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Does the way we dress affect if we are taken seriously? Previously, I forced Robert Helbig to talk about the hot and burning topic of this column. This week’s guest is Norman Fleischer. Norman is THE guy behind NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION. Always open for more good music, he’s getting the pulse of every season and writes about the coolest jams out there. Long story short, Norman is a music encyclopedia and when he likes something, it’s pretty sure that it will be successful pretty soon.


-I grew up in a really small village in East Germany, called Priestewitz, located near Dresden. I was actually born in a small city called Großenhain, next to the village. My parents moved just before I went to school. I remember long summers, large fields and being surrounded by nature. Something that pretty much affected my whole life, I think. There’s this saying. ‘You can get the people out of the village but you can’t get the village out of the people’.

-I think nobody who’s in the creative industry specifically ‘chooses’ their profession. At least, nobody should, as it chooses you. I started my faithful relationship with music as a kid. It must be 25 years ago, when I first heard DEPECHE MODE‘s Enjoy The Silence or something. Over the next two decades, slowly but steadily, I became an obsessed music nerd. I collected records, discovered bands, searched for B-sides, spent all my money on gigs and harassed friends and family with countless mixtapes, recommendations and other observations. And since I always enjoyed writing, it was logical to combine these two things. Even now, that I entered my thirties, I have kept my ability to have a good sense when it comes to new talent, discovering and pushing it. After all I’m still an excited nerd when it comes to pop music. I’ve written for many sources and magazines. I joined NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION in the spring of 2012. First, it was just about an ‘Oh, I could write a review per week’ and then, it took a totally unexpected direction. And the rest is history. So far.

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-Turning your hobby into a job is a long and tough road, especially in a constantly changing industry like the music industry. And then there’s the digital revolution going on as well. Choosing to become a journalist in that current battlefield really feels like the most ridiculous idea ever. But it’s not the end, it’s just a change. There’re still too many people in the music industry who are there just for the ‘coolness’ factor. If we could get rid of those people, it would be a good start.

‘People crave for an old paradigm’

-Most of the people think that everything in the internet should be for free, because they have a right for a free opinion and stuff. But there are all these bloggers and digital journalists who spend their time and effort and are hardly getting paid. Then, there’s a whole generation, that still thinks that online posts are less serious than a published article in a print magazine. People crave for an old paradigm. The people won’t stop reading and I refuse to believe that they will continue reading clickbait articles. Politics and digital workers should all join forces to face this problem. Us inclueded, of course.

-In many occupational groups, it really does matter what you wear. You can’t work at a bank and wear a Sombrero. No one will take a security guard in a club for serious, if he wears bathing trunks. And I really think it’s okay. As for the music industry, it actually doesn’t matter. Or, at least, not on a lower level. I personally doesn’t like to put that much effort into it. I like getting dressed good, but I hate shopping and I’m also a bit thrifty. It’s the East German socialization, trust me. I mean just look at my crappy shoes. I bought my current cloak at an ALDI which is Germany’s most famous discount store. Really. There are occasions where, of course, you need to dress up. When you meet business partners, even in the creative industry, you don’t were your worn-out BLOC PARTY shirt. I have a certain love for headgears. It’s always a nice accessory, when you have a big head and a declining hairline, like me. Besides that, I’m more than happy to be at a position where I don’t need to care that much anymore about the way I look. That’s a thing that comes with age, but, I think, humanity should be a bit more relaxed about fashion, in general. Still, you can’t deny that a certain style does it affect you, as we all have stereotypes and past associations somewhere locked, in the back of our head.

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Feel free to contact us to take part in this! Or else I’ll keep torturing my colleagues.

All photos by Stefan Ibrahim