After two years of the Goethe Talents programme in a scaled-back, online edition, we’re thrilled to once again welcome young musicians from the so-called Global South, the Middle East and (Central) Asia to Berlin. From 18 to 29 August, ten extremely talented artists will come together, many of them in the German capital for the first time, some even visiting Europe for the first time.
So, there is a lot of excitement. They will check out important locations in the city‘s musical history, such as Funkhaus and Tresor, and they will have rehearsal rooms at their disposal during their stay. Meetings with local musicians including alumni from previous years of the programme are on the schedule and, most importantly, they will perform live!
Besides their performance at the Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs Bühne in the Soda Salon, you can look forward to the day after the Pop-Kultur Festival – because the ten Talents will be giving individual concerts at ACUD MACHT NEU on August 27.
Come one, come all! It’s gonna be at least a little bit wild.
ANAPARN is a multi-disciplinary artist, sound designer and composer who creates sonic experiences using a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach. For her, work with others is a way to break away from old habits so that new and unusual patterns can emerge. Experience with jazz, vocals, clarinet and visual art provide a diverse palette of different backgrounds, while synthesised electronic sounds and interactive media, with their flexibility, have become her tools of choice. Major influence comes from Sophie: “Her unique sound design simply produced via wave-form manipulation software like Serum introduced to me this attractive hyper-pop and experimental genre. I’ve used Serum together with Maschine-MK2 as my tool ever since.”
ANAPARN started to involve soundscape live improvisation for the contact improvisation community and contemporary dancers. Her passion is seeking out quirky sounds and unorthodox artistic expressions every single day, aiming to help experimental hyper-pop become more widespread in the Thai music scene. “My music is like an abstract work of art, full of bright colors from outlandish galaxies.”
Angell Mutoni is a Rwanda-based poet, rapper and singer/songwriter who mixes Afro hip-hop, soul, R&B and pop. However, she prides herself in having an eclectic musical taste that allows her to experiment with different sounds. She has music currently released on several online platforms, including Spotify and iTunes. Angell was one of the top 10 nominees of the 2016 RFI Prix Decouverte and has now performed in several shows and festivals across East Africa, including: Kigali Up, Amani Festival, Bayimba Festival, Ongea Music Summit, Doadoa EA Music Market, and more.
She has also had a few years of experience as a voice artist, working on voiceovers and narrations and just recently started her own Podcast called ‘Kila Kitu Podcast’, a podcast about everything and anything!
As she continues to work on new projects, when it comes to the arts, Angell believes in community and collaboration, and so she hopes to work with and learn from various different artists in her lifetime.
Anushka Chkheidze is an up-and-coming Georgian electronic music producer. She spent her childhood years in Kharagauli, where she went to music school and sang folk songs in the youth ensemble. She was also part of a so-called street dance group. Aged 11, Anushka began singing at a small chapel in the village. She describes her time spent there as magical, and she thinks that her music is deeply influenced by those childhood years. Despite her very young age of 22, she creates music that is very well conceived and intelligent. Her work exposure includes production for film and theatre music.
Anushka is one of the participants of Sleepers Poets Scientists. »Halfie« was her debut album where she felt a new, completely different side of herself was born. Her second album »Move 20-21« offers a mind journey through space and time without any physical movement. Anushka Chkheidze also fulfilled her childhood dream of writing a piece for the Gori women. Currently, Anushka is working on a new project in Basel about architecture and the sound of a certain building – more details will be revealed soon. She will also start her sound studies in Utrecht in autumn 2022 after her stay in Berlin.
Cairo-born bass guitarist Mahmoud Fawzy comes from a family of gifted musicians, raised in a house full of music. His father was a singer in the 1970s in a well known choir. From a young age, Fawzy played bass, joining different bands and performing at various concerts, in Egypt and internationally. He now composes and arranges songs and plays in two main bands, Mazeek – a band mixing African beats and Nubian folklore music – and Meshwar, an Egyptian reggae band.
Besides having mastered the bass guitar, Mahmoud plays the ukulele, piano and percussion. As a music teacher, he was one of the first to join the PASCH-choir, a project by Goethe-Institute Cairo and PASCH Egypt. Apart from building up the choir amongst other artists and teachers, he attended several workshops about conducting and leading a choir as well.
Santiago is a self-taught musician and coder born and based in Mexico City. In 2015, he released the »Inner« EP with Moonatic composing and recording guitar, backing and main vocals, bass and synth. In 2017, he scored music for »WireLines« and in 2018 released the LP »Another Sky« with Moonatic. In 2020 and 2021, he released the EPs »Jhula« and »Intemperie« as Glitch Bird. Under this alias he collaborated in the production of a song with Wooly and The Uke, a Goethe Talent in 2021, and participated in Blozxom’s compilation of 2021. That same year, one of his mixes was broadcast in Worldwide FM.
Unurzul Byambajav aka Jojo is a 29-year-old jazz vocalist and producer based in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Music has been her lifelong passion, which propelled her to take a music reporter job on national TV aged 18. After joining the Goethe Musiklabor Ulaanbaatar in 2016, Jojo started actively pursuing the career of a jazz musician. As she is devoted to advancing the music sector and helping fellow artists thrive, she has been working towards building a creative hub, focussing on the music industry. Interpersonal skills is her big asset, as she works as a producer and manager of the local jazz club, Fat Cat, home to all of Ulaanbaatar’s aspiring jazz musicians.
Jojo has organized dozens of concerts, including International Jazz Day tribute concerts in cooperation with UNESCO. Last fall, she was the executive producer of a six-week festival, Jazz City Revival, with over 40 international artists involved. She is a founding member of the band Enji’s Sisters along with two of her best friends. Their debut album, »Pure Imagination«, was released in January last year with a smashing success. Currently, Jojo is working on her first solo album. A chaotic optimist by nature, Jojo believes she can find beauty anywhere, sharing her light and optimism through music.
Pablo Cruz Placer is a young musician, saxophonist and composer. Born and raised in Havana City, a fertile ground for music where influences from different cultures converge, he has developed his career mainly as a jazz musician. He graduated from the University of the Arts (ISA) in a classical music bachelor programme for saxophone. At the same time, he has been notably active in the Cuban jazz scene, where he has supplemented his own style with the diversity of Afro-Cuban and Latin-American music. In 2017 he was awarded with the first prize in the JoJazz competition. After many years playing as sideman, he is currently looking forward to starting his own project, perhaps soon recording his compositions in album format.
Raldie Young (born Rex Opara Jr.) is an artist of many forms – a music producer, composer, performer, content creator and visual artist – who aims to tell stories of a queer Nigerian exploring his complex identity while living in the city of Lagos. His distorted genre-defying music is interwoven with tales of love, sex, body image and mental health, inspired by his life experiences and his love for movies and TV shows. These semi-autobiographical tales are retold in an Afro-futuristic setting with the 2020 EP »Songs from My Bedroom« and its follow-up »More Songs from My Bedroom«, released in 2021. Since then, Raldie continues to perform shows including pride events, collaborating with queer organisations and other local artists within the underground Nigerian music scene, all the while working on his upcoming debut full-length album. »CHIRON«.
Thomas Berti is a music producer and graphic designer currently living in São Paulo, Brazil. For him, the processes are the most interesting and beautiful parts of any kind of work, as he’s always trying to find new meanings and ways to achieve the final results through deep research and experimentation.
Since 2016, he’s been producing and playing guitar and synths with his band Marrakesh, performing all over Brazil and at Primavera Sound 2017 in Barcelona. In 2020, he founded LogoLogo, a record label focused on Brazilian experimental electronic music that has a monthly radio show at veneno.live. In the same year he released music with his experimental duo Gumiber along with other productions under the alias Volobodo. He’s been also working with sound design and soundtracks for video and performance and in 2021, created the original soundtrack for the award-winning short film »The Three Building Blocks«, which was also featured on NOWNESS.
Voiced with deep passion and grace, Tommy WÁ is a poet, visual storyteller, and singer/songwriter who is artfully establishing his musical direction through Afro indie, deriving his sonic texture from a blend of contemporary folk, retro-soul and indie genres. This musical cocktail competently travels the expanse of Tommy WÁ’s Nigerian roots while catering to the musical cravings of Accra, the Ghanaian cosmopolis where he is based.