A special kind of life artist, Namosh lives between worlds. His work spans a broad range of media – music, song, stage shows and theatre. With his eccentric performances and live shows, he has already presented over 100 concerts within a year. Björk named his breakout hit »Cold Cream« her favourite song of the year. We caught up with him in Berlin and tried to trace the origins of his success.
Namosh, you’ve already been in Berlin for quite a while. Do you feel at home here?
After completing secondary school in Biesigheim, I moved to Berlin in a real cloak-and-dagger operation. The very beginning was hard, despite a special kind of inherent magic. It was a challenging time financially but I was able to stay with a friend in Kreuzberg while I got my foot in the door of the city. Like so many others, I was effectively stranded on the shores of Berlin. Meanwhile, I have really settled into the city.
What were your plans then?
At the beginning, I wanted to go to a drama school. However, I quickly realized that I was not meant for a classical career. From a young age, I had a strong connection to music, so I started there. I borrowed a four-track tape recorder and tried to make music without instruments. Sometimes, I used empty bottles. Then I brought different influences together, to create symbioses with elements which wouldn’t normally cross paths. I threw myself into the deep end and step-by-step taught myself the craft and the technical skills. I also got more experience through live performances where I could work on stage presence. My first performance was in the Waffengalerie in the neighbourhood of Mitte in Berlin.
The Berlin music scene is extensive and innovative. Countless ideas are bouncing off of countless artists. How do you set your stage?
I always have been, and still am, a solo artist. Purism is my friend. The spotlight and myself occupy centre stage. I understand my body as a medium and as part of my performance. It is important to me to show that everything comes from one source: stage performance, vocals and text composition. During the performance, I try to incorporate the atmosphere of the room in order to bring it into harmony with my imaginings. I act and react at the same time; I pick up on the atmosphere, incorporate it into my gig and change it. Only then can something happen.
Songs become part of the lives of those who listen to them. Because of this, one has great responsibility.
How do your texts come into existence?
Of course, a lot of personal things are involved in the writing process, but it is very important to me to write constructive »songs of strength«. Songs become part of the lives of those who listen to them. Because of this, composing is a great responsibility . In the best case, the emotions that are created by a song should be inspiring and not create gloomy clouds.
In addition to your work as a DJ, you have also been involved as an actor in film and theatre. Wasn’t that hard for you?
I want to advocate for and invest time into things that are important to me. For example, when I have an acting role and I can’t understand the part in question, I explicitly look for help and ask for further explanation. I grow in and with what I do because I am concentrated on it. »Learning by doing«; I teach myself what I need in the moment and because of this, I can use my strength to achieve my goals.
Which stages play host to your gigs?
A lot of clubs and bars like to use the label »Berlin« when they organize events. And yet, most do not know what they are doing. Berlin has become all the rage, and now many young people are faced with pre-chewed content on high-gloss stages, if the bouncers even let them in. I like locations that are more alternative when creating their programmes.
What projects are still on the agenda for you?
Right now, I’m working on my new album and am looking hard to find an appropriate label. I also want to start a radio drama project with friends. Recently, I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a radio channel and am tweaking some ideas for this.
No other place is a better reflection of my spiritual life
What does Berlin mean to you as a musician?
This city is a breeding ground and a cosmos of discovered and undiscovered feelings. It’s everything and nothing at the same time. My tie to my adopted home depends on my emotional state. No other place is a better reflection of my spiritual life.
Last but not least, the »big question«: What does Namosh want to express as an artist?
In my music, I follow the principle of not belonging to any genre. My works are part of my spiritual path. What happens in a role is equally important as what happens on a stage. The focus is always movement. Art can be a medium to honestly deal with one’s own life questions – a form of self-therapy.
Text: Hakan Dağıstanlı