“Sinners, beggars, judged and faithless. I’d rather be loud and shameless. Living life in damnation. I’d rather be bold than faceless.” NOSOYO wear their heart on their sleeves and do not only speak their mind but also sing what we need to be reminded of when we lose ourselves in daily routines. And they mix it with a mean production that cannot help but keep on popping up in our “On Repeat” Spotify list. They are brave and angry, in the best and most positive way possible, their activism inspires us, they are eager to make a change. And we’re here for it! We had a chat with them to learn more about their work, vision and new EP #Glittertomysisters – including a killer version of the Cyndi Lauper classic Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – that they will play live at their all-inclusive fundraiser at Badehaus Berlin this week.
‘No soy yo’ – ‘I am not I’, (means) that you can be anything you want
Hi NOSOYO! I saw you play live at the MWM Showcase at House of Music about a month ago and was immediately captured by you and to your powerful music and performance. Please tell us: Where and how did you start and in what ways have you grown over the years? When did you know you wanted to become a musician? The two of us have met at the Conservatory of Amsterdam almost 10 years ago. We were both studying there (singing & drums) and after passing each other in the hallway for years we actually started working together in 2013. We immediately realized that we were an explosive combination. Within weeks we decided to move to a bigger place, Berlin, and started working on our first record “Resonate” there. It has been a crazy ride ever since, with hundreds of shows all over Europe, trophies, setbacks, disappointments, unexpected successes and amazing people that we were lucky enough to work with.
What is the story behind your name NOSOYO? Donata went to Argentina at the age of 16 for a student exchange. It felt like such a big step to her – experiencing something so wildly new and leaving all of her past behind for a moment – that she gave herself a new e-mail address (remember the days when e-mail addresses were important?) with her version of the Spanish sentence ‘no soy yo’ – ‘I am not I’, meaning that you can be anything you want.
“We have both(!) experienced how hard it is to be a woman in this industry, not only as an artist but also working behind the scenes”
How has living in Berlin influenced you and your music? We met some crazy artists, lots of expats, travellers, start-up-founders… all of them adventurers, coming to this place with hopes, dreams and wishes. The city is still “unfinished” and everybody adds a contribution to Berlin’s future. Artistically we found this challenging in the beginning but our perception has now changed. We are taking more responsibility by saying out loud what we want to stand for – the city rewards this. Musically the electronic music scene in Berlin has definitely inspired us to use some techno vibe in our productions.
Your EP „Glitter to my sisters“ is out now. You are a duo – how can we imagine your working and writing process? It is always a bit different, but mostly we just take a day to go into our studio and see what comes out, no pressure. Sometimes we don’t talk, don’t sing and don’t write lyrics – just play music. And sometimes we start the session with a discussion and a lyric comes out of that. Every now and then we write with friends, which is always so great.
“Starting by providing a safe space for women, which will not rob them of their independence but unite them and create empowerment – that has been a dream of ours”
I know that gender equality, empowerment and community is important to you and that you have also started a co-working space for women in music. Please tell us a little more about this and your beliefs. What kind of change you would like to see in 2020? We have both(!) experienced how hard it is to be a woman in this industry, not only as an artist but also working behind the scenes for example in promo, booking or at a label. Men have each other’s backs most of the time, helping each other up the career ladder, but for women it is simply not the same. Which is a pity, because some of the biggest talents in the industry are female, our team is mostly female actually. It’s all about balance in the end, you know for example when you go to a party where there’s only men it turns into a zoo, the same goes for when there is only women, so it’s all in the mix! So starting by providing a safe space for women, which will not rob them of their independence but unite them and a create empowerment – that has been a dream of ours and MusiCoWomen is finally bringing this fantasy to life.
“The main goal is to shed a light of beauty on subjects that are normally swept under the rug and perceived as dirty or simply unimportant. We celebrate freedom and equality, which is why we made the whole place barrier-free too.”
I love that you are using your platform for the good. On December 19th you will be hosting a Mini Festival at Badehaus Berlin for the release of your new EP. All proceeds will go to www.grupofusa.org, a ProChoice NGO. What can we expect of this evening? It will be a night of music, magic and miracles! We have 8 bands playing (one of them is us), 6 DJ’s, (lots of artists from the LGBTQI-scene actually), some sustainable-glitter ferries from Projekt Glitter, a game-corner (not the average party game!), lots of information on amazing women’s rights projects in Germany, Argentina and the world, and our personal highlight: A gallery of photographs with stunning pictures of women demonstrating for the legalisation of abortions on the streets of Buenos Aires, all of them wearing green glitter on their faces… We can go on and on about how cool it’s going to be! The main goal is to shed a light of beauty on subjects that are normally swept under the rug and perceived as dirty or simply unimportant. We celebrate freedom and equality, which is why we made the whole place barrier-free too. Have we mentioned that all artists play for free and that the profits of the event will be donated to Grupo Fusa, 100%? And of course, there will be some surprises that we cannot reveal before the event! All info: www.glittertomysisters.org
Any shout-outs or anything else you would like to mention? We created an instagram filter that can be posted for awareness, it is inspired by the demonstrators in Argentina. Anyone can use it, post it with the hashtag #glittertomysisters and talk about how important they think safe abortions are to them and the world. http://bit.ly/glitterfilter