»Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«: The application period has started!

Applications open on the 25th of April, 2019

»This is a chord, this is another, this is a third. Now form a band!«, they used to say. But it was never that easy, and it still isn’t. Young musicians, producers, DJs and everyone else finding their way within the field of pop music – whether managing, booking, owning a label, directing videos, doing PR or music journalism – need to have some know-how. And that’s exactly what »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« wants to provide, helping those who’ve already taken their first steps, not by just teaching a few chords but giving them a proper boost on their path toward a successful future. Apply now to become one of 250 participants accepted into the fifth edition of the Pop-Kultur festival’s workshop programme!

It’s all happening from August 21st to 23rd, 2019 at Kulturbrauerei Berlin. International music professionals will share expert knowledge in hands-on workshops and talks. They’ll be offering insight on their experiences and backgrounds, giving newcomers a practical look at the realities of working in the pop-music business. This year’s programme includes workshops by Pop-Kultur live acts such as the female DJ & MC collective Bad & Boujee, musician and producer Mense Reents (Die Goldenen Zitronen) and writer and One Mother co-founder Leyla Yenirce. Joining CocoRosie and Stephen Morris (Joy Division, New Order), who will be opening the programme, are label and music publishing expert Pyrolator, singer and producer Sophia Kennedy as well as Bilderbuch producer Zebo Adam, each offering workshops on different disciplines. More mentors will be announced soon.

Participants can choose from over 40 different courses, given in either German or English, on the 21st and 22nd of August, supplemented by a networking event on the 23rd of August. The workshops, talks and discussions will offer inspiration, clarify pressing questions and encourage you to take the next step in your chosen career. And as the programme welcomes applicants from all over the world, you’ll have the opportunity to network on an international level. Selected participants will also be given the opportunity to present their music as part of the main festival programme on the »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« stage.

Participation in the »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« programme costs 40 euros, which includes drinks, lunch and access to Pop-Kultur’s networking area for professionals.

The application period starts today at nachwuchs.pop-kultur.berlin and ends on the 24th of May, 2019

We’re looking forward to your applications!

»Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« 2018: Applications open now!

»Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« 2018: Applications open on 25 April

Are you a young musician, producer, or DJ? Do you work in music management or booking, or run your own label? Are you looking to establish yourself as a video director, PR manager, or journalist?
If you already have some initial experience in these fields, apply now to »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«, a workshop programme run by the festival »Pop-Kultur« (15.-17.8.2018, Kulturbrauerei), which will take place for the fourth year in a row in Berlin — we have 250 spots available!

The workshops, talks, and lectures, which are given in either German or English by musicians and professionals from the national and international music industry, will be held on August 15th and 16th, 2018 in the Kulturbrauerei, followed by a new networking format on August 17th. The participants, who come to us from all over the world and are selected by a jury of experts, can choose between over 40 different courses.

How about a feminist rap workshop with Lady Bitch Ray? Or an intensive discussion with the producer Henrik Schwarz, who has been commissioned to write an elaborate piece for our parallel festival? Fascinated by New York underground legend Lydia Lunch? She’ll be giving a course about spoken word, the results of which will be presented on Friday in the festival’s main live programme! Want to pick the brain of Moses Schneider, the producer for Tocotronic and Beatsteaks? Or are you curious how iMusician can help you get your own music onto Spotify?

The workshops, talks, and lectures will provide inspiration, clarify urgent questions, and encourage you to continue making your way in the music business. Selected participants will also be able to present their music as part of the main evening programme on the »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« stage.

Participation in the »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« programme costs 40 Euros including drinks, lunch, and access to Pop-Kultur’s networking area for professionals.

The application phase begins on April 25th
at www.pop-kultur.berlin/2019/nachwuchs
and ends on June 12th, 2018.

We look forward to receiving your applications!
Stella Roeber, Manager »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«

Let’s paint Pop-Kultur!

You should be aware of the fact that Pop-Kultur is always supporting creativity and young talent. And by that we mean talents from all different sorts of areas. Yes, that also includes colouring. This year’s programme (which you can download right HERE) will – besides great articles and information – also include illustrations by Cajsa Holgersson. Why? Because it’s awesome and we’d like to support childlike creativity. And the world could definitely need a bit colour right now anyway, don’t you agree?

You can download the illustrations directly right here, print them out, use photoshop or pencils and basically the more creative the better. Surprise us, surprise the artist as we’re definitely going to pass these ones on to them.

So, what now?

Well, post them on our Facebook wall, tweet them to us, write us an E-Mailor share your art via Instagram by also using the hashtag #popkulturberlin. You’ll get rewarded with exclusive free tickets for the entire Pop-Kultur Festival 2016 in the form of exclusive wristbands of creating something unique. So, please let’s just have some easy fun here, shall we?

What about colouring the A-Wa ladies?


Algiers drummer Matt Tong is still missing here. Maybe you’d like to add him.PK_Illus2-AlgiersFatima needs a bit more colours! PK_Illus3-FatimaALQadiri

Neon light? You could definitely use some on the Messer front man.


Make SassyBlack fabulous again!PK_Illus5-SassyblackLet Selda drench in an amount of colours she deserves!PK_Illus6-SeldaBagcan

More colour for Mr. Moore, please!PK_Illus7-ThursonMoore

You can find the Download of all illustrations right here.

Pop-Kultur is wishing you a maximum amount of fun!

Hendrik Otremba: About Writing

Everybody can write? Not really. At leastnot in the intensity  that really touches the reader. Hendrik Otremba is frontman and lyricist of the German post punk heroes MESSER but also a painter and cultural journalist. At Pop-Kultur 2016 he’ll not just present his debut novel “Über uns der Schaum”, but also host a course about writing lyrics in the course of our Nachwuchs program. Exclusively via Pop-Kultur Otremba has compiled his ideas about that subject.

Foto: Dirk Elsing

A text can suddenly be there. A text can take years of waiting. A text can develop in fragments or just appear completely. A text can serve a purpose or shut itself off to the world. A text can have a message or kill the author. A text can be waiting forever for you to write it. Or it’s you who’s waiting for something to turn into words. Apparently, the text doesn’t really exist. Anything can be text. Well, everything that can be read can thus be text – or: everything that creates significance. But what does that tell us about writing?

Nothing specific to begin with, apart from a myriad of possibilities to write – and I’m not even talking about the subjects. But this article is about a very particular form of writing, about poetry, about the writing of lyrics for pieces of music. Not in terms of a service, but as something that has to get out, that has to be written, that you have to write. How exactly does this find a form that is artful, one that gives back to you and others? To give something. For that, and here’s a huge disappointment, there is now recipe. Everybody writes differently and so this text can only be about my way of writing. But there are deliberations to be had, decisions to make, an awareness to be sharpened. Writing is most effective when you have understood which situations are best for you to write in. At the same time, you can’t know too much about your writing. That is a contradiction that cannot be narrated.

“It should hurt, otherwise, it doesn’t make sense”

Let’s play out one possibility: I wrote lyrics because there was a concrete occasion. That is possible and probably the case for many musicians. For such occasion-driven lyrics – I’m talking about social events, dying, systems, political assassinations etc. – you need a shock, at least I need it. I have to be so shocked, that I give up my security – the other (insecure) writing, that I’ll get to in a bit – and force myself to use the ink.

One should only sit down to write, when one feels indispensably prompted by circumstances that are not bearable or that carry you away.

That’s hard, as you would actually want to constantly write on against the whole world, against all the suffering, all the injustice, the pain, against the things that, in total, are so abstract, that the only thing making sense would be putting a scream on paper. But the more often you urge to do that, the more seldom should you do it. I plead for a household, that turns and flips, only allows sitting down when there is no other way when one feels – Caution! – forced to write by a higher power (???). The scream is supposed to be heard, that’s why its cacophonic sounds must be emitted clearly – and one should therefore really only decide to write decisively when there is no other way. I am convinced, that writing in this way only makes sense if one is concerned with the death of one’s own writing and when writing is something that is related to life and death. To put it another way (pardon my French): Do not just bust one out, do not write about a topic that has occupied you for some time, do not finally make a mark. It cannot feel like fulfillment, not like engagement, not like an attractive slogan. More like an unsolvable task. Then one will find words, but should, in turn, criticize these, should rethink them, grind them, beat them up, pep them up, sharpen them, turn them on time and again. Such texts actually have to be, really have to be, but they must not arise too often. Otherwise, they lose their power. If the ability for such writing lies within you, you should tame it and only let it out scarcely. It should hurt, otherwise, it doesn’t make sense. That’s why there are only a very few good protest songs. So, that’s the one thing.


Diffuse Feeling vs. Concrete Plan

But there is another form of writing, as worthy of protection as the one previously put into the light – that’s the other one. There surely are many more forms, but I want to talk about this one here. When you, as the writer, manage to outsmart yourself. When you manage to surrender yourself to the words. There’s no recipe for this one either. But it works a lot different than writing sitting down. Often fragmentary, at night, shortly after waking up, shortly after going to sleep, while being relaxed, while in ecstasy, in the meantime, with endless pauses in-between, on a train ride, with rediscovered notes, with sudden sentences in heads, in a pillow wet with tears. In short: a writing that you do not sit down for. It’s more of a form of writing that you kneel before. This kind of writing only calls for a whiff of an idea. A diffuse feeling. If you have a plan, you shouldn’t do it. You have to slowly figure out this way of writing, you have to learn to give in to it, learn to trust. Then, it will come to you. It’s the kind of writing you use a knife for, or scissors, slice things, so that they drift around somewhere, on their own. They begin to like themselves in their isolation. Numerous little particles that one forgets doesn’t take them seriously. If they’re worth it, they will come back, they’ll find each other, will crawl towards one another as if they’re pushed by a ghost, insects, fleeing from a giant’s warm breath, finally finding a breadcrumb.
You can observe, are barely part of the process, more of a marionette, performer.

The meanings that are created, don’t really need you anymore, even if they all but let you go. They are tied to you, become accessible to you later, make more sense than you ever thought they would.

When a text is done, you know it. It’s simply there. It has decided for itself to have taken form.

If it finished itself: that’s when it belongs to you, in the same moment, it only belongs to you and only to everybody else. This text obeys everyone in a different manner, evades everyone differently, everyone obeys its orders differently. A few verses enable worlds to coexist, that exclude each other.

If you have allowed yourself to create a text like this, if you had the patience, let go and tied it to you at the same time, you feel invigorated. You are allowed to be happy about that. And you are allowed to argue.

Those are two ways of writing, maybe it’s all of them. How should I know? I know nothing, apart from it being right. And that you’re probably dead when it’ drying up.

Hendrik Otremba

You want to participate in a workshop with Hendrik Otremba and other well-known characters, like Algiers, SassyBlack, Colin Newman of Wire and many more? Please click on the banner below before the deadline ends on June 20.

Attention: Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs is back!


Young people,

this one’s for you!

The Pop-Kultur program is finalized, pre-sale is running, it’s time for our favorite part: the Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs program 2016. No, that’s not our very own festival kindergarten, nor our ball pit (even though we’d really love that) and most definitely not our band contest. Instead, Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs is our two-day workshop program, created to benefit talents from all fields of music and the music industry. Maybe you are one of them?

Are you a young musician or are you preparing your next steps as a producer, DJ or composer? You want to work professionally in music management, a booking agency or your own label or want to exploit your music more target-oriented? You’re making your first steps as a director, music PR or as a journalist? If you have made first experiences in your field already, Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs will help you reach the next level. Hence, we are glad, that we can offer no less than 250 spots in this year’s two-day coaching program.

It’s going down on August 31st and September 1st in a couple of locations around the Alfred-Scholz-Platz in Neukölln. International professionals give personal insights into their work and share their expert knowledge through workshops, case studies and talks with you – lively and practical instead of dry and read off. Among them are Pop-Kultur acts such as SassyBlack (Ex-THEESatisfaction), Wire-head Colin Newman, the band Algiers or the musician, painter and author Hendrik Otremba from the group Messer. They are joined by cultural journalist Nadine Lange, musician Lucrecia Dalt, director Stephanie von Beauvais as well as creative director Morris Perry among others. With more mentors to be announced soon.

Overall, there will be more than 40 different courses in German and English during the two days of Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs. And as the program once more offers spots to talents from all over the world, you’ll be able to network across borders.

The application phase starts on Monday, May 23rd, on www.pop-kultur.berlin/2019/nachwuchs and ends on June 20th. An expert jury will pick 250 talents for the sought-after spots in the program. The participation fee is 40 Euro, including lunch and access to the Vollgutlager –Pop-Kultur’s meeting place for professionals .

And if you, dear reader, do not consider yourself such a young talent, we’d be very thankful if you could spread the word to interested parties around you.

In any case: Stay curious!

Best Regards


Join our Nachwuchs workshop on sampling with Native Instruments!

Great news! On Wednesday next week not only the first edition of our festival begins, but »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«, our workshop program for young talents from the music business. Now we are happy to be able to offer a last special to aspiring beat-wizards and music producers!

We have made available a more extra tickets for our workshop »Sampling Techniques with Native Instruments’ Maschine and Converse Rubber Tracks Sample Library«, hosted by Boris Megza and Robot Koch, taking place on both, August 27 and 28, at the Workshops of the Stage Service of the Opera in Berlin (Am Wriezener Bahnhof). Please, find the detailed workshop description below. You can attend by writing an e-mail with your full name and the date you want to attend to nachwuchs@pop-kultur.berlin. First-come, first-served. The fee is €10 plus 19 % VAT and can be paid at the site. Computers, software, food and drinks will be provided.


In this intimate music production workshop, one gets all the advanced-level tips and tricks on how to select, process and manipulate samples and incorporate them into your tracks – using Maschine, Native Instruments’ fully integrated groove production system, and exploring the CRT Sample Library, a growing online source of royalty-free audio samples. Following an introduction and a demo by Boris Megza and Robot Koch, one can get hands-on with Maschine and dive into the CRT Sample Library to come up with one’s own musical sketches. The two experts will be at hand to assist with any questions and share feedback.

Under his moniker Comfort Fit Berlin-based producer Boris Megza is well known for his formidable and versatile musical range, as expressed on his recent releases for First World Records and Freude am Tanzen. Furthermore, he lectures for Native instruments in metropolises around the globe.

Robot Koch is an award winning producer and composer from Berlin, currently living in Los Angeles. His unique sound of organic electronic music has been called »wonderful and strange – pop music from the future« by John Peel himself. Koch has released several albums and EPs on Labels such as Monkeytown, Bpitch Control, Project Mooncircle and toured internationally. He won the German Music Composers Award 2014 in the category »Best Composer Electronic Music«.

Depending on the demand this workshop will be held either in German or English.

My first steps… with Kiasmos’ Ólafur Arnalds

Kiasmos are Janus Rasmussen (on the left) and Ólafur Arnalds

As a project of two friends Janus Rasmussen and Ólafur Arnalds like to describe their common baby, electronic outfit Kiasmos. Conceived other many years in various relaxed recording sessions, last year’s debut album presented the listeners a rich techno-narrative one might have not expected from the two. For Pop-Kultur Kiasmos will now join our multi-level approach, playing not only a surely memorable show at Berghain, but also hosting a workshop on »Live Composing« during »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs«.
Reason enough to collect some first words of advice already. So on the day before leaving for a big US tour one half of the duo, Islandic BAFTA winning musician, composer and producer Ólafur Arnalds took some time off reviewing his first step to success.

ÓLAFUR ARNALDS: As I kid I went to a music school. Later, when I started out making music, I was very ambitious and did everything myself. I grew up in the punk scene, a very DIY environment, where nobody has an agent and nobody has a manager. I got into music that way and I didn’t have a record label around me nor any program. To be honest, there wasn’t very much support for me in the beginning but still I was happy.
I was also very ambitious with playing live and booked all my tours myself. I think, if you do it like this you will meet and find the right people to work with. But if you just sit around waiting for someone to discover you and make you famous nothing ever will happen. My agent and I met quite early for instance.
In 2008, two or three years after I started touring, I stopped working in my side job as a sound guy at a venue, so that was also a music-related job. I had also worked in bars for short periods of time.
And I didn’t have a mentor or someone similar. I just went out and did things. You learn from your mistakes. You learn just by doing stuff. This way you develop an idea of what you want to be. And you have to go to gigs and see other acts. When I’m playing a festival set with Kiasmos today I always try to see as many other act as possible. You can get your inspiration from basically everywhere.
Also, I wouldn’t have a career without the internet. Here I met Robert of Erased Tapes. But wait, no, I guess I would have found other ways if it hadn’t been there. I never had a plan B. I don’t know who I would be if I wouldn’t have become a musician. There was never anything else I wanted to do.

Kiasmos will appear live at Pop-Kultur on August 27, playing Berghain together with MssingNo, Michanika (Michael Rother & Anika), The Juan McLean among others. You can get your ticket in our online-shop. Also, Neneh Cherry with RocketNumberNine, Herbert, @NeinQuarterly, Mute’s Daniel Miller, Mourn are up for this day – so might want to get yourself a 10% discount by buying the »Wahl-Abo« (combo ticket option) for this day. Young musicians, DJ’s, producers, label-, club-, and festival-managers, journalists, bloggers and students of these disciplines can apply for »Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs« from now on until July 10th, 2015.

33 ⅓ Things That You Should Know About »Pop‐Kultur« Right Now

#24 Will Make You Re-Think Your Vacation Plans!

1. Pop-Kultur is a new festival for Berlin.

2. After death metal, glam rock & pogo the city will enrich the international music scene once again with a new impulse.

3. Everything will be taking place from August 26 to 28 at Berghain.

4. Yes, THAT Berghain. Pop-Kultur will be utilizing every room of this special location – including Panorama Bar, Halle am Berghain, Garderobe and Kantine.

Schlackehalle am Berghain © Frederik Schulz (Titel „Kubus Sound“ 2012)
Halle am Berghain © Frederik Schulz / www.pan-o-rama.de

5. Pop-Kultur shines a light on Berlin’s busy scene while meeting standards of internationality and diversity one can expect to experience in 2k15.

6. The festival advocates interdisciplinary exchange, including contemporary scientific discourse on music, society, and urban development. Its programme comprises live concerts, performances, talks, and readings.

7. Visitors can experience various international and German premieres. It began in Berlin! – is our motto for good reason. Over the course of three days, the festival turns into a one big productive laboratory for the most ambitious of ideas.

8. So… who’s coming? Bianca Casady of CocoRosie is. As Bianca Casady & the C.i.A. (US/FR), together with internationally acclaimed dancer Biño Sauitzvy, she will be presenting her newest musical performance and her upcoming solo debut album to a German stage for the first time.

9. Sophie Hunger (CH) will play an exclusive gig with a number of illustrious guests. The (super)moon is just the base camp for her!

[vevo id=”CH4931500030″ aspect_ratio=”16:9″]

10. Robbie Williams won’t be joining us.

11. But Matthew Herbert (UK) will. Living up his reputation as a man of many, many talents the British musician and producer will not only be presenting his newest full-length “The Shakes” for the first time live in Germany with his band, but will also participate in a talk and and conduct a workshop.

12. Icelandic duo Kiasmos (IS) weave their epic techno tapestries into the Berghain air. This electronic project is the newest brainchild of BAFTA-winning Ólafur Arnalds and Blood Group’s Janus Ramussen.

13. The “Ärger mit der Unsterblichkeit” (The trouble with immortality): the book written by Sven Regener and German underground legend Andreas Dorau (DE) about the latter’s life will be read out by the duo for the first time in Berlin.

14. Bernard Sumner (UK) will be also reciting from his new autobiography, while his New Order compatriots – Gillian Gilbert and Stephen Morris – will appear in a joint talk with Mute founder Daniel Miller (UK) and musician/composer Owen Pallett (CA). This will be held in the spectacular environment of the former Schlackehalle, where numerous tons of coal were melted down to slag every day, supplying East Berlin with power.

15. Hollywood actor and label owner Elijah Wood and his partner Zach Cowie, also known as Wooden Wisdom, will be joined by DJ Fitz to form a dancefloor conquering troika.

They are taking the Hobbit to Berghain
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. WingNut Films/The Saul Zaentz Company, 2001 (bearbeitet)

19. You’ll find the complete festival line-up with more than 60 acts on this website by Wednesday, April 22nd.

20. Pop-Kultur is all about making decisions.

21. The schedule is divided into single modules, each including up to four different gigs at the same venue. Tickets can only be bought for this slots.

22. Hence, there will be now day or festival passes, but you will still be able to create your own personal pass by combining the different modules.

23. Single tickets are between 5 and 25 EUR plus advanced booking fees.

24. Pop-Kultur presale opens in two weeks, on Wednesday, April 29 via this website.

25. We did not invite Beautycrush, nor Stampylonghead. Sorry

26. Instead, we do invite young talents of all disciplines to join our workshop programme Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs.

27. At the studios of Bühnenservice der Stiftung Oper Berlin (which is next to Berghain) we will pair you up with professional musicians, economical and political leaders and decision-makers out of the music industry. You can expect both inspiring and productive talks right in the middle where the creative production of the city’s theatre and opera stages take place.

Malsaal in den Werkstätten des Bühnenservice der Opern Berlin
Der Malsaal   © Werkstätten des Bühnenservice der Stiftung Oper Berlin

28. You will be able to apply for participation in Pop-Kultur Nachwuchs very soon.

29. Pop-Kultur can be seen as more than just a typical music festival. It also functions as a new and open space for Berlin, where the local music and art scene melds with its international peers and representatives of politics and economy.

30. But that doesn’t mean that there will be an “accreditation for professionals” after all! More art for everyone, less snacks!

31. Mingling spots to meet and converse can be found all over the festival area: on the lower level of the Halle am Berghain, in the beer garden, and also –by invitation– at the Diskogarten.

32. If you want to stay on the pulse with Pop-Kultur and receive further information, register for our newsletter now and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

33. Pop-Kultur is brought to you by Musicboard Berlin GmbH.

33 ⅓. Pop-Kultur takes pop culture very serious. Most of the time, at least…