Singer LEA (30) will release her new album "Bülowstrasse" on May 5th. In an interview with the news agency spot on news, she reveals why the record has an imaginary protagonist, what connects her with Bülowstrasse in Berlin and how the capital has become her favorite place to live. The musician also talks about the emotional moments and challenges she experienced during her second participation in the VOX music show "Sing mein Song" (every Tuesday at 8:15 p.m., the May 2nd episode focuses on LEA).
LEA: "Bülowstrasse" is my fifth album in seven years. It was really important to me to change perspective and try something new. My producer, who I've been working with for four years, had the idea of this heroine growing up in Berlin. We worked on the idea together, exchanged ideas and developed the whole story further in a small team of four people. It took many months to write the songs and with each song the heroine and her friends came to life more and more.
LEA: It's not exactly my story, but there are a lot of emotions in it that I know from myself and that I also incorporate into the songwriting. I totally remembered my youth and know many of the feelings that the protagonist feels from my own life. A lot is about the questions of where your own place in the world is, where home is and who your friends are. Who's by your side when it all goes down the drain. Such big questions take place in Bülowstrasse. Of course I know that from my youth. Especially the time right after school, when you don't really know where your life is going. Even back then I was always making music, but today I can call it my job.
LEA: In addition to my own experiences, I have looked at what other issues there are today compared to my teenage past that concern young people. Then I made a middle of it. The album is about young people growing up in Berlin who are at a point in life where they get to know themselves better and are looking for what they want to do with their lives.
LEA: In addition to the songs, which already say a lot about Bülowstrasse and the history of the young people, we wanted to introduce the street and the protagonists through spoken dialogues and to make their backgrounds clearer. But we didn't want to anticipate too much, because people project their own youth onto the story and remember their own experiences.
LEA: I am originally from Kassel and lived in Hanover for a long time. I came to Berlin in 2018 and only then really got to know the city. Bülowstrasse itself was never a street where I lived or where I had friends. Nevertheless, you just know them, there is always something going on there and many cultures come together. We had the feeling while writing that this is a street where our protagonist and her environment would fit in well. My producer, who also contributed a lot to the story, comes from West Berlin and knows Bülowstrasse even better than I do. As a newcomer, I trusted that he had a good sense of which street was best.
LEA: I can definitely understand the love-hate relationship because the city, as bad as it is beautiful and exciting, can be very overwhelming at the same time. Sometimes it's just huge and you get a little lost. But I feel like I've found my place here and I really can't think of a better place for me. I love Berlin and also the vibe that everyone does what they feel like doing. People don't care if you're someone else - you can be yourself.
LEA: Every song that you record and write changes you because it is part of a musical journey that will hopefully continue for a long time. I changed a lot during that time because they were important years. From writing songs in my student room in Hanover to co-writing and working with producers, I learned a lot and rediscovered my voice in a completely different way. That's the beauty of music, that you never stand still and, for example, through feature artists, you get to know your own music in a completely different way and through the eyes of others.
LEA: I have to honestly say that I don't really think about the future and don't ask myself where I'll be in a few years. I try to see where I am right now and what I've already achieved. I hope that I can continue as before. That I can keep releasing music and that people keep coming to my concerts. The concerts in particular are the best for me and I have so much fun. That you can look people in the eye and celebrate the music together.
LEA: "Sing meine Song" is a very special format and quite magical. It's really hard to put that into words. Being in such a special place in South Africa is amazing. But the craziest thing is that you sing the music of the other artists and listen to them at the same time. On the other hand, artists that I admire sing my songs and think about it and invest a lot of love and time. It's just unbelievable what goes through your head at that moment and how it feels. It's like a rush. That's why I was super happy to be there three years ago and to be able to have this experience. When I was asked for the anniversary season, it was clear to me that I would definitely like to experience it again. It was a wonderful time again, we got along very well and I made new friends.
LEA: In 2020 I was of course a lot more excited and nervous because it was my first time. This year I let myself go much better and was able to enjoy a lot more. The group was really great. We were also able to exchange ideas aside from the shooting, both musically and privately. I am also still in contact with the musicians of 2020. This intensive and special experience of being in a place far away from home for two weeks simply welds you together.
LEA: Nico [Santos, note d. Red.] has an unbelievable version of one by Allis [Neumann, ed. Red] made songs. That was incredibly emotional, I was definitely really surprised. I'm looking forward to seeing it again on TV. Otherwise, in my episode, Steff [Stefanie Kloß, editor's note. Red.] I chose a song that I didn't expect at all. That was extremely touching for me because it's just a topic that she brought up that I pushed away for a long time and with which she confronted me again in a good way. It was a healing process that evening.