When the seventh season of “Sing Meine Song – Das Tauschkonzert” can be seen on VOX from May 5th, the Berlin-based LEA (actually Lea-Marie Becker) will also be there. With her album “Between My Lines” she made it to number 6 in the German charts in 2018, as a feature guest on the single “110” by the successful rapist Capital Bra a year later even to pole position.

In an interview with klatsch-trotsch.de star reporter Katja Schwemmers, the 27-year-old singer-songwriter tells how she settled in Berlin, what is particularly difficult for her in corona times and why she writes so many songs about her Family sings.

Überfliegerin LEA: "Womit habe ich das verdient?"

Photo: Cathleen Wolf

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Lea, you’ve been living in Berlin for two years. Was it difficult for you to settle in?
I lived in Hanover for a long time because I also studied there. But in general I have always been a huge Berlin fan. I immediately felt at home here. It helped that I quickly found an apartment. That is not common in Berlin. I live in Neukölln and I like the neighborhood.

Is there still something about Berlin that annoys you?
Only the long ways. I mostly go by bike or subway, I also walk a lot. It always takes forever from A to B. If I do need a car, I borrow one by car sharing. But I try to drive the environment as little as possible for love.

Does Berlin affect you as an artist?
Yes, the place you’re at always influences songwriting. And Berlin has so many facets, you can feel so different in this city. It just became my home for me. This arrival and feeling at home also resonates in my new songs.

How do you cope with the current exit restrictions to curb the Corona virus?
I came back from South Africa “Sing Meine Song” filming four weeks ago, almost directly into isolation. That was awesome. For us artists, these are generally completely new experiences that also raise questions: How do I deal with the fact that I am currently unable to give concerts? What do i make of it How do I make good use of the time so that I don’t have to indulge in the depression that you might experience because you can’t meet outside and don’t have a normal, everyday life like usual?

What are you using the time for right now?
I talk to friends a lot over the phone and on Facetime. I can do many things right now that I might not otherwise do; come back to me more and reflect better. Because if you are always on the go, you have little time for it. And actually I’m a person who totally needs to question himself.

Überfliegerin LEA: "Womit habe ich das verdient?"

Photo: Cathleen Wolf

You are still in the middle of the recordings for your third album “Staircase”.
I am trying to finish it from home now. The last songs have to be created in my apartment. I’ve never done that before, but it has to work. I am going to get to grips with the home studio. I’m forced to play the piano more, which is good.

Will this special time affect your album?
Let’s see, it’s an exciting thought, of course. During the Corona phase, many songs will be created by musicians around the world who are currently retired. I am very excited to see what topics will come up in the near future. Because such a crisis has not only affected a country or a continent, but the entire globe, has never been experienced before.

Many musicians are currently in jeopardy because they can no longer perform. Does it help if you’re under contract with a major label like you?
Where you are signed has nothing to do with it. Last year I was able to play a lot of festivals. They will be dropped this year. Nobody can guarantee that the November tour will take place. That will probably be decided from week to week. But because I have been in the business a little longer and played on the radio, I do not have to fear for my existence.

Is planning uncertainty bothering you?
It is very difficult for all artists. Everything you have relied on shakes. If you knew this was the case for a month now, you could count the days down; at some point it is over and normal life starts again. But when normal life as we know it comes back, nobody knows.

Do you have hope
You can always have it! But while the infection rate is slowly declining with us and in Italy, it is currently rapidly increasing in other countries around the world. Even if we should recover in Germany, life around the world will not be the same as it used to be. If the virus hits countries with poorly equipped health systems, it will be a disaster. This is totally worrying and creepy. For me, as a 27-year-old, probably not as scary as for the risk groups. It’s still not in the realm of the imaginable.

Do you think the corona crisis can also be an opportunity?
Nice. It feels to me like the globe is just repaying what we are doing. As badly as we treat our planet, it is hardly surprising what is happening. Of course it is terrible, especially for the risk groups and the elderly, it is scary. And yet I believe that it is also a clear sign that we have to change our way of dealing with the earth.

The current situation seems to release an incredible amount of creativity among musicians. Every evening you can experience concerts in a live stream. You too were involved in one of the # wirbleibenzuhause festival.
It is irreplaceable for us artists to play live in front of an audience because it is the most beautiful thing when you can look people directly in the eye. But we are currently trying to make the best of it and not to let it get us down, even though everything has been canceled. With the festival we wanted to send a signal that we support that everyone stays at home. Because Covid-19 affects us all.

Überfliegerin LEA: "Womit habe ich das verdient?"

Photo: TVNOW / Markus Hertrich

Did you get the impression that social distancing was adhered to in Berlin?
It has definitely gotten better. People understood the seriousness of the situation. It’s mostly the young people who say: “The virus doesn’t kill me, so I don’t care whether I get it or not.” This is very selfish and not at all sustainable. I think that’s a really bad attitude.

You are a social person anyway and took on early responsibility by working in an institution for children in Argentina.
In any case, my fellow human beings are very important to me and they do not matter much. Whether they are strangers or people I know. I was generally brought up in such a way that the fate of others does not leave me cold. And I also feel a huge responsibility towards our planet.

You have traveled far. Is it particularly bad then to be limited to your own four walls?
I was just in New Zealand and South Africa. So I would have stayed in Berlin for the next few months anyway. I only fly away once a year. That is the rule that I have set for myself – the environment for love. Then I need a really great break, a reset for me personally. I always do this between mid-December and mid-February to gather energy and strength for the coming year. But of course it’s a different feeling when you know that you can’t just go on a trip now.

Überfliegerin LEA: "Womit habe ich das verdient?"

Photo: TVNOW / Markus Hertrich

From May 5th you can be seen in the new season of the VOX show “Sing my song”. Did the time in South Africa leave you with lasting impressions?
Oh yes, it was incredible. I would have dreamed of everything except what happened in the end. I was skeptical beforehand. I thought: This is television, probably super stressful, and we don’t have much time together as artists. But I was able to throw these worries overboard as soon as we got there. We were a great group of people and really in love with each other.

How was that expressed?
I have never seen people build such a friendly, familiar relationship with strangers so quickly. They were the most beautiful and carefree evenings that I have had for a long time and will not have for the time being. And it was the biggest contrast program to what was waiting for us back in Germany. I am therefore all the more grateful for the days with my colleagues. Time has given me a lot of energy, which I can draw on over the next few weeks.

How did it feel to you when musicians like Jan Plewka von Selig, who have been in business for so long, sing your songs?
Plewka is a veteran in the German music scene that I adored and still do. It is something special when you can spend so many days with such people, have great conversations with profound topics and establish a nice personal connection with each other. When Plewka sang my song, everything was over for me. It was an experience that I have never had before and that I cannot compare with anything. There were moments when I asked myself, “How did I deserve this?”

Überfliegerin LEA: "Womit habe ich das verdient?"

Photo: TVNOW / Markus Hertrich

You were already a YouTube star at the age of 15: The clip for your song “Where’s love going?” Has 2.8 million clicks. Do you have the feeling that you already belong to the German music scene or do you still have to arrive?
In South Africa it was actually the case that there were no hierarchies. There was no one to lead the group. The six of us were totally at eye level and very sensitive, sensitive and open when dealing with each other. We were really excited about each other and we are all very grateful that we found each other through the show. I know that because we have a common WhatsApp group and write each day how much we miss each other.

Your third album “Staircase” is due to be released in early June. This also includes the number one hit “110”, which you released with Capital Bra in 2019.
But this time I’m singing it alone – without Capital Bra. Because it was important to me to tell the story of the song, which tells of a relationship in the real crisis, again from my perspective.

The song “Sylt 98” tells the story of growing up with your older sister.
She is a year and a half older than me. Whenever she’s with me these days it feels like Sylt ’98. Then it beams me back into our wonderful childhood, which was as carefree as childhood can be. I was really lucky: my parents gave me valuable things and prepared me well for life. They have always told me what the consequences are if I do this or that.

And that’s why you dedicated a song to your parents right away?
Exactly. What I was able to learn from them in terms of life wisdom and how grateful I am about it is about “Elephant”. There are many topics on the album that relate to my family. “If only love helps”, I wrote for a good friend who had a lot of heartache. I was just there for them during that time. For me, these three songs are the most important of the record because they are close to my heart. The best thing about an album is that it is a testimony of the times and it bundles years. And when it’s done, there’s room for something new. It always goes on like this.

The 7th season “Sing my song – the exchange concert” with hosts Michael Patrick Kelly, Max Giesinger, LEA, MoTrip, Nico Santos, Jan Plewka and Ilse DeLange starts on Tuesdays at 8:15 p.m. on VOX and also on Tuesday TVNow. The episode dedicated to LEA will be broadcast on June 9th.

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