Interview series ‘From LA to Berlin’: Chinawoman

From LA to Berlin will feature a series of artists and their gigging habits all the way from LA to Berlin and throughout Europe and America.

Moving North, towards Toronto, meet Chinawoman who decided to settle in Berlin a couple of years ago. The singer-songwriter, with a hint of 90s Leonard Cohen in her voice, fascinates on stage with a mix of mature steadiness and fragile energy. Her music could illustrate Kierkegaard’s philosophy of death and seriousness, grave, deep, but with a certain disenchanted distance – maybe, and always thriving to do its best, never fails to move its listeners.

Some facts: from Toronto, Canada, started making music 6 years ago.

Number of gigs: 60

Number of tracks produced: 2 albums, 2 singles

‘Established’ artists who influenced your work: Yoko Ono, Alla Pugacheva, Francis Lai.

‘New’ artists:  Xavier Dolan, Todor Kobakov, Jennifer Castle.

Other influences: My life as an economist, my life as a hippie, relatives on Hi8, imperfect love, romantic friendships, Saturday morning ballet class, anything on the beach, the sentimental, the inevitable.

LSD: How do you compose your set list for a live show?

C: Make sure to begin and end well, and keep it moving in the middle.

LSD: Is there much space for wishes from the audience? 

C: The songs and sequence won’t change much but the delivery and experience can vary greatly depending on the vibe. An engaged audience will make a performer blossom. An engaging performer will make an audience blossom.

LSD: Is there a special tune you always start or finish your gig with?  

C: Lovers are Strangers is the first song off my first album and feels like the beginning. And I usually end with Party Girl which is my most well-known song.

LSD: How do you get yourself ready before a gig?  

C: Silence, vodka, and the reminder: “It’s not about the notes”.

LSD: What is special when playing in other countries, when you prepare for the journey, the flights, etc.?

C: Don’t forget any adapters, keep the bags under 20kg, bring a facemask and your vitamins.

LSD: A shortened list of gigs from America to Berlin:

C: Toronto, Moscow, St Petersburg, Bucharest, Oslo, Copenhagen, Warsaw, Belgrade, Paris, Vienna, Istanbul, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Munich, Hamburg, Dresden, Leipzig, Lärz (Fusion), Berlin…

Chinawoman’s music in black and white videos: