Q&A: Lola Sparks

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Lola Sparks is an English/German singer/songwriter and author based in Germany who’s currently launching a crowdfunding campaign to finance a viral marketing campaign and the shooting of her first music video. Check it out HERE.

Moving to Berlin at the age of 18, she started having readings and quickly got discovered by her producer and co-writer Kris Steininger. They teamed up and decided to set her material into music.

The unusual combination of tones and sounds makes this single, as well as the album as a whole, a tuneful masterpiece that is truly one of a kind.
-V Magazine

The result is an album made of her very unique reality, flavored with Berlin’s pulse of dirty dry electronic beats, analog synths glued together with the classical element of an epic Orchestra – A tuneful masterpiece leading us through everything that goes on in the deepest darkest corners of Lola´s manic realities…

I recently chatted with Lola and asked her about her musical background, what the scene in Berlin is like and if she’s ever been to our beautiful city. Here’s what she had to say. And yes, Lola, San Francisco does have the best parties and open-minded people!

Tell me a little bit about yourself?

My name is Lola and I am 26 years old living in Berlin Germany.. I am a singer/songwriter, play the piano and am writing on my first book ( a collection of short stories to be published in Germany ) and am thriving to be on stage with my music and poetry. 

I dream of a world of mindful people all listening to their inner child and let love guide the way.. I am also dreaming of a house in the woods and of painting naked whilst listening to Mort Garson as loud as I want to.. I dare to dream of equality and living every moment fully..by that I also mean the dark painful moments.. I talk a lot when I feel that the chemicals dance with each other but I also observe and stay quiet when impressions are intense… I express everything with music and writing and illustrating.. 

What are your main influences?

From Minnie Riperton to Hendrix, to Tim and Jeff Buckley, to Björk, Kate Bush, Ricky Lee Jones, Judee Sill, Scott Walker, Akura Naru, Nat King Cole, Neneh Cherry, Grandmaster Flash, Chopin..they all influenced me musically.. but throughout my teenager years I was mainly interested in Japanese manga and Anime and today I still listen to Japanese mix tapes day and night. 

I am also a huge movie geek and could hide in bed a whole weekend and just watch one Woody Allen after the other.. or breakfast at Tiffanies, Tarantino, Wes Anderson, Luc Besson.. 

Do you play any instruments?

I play the piano and am learning how to play the drums.. 

When did you know you wanted to be a musician?

At the age of 4 round about.. 

What’s your first memory about music?

I sang Itzy Bitzy at the age of 5 Spider on Christmas Day and was anxious to screw up and not get applause ( and presents ).. I nailed it and got lots of chocolate and paint ( I also wanted to be a painter..a singing painter to be specific ) 

What are your goals when it comes to your art/music?

I aspire to find my place in the indie underground niche and play festivals and earn my respect… I’d love to have a crowd that appreciate hard efforts and quality recordings..people who are tasty and value originality.. In that scene you don’t really have a expiration date as a woman especially..I dream of publishing 5 books in my life and tour as much as possible. 

Tell me about your Kickstarter campaign.

It gets harder and harder for artists these days wether they are signed or not to walk the first steps in the music industry as record labels aren’t as reliable as they used to be, you don’t get much time to sculpture yourself as an individual artist as you get one shot to succeed or your out… so more and more people arrived in the future vibes and are going for crowdfunding in order to being more independent and authentic, right? 

With this campaign I want to raise enough money to finance the making of my first music video and bring in a professional marketing agency in London to boost my single release in march digitally. 

I’ve read a lot about Kickstarter but was always a little nervous when I thought of trying it.. but this year is the year of accomplishments and if you won’t try you’ll never know! 

I am grateful for every support, may it be sharing it on Facebook, leaving a like or donating something. There are amazing rewards awaiting the supporters, like thrift gifts, living room concerts, Skype concerts if you don’t live near by 🙂 and much more 

What’s the music scene like in Berlin?

Oh so VERY colorful.. This place is the ultimate Twilight Zone for all kinds of cultures to fusion and give birth to many wonderful collaborations..the other day I found myself in a big commune singing with Kazshi Takahashi from Japan and Ibrahim from Libya to all sorts of different instruments  ( Baglama, hand pans ).. Berlin has a huge electro and deep house scene of course.. I could go for hours really, but you have to see and feel it to believe it. 

In every corner you see street buskers playing passionately ..I just love this place.

Have you ever been to San Francisco. If so, what did you like most about it?

I haven’t yet, but I only heard good stuff so far.. I heard about great parties and open minded people who can party like no other.. is that true? 

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An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.