Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Grolsch X Dekmantel Selectors Lena Willikens

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What I appreciate about Lena the most,

is maybe this feeling of...

someone being honest.

She's drawn towards a universe

that was always intriguing to me.

And especially as a woman playing music,

she just broke all the rules

that were there and that were imposed.

She studied art, I studied film.

We both came, kind of, from connecting art towards music. So...

Both our experience and...

input in music, was a different one.

I was growing up in a family where,

my father is an artist and my mother is an architect.

So from my childhood on,

I was going to exhibitions, openings and...

Art and doing art, also in school, was something...

I was always the best in.

I applied for many different art academies.

Because I thought they wouldnt take me.

Because it was a famous art academy

and everybody wants to be in Kunstakademie Dsseldorf.

So when...

I received the letter

it was like a dream comes true.

And the feeling that, now my life starts.

She was playing at Salon des Amateurs

for years and years and years.

And she was always just a local DJ.

Who was brilliant, but nobody was really,

knowing more than the audience that was around that place.

But...

there was a boom after her EP,

and I think that's what, basically opened the door for

a whole new category or type of DJs, or selectors,

or I don't know however you want to call them.

Yeah I think she was,

I would call her the leader of this movement.

What I definitely remember

is that Lena was the first person

from the Salon des Amateurs environment

to go out and start to play out.

You know, having a proper booking agency.

And I remember reading interviews

or hearing things from Lena

when she mentioned Salon des Amateurs, Detlef and I.

She was actually the first one

who started to talk about

the importance of the Salon des Amateurs.

When I decided to turn my back to the art world,

It was if I would leave a religion.

I lost some friends,

but I found new ones.

In this time I also moved from Dusseldorf to Cologne.

Which made it easier for me

to have a new start.

I started to work in records stores

and also started to play in Cologne

and get to know new people there.

There are certain people

in your life who you simply...

trust.

That no matter what happens,

it comes from some

pure...

or honest source.

She isn't trying to be another person.

This is really important about her to me.

That she...

is not behaving like anyone important.

Lena's just living for the moment.

And really enjoying it.

Enjoying life.

At one point...

I figured that I missed to express myself visually.

Luckily...

when I felt this need

I met Sarah.

We knew each other from the art academy back then

and when we started to work,

I realised that this is something I want to...

to do more often.

This is also something I need,

and...

my music Im doing

my DJing benefits from

activating this other part of my brain.

We started working together when...

she...

released her EP on Cmeme.

Actually from the beginning

it was like also with the graphics,

we discussed a lot together

it was not like me doing the graphics

it was like a collaboration from the first step.

Because people always think,

I'm the visual artist,

she is the musician and the producer,

but we did the mix together.

And she also has the same

opinion and work on the images.

It goes really together.

Also what I like about Lena,

her approach is,

she can be really neurotic with things,

but then she can be super free.

And it's like this tension of this kind of...

opposite things...

And we share that,

so we can be really serious

and kind of intellectual,

and then just...

be really crazy

and laughing

and just having fun, you know.

It's also a lot of fun to work,

for us.

I don't really like routine, in general.

Not only for my sets,

but also in life.

I'm...

the type who is

a bit afraid of routine.

The change for me to move from

Cologne to Amsterdam was...

the feel, okay the city doesn't...

It's kind of it's enough now.

I don't want to say I was fed up with Cologne,

it was more,

I know it now, how it works.

I had these moments not only while playing

but also while dancing and listening

to sets of for example Vladimir,

where I really could leave my body.

It wasnt escapism,

because its still really real in a way.

Its not something you experience

and you are purely happy.

its a bit compared to a dream,

where you process things you experienced.

And thats what I feel

in the best moments while I play,

in the best moments where Im listening

and the crowd dancing

that I can process

a lot of the things

which happened to me like

sad things,

happy things,

everything.

It's not me analysing anymore

and not me thinking anymore about the next track.

And...

this can be...

magical.

The Description of Grolsch X Dekmantel Selectors Lena Willikens