Ballet School - 2014The fact that Germany’s capital Berlin became some sort of melting pot for different forms of culture is old news. Coming from Berlin doesn’t necessarily require German roots anymore. It’s way more about that. And BALLET SCHOOL might be one of the most talked newcomers of the city. After already teasing us with tender pieces of wave pop back in 2013 their highly appreciated debut album is set for a release within the next months. And since the band is about to play the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival later this week it’s the right time for NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION to ask charismatic lead singer Rosie Blair a few questions on her adopted home, the style of BALLET SCHOOL and Mariah Carey, of course.


Irish girl meets Japanese-Brazilian guy in a German subway – are you the living proof of musical globalization?
Hopefully we’re proof that the old model has evolved. Like, it’s not four guys from Leeds. Well, there’s one guy from Leeds but people from other countries have musical aspirations as well. (laughs)


Why did you originally choose Berlin as your place to be?
I came in a weird vibe to Berlin. I stayed because I met Michel and from that moment it was basically do or die as far as BALLET SCHOOL was concerned.
In which way, do you think, you represent the musical scene of Berlin? Do you feel home in the city?
I feel at home here musically because there is so much going on that Berlin is big enough to absorb all the eccentricity within it’s myriad musical landscape. I think PLANNINGTOROCK, D E N A, SCHWARZ DON’T CRACK, PERERA ELSEWHERE, BLACK CRACKER, IBERIA, BETTER PERSON, TOUCHY MOB, MAGIC ISLAND, YOUNG NECK are all amazing and making Berlin pop right now.

Any typical German characteristics you’ve already adopted?
Aller Guten dinge sind drei.

What’s your favourite spot in the city?
My bed. I don’t feel like I have enough time in it. Im very good at sleeping. Im like a cat – really ugly less co-ordinated version of a cat. Hang on, that’s a dog. (laughs)


You said BALLET SCHOOL was about learning grace. Has this something to do with overcoming your inner demons?
[one_half last=”no”][/one_half]

Yeah. Everyone has demons.. But it’s so hard to talk about here tho. I feel like a bad person if I talk about what I’ve seen or been through because there are no words and no contexts within the music media that can give it the dignity it deserves. You feel like you betrayed something – I suspect it to be the meaning – that’s what an artist does I think, extract meaning from experience. Once you start mediating that, you’re in a weird place. I’m not Kim Kardashian. I digress – I’m not gonna sell my life to get your attention. But yet I’m here with this music and a story and I want your attention. I’m just one girl in an industry that is ultimately about competing for crumbs. I have a real conflict about it. I really just try to make it about the singing and I end up putting a huge amount of life force into the performance which is very liberating. It can also be draining. But I don’t want to sound like a downer because performing feels amazing. It’s like flying, escaping. Obviously it’s fabulous bordering on soul magic. It’s everything to me.


You released a couple of singles during 2013 and your first EP as well. 2014 sees the release of your full length album. Does it more feel like the end of a journey or just the start for you?
It feels like the beginning. Everything we do, my attitude is just like Boom. In the bag. Next. I’m nowhere near where I want to be yet.


You’re playing a bit with the artistic aesthetics of 80s wave and early 90s alternative it seems. Especially when you take a closer look on your Tumblr. What artists influenced you in terms of your style and visual representation?
I stan for very few bands. THE COCTEAU TWINS. MADONNA. THE SMITHS. NIRVANA. FLEETWOOD MAC. APHEX TWIN. That’s been my list since I was about 18. Through each of those artists I learned everything and found a ton of other music. I listen to pretty much everything new that comes out that feels close to what i am doing. I also listen to a lot of pop and i am addicted to pop blogs, as you can tell by the lexicon. But I’m really reticent to stan for new people. I’m very into GRIMES because she is a feminist and she writes and produces her own material. this is a huge deal to me. If she starts doing hardcore choreo in her videos I will seriously lose my shit and she will enter eternally into my pantheon of legendary faves. I always put dancing in our videos because it’s something that women have always done extremely well in this industry since the invention of heeled footwear. There’s a lineage. If you can sing, play an instrument, write your own shit, produce your own shit, style yourself AND you can dance, then I am with you all the way and I like you a lot.


Eurosonic Noorderslag Festival is just in reach. Europe’s finest new bands come together to show themselves to the world. What are your expectations, hopes and fears?
I want everyone in the press to wake the fuck up to how good we are live. I don’t want to spend my best years in the dark. I honestly don’t know how much longer I can sing the fifth octave in full voice and also keep the head voice so sweet and pure. Singing is really physical in that way. It’s totally temporal, the gift will eventually leave you and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. so the time to see us is now. I watched MARIAH CAREY crack in front of everyone this christmas and it scared the shit out of me (here’s the proof). It was like some sordid cronenbergian nightmare. That fucking song and her squeeing to death. She’s one of the best vocalists that ever lived but her voice is now damaged from years of extreme use. I just wanted to give her a hug and a honey water.


Since the year is just over. What was your trend 2013 in terms of music and style? The hippest thing of the year?
The hippest thing of the year was feminism. You know I’ve been a feminist for many years. I’ve been writing to one of feminism in music’s number one allies, also my personal hero Everett True for years. Nobody reads what I write but I’m proud of it cos its consistent and it’s utterly heartfelt. When Beth Ditto made the cover of the NME naked it was a victory for feminism in music and now that Beyoncé has a huge feminist quote in the middle of her single it’s another, even more explicit victory. It’s nice to see Beyoncé finally cosign on feminism and it’s great to see the term feminism gain relevance again. But that does make it in danger of being trendy. Which is what fucked up the third wave. So we have to be diligent and we have to stick together. u know the backlash is coming as susan faludi once predicted it.

And what – in your opinion – should be the hottest trend of 2014?
Being a boy.