The sounds of Berlin with Lary

A polaroid of a woman in leather trousers reclining on a chair.

The Berlin-based artist and member discusses what drew her to the city, her favourite live music spots and the experience of making tracks at home

By Hanna Hanra    Above image by Kyra Sophie    Friday 24 July, 2020   Short read

Lary is a singer, songwriter and actress. Her current Berlin base came about after she moved from her home in a small town in the west of Germany (by way of Dusseldorf to study at university and a brief stint in New York City). Berlin felt natural and right to Lary because, as she explains to Hanna Hanra, writer and editor of music magazine BEAT, it is in Berlin where she can freely push the boundaries of the music that she loves to make. 
Was there a moment when it struck you that you wanted to make music? 
‘It was more like a process and way of life I grew into. I’ve never really “decided” to make music, but it has been a part of me and my life since I can remember. I never questioned that or had a serious Plan B.’ 
Right now, creatives are having to work and make their art from home. How has your process changed during lockdown? 
‘I always feel very restless when I am in the process of writing or creating. I usually write at the studio or try to get out of Berlin once in a while; sometimes alone, sometimes with my producer to work on new material. I felt weird at first being limited to creating from home. But, in the end, it was also interesting and helped me to develop a routine and a sense of calmness.’ 
As well as being a performer, you write your music. When do you know something is finished? 
‘When I start making it worse.’

You grew up in Gelsenkirchen, and now live in Berlin. Do both cities inform the music you make? 
‘In retrospect, the place where I grew up didn’t influence my taste at all. But I was influenced by the people in my life there. Berlin is quite a bubble – it inspires and provides the freedom to constantly lose and find yourself more than any other place I know.’ 
You’ve lived in Berlin for the past seven years, so you know the city well. Where are your favourite places to find music there?
‘I always like the music at 8MM bar, Haliflor or Urban Spree. And everything the Bakery collective does is a dope place to discover bands or see great live shows. And then there are so many spots in Neukölln where you randomly just run into good vibes.’
What are you listening to right now? 
‘Michelle Gurevich, Eliza, Duke Ellington and 070 Shake.’
You are a public figure with a huge fanbase. At this important juncture, how important to you is it to use your platform to spread positivity? 
‘I think it is important to spread the kind of content that I feel I don’t see enough of in the mainstream media. It’s important to inspire thoughts and reflection more than just positivity. We live in very unique times and I believe we have to question and reflect on the status quo; to share experiences and thoughts on who we really are and who we should try to become in the most authentic way possible. This way, we can all grow and gain knowledge together.’
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