby who played in Frankfurt. It was such a great show! I think all of the bands or solo artists I mentioned have a really individual sound and special way of storytelling. I feel none of them are predictable or really commercial but instead more artistic & authentic. I think that might be the main reason why I love listening to them. They surprise you with words & sound.
MHB: If you were stuck on an island with only one record forever, what would it be?
Caroline: Oh, there's no way I could decide. It would probably be a compilation of all of my favorites.
MHB: What genres of music do you enjoy most? What genre would you classify the music you are working on?
Caroline: I enjoy the ones you can't define. Even with our own music it's hard to say, especially when you're involved and part of it. But at least we have to describe something to our listeners, right? So we named it 'Neo-Pop' with electronical odds and ends (literally translated). Some songs on our EP 'AIR & WATER' are really spherical, some are quite dark or have a melancholic atmosphere: cold breakbeats & dark lyrics. On the record you will hear a mixture of real instruments as well as electronically programmed synth pads or sound effects.
MHB: What is your creative process? What is the inspiration behind your songwriting?
Caroline: My inspiration is everything and everyone I'm surrounded by. People I've met and I let go of, love, places, roots, pain, loss, a clue of a feeling that might become an action or still lingers within, actual defined feelings, daydreaming, dreams at night, observation of details, all kinds of art (visual art, music, poetry...) and of course trying to be absolutely free, honest and brave enough while writing about it. When it comes to the process of finding an idea there's no mind involved, just intuition. With some songs I wrote the lyrics and the melody first, then we found harmonies and a beat. With other songs the beat and music came first and then I wrote the lyrics. Sometimes we program the music, more often we jam and add electronic sounds. Most of the time Thomas and I create an idea together and then later on in rehearsal, we'll show it to the rest of the band and let the jamming begin. It takes a while till we're pleased with the feeling that a song suits comfortably or is ready to be put out there. We're a bit of perfectionists when it comes to details and sound effects. So we apologize for being real slow, but we hope we can make it up to you with the final result.
MHB: Where do you see this project in 5 years?
Caroline:I hope we will go on playing lots of gigs all around Germany. Maybe even abroad. Hopefully we'll always have the capacity to tell stories and just EVOLVE artistically as well as musically and personally!
MHB: .What does music mean to you?
Caroline: Music means a way to express myself when there may not be any other way to communicate. It's a need to create and a state of letting go. A freedom and safety of expression. You're the author, so you can be who ever you want to be. A place where you can truly be yourself.
LOLA FUNKT just released their Debut-EP 'AIR & WATER' this past June and successfully went on tour in the North of Germany. They are currently working on some new tracks and I can't wait to hear what else they have in store as I can't get enough of their album. Check out one of my personal favorites off their newly released EP called "No Good" below:
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