Song by song – Getting through the pandemic with music [Vol II]


It’s time for take two of “Song by song – Getting through the pandemic with music!” Covid-19 still dominates our daily lives, but at least the summer is here. Remember when I last wrote about favorite songs that accompany my (rather monotonous) life at home? Well, I continued the list. More or less regularly, I admit. Collecting a song each week still helps me to keep track of time and emotions – because what better way to express emotions than with music?

Week 9: 26 Sonnen by dude26 (feat. Sonne Ra)

I precisely remember when and where I discovered dude26 and his song “26 Sonnen.” Imagine it’s December 2018. You’re hungry, it’s cold, and even though it’s barely 6 pm, it’s dark already. You’re riding your bike down the Karli towards Connewitz, looking for a place to eat. What you’re craving is burger and fries, soul food to warm you from the inside. You enter a burger place, glad to be warm again, and even hungrier savoring the smell of fried things.

Looking at the menu, you’re distracted by the music. What a great beat. You’re a little impatient (remember, you’re hungry), so you start nodding to the beat. Who is this? I need to know… I later learned that it was dude26, alias Georg Ziegler, a hip-hop artist from Leipzig. Up to this point, I had no overly enthusiastic opinion on German hip hop, probably because the little I knew about German hip hop came from listening to mainstream radio. I wasn’t familiar with the underground scene at all. dude26 completely changed that.

Unfortunately, Leipzig’s hip hop scene lost dude26 to ALS in 2018. But his work lives on and continues to inspire.

If you’re hooked: dude26 was also co-founder of the local label Daily Concept, which continues to produce great music. Among others, they represent dude26’s partner Phaeb – check him out!

Week 11: Buscando La Verdad by DJ Ricky Campanelli (feat. Jimmy Bosch)

I know, I know, this is a sudden shift: from hip hop to salsa? Well, my taste is diverse, so here’s my pick for week eleven: “Buscando La Verdad” by DJ Ricky Campanelli is a salsa song I listened to a lot over the past weeks. And, of course, also danced to it! The Canadian DJ released this song in 2018, and it instantly became the most successful release of his album “Alma de Rumbero”.

With the summer here, I look forward to long evenings of warm weather, music, and social dancing.

Dear pandemic, we’ll see how this turns out. For now, I’m confined to practicing in my apartment, but hopefully, this (late) summer will allow social dancing together again. If you’re a salsa lover, too, and need some inspiration, check out dancers Maïlys and Terry having fun to “Buscando la verdad” at a dance social:

Week 15: Free Mind by Tems

One thing the pandemic definitely took from me was the possibility to get to know new people. How does one meet new people these days? Online? In Zoom conferences? I like to imagine that meeting new artists (virtually speaking) is somewhat similar to meeting new friends. So, I was very excited to “meet” Tems, or Temilade Openiyi, a Nigerian singer-songwriter, and producer, for the first time.

In particular, her song “Free Mind” (released on the EP “For Broken Ears” in 2020) spoke to me in the hazy state of mind the pandemic induced ever so often. When Tems sings “I really need, I need a free mind now” in the calm and rhythmic repetition of this one line that comprises the chorus, I easily identify with the urgency “to find release” that a later verse gives voice to.

Week 18: Take Me Where Your Heart Is by Q

If you like Steve Lacy, Childish Gambino, Frank Ocean… you will like Q. Q who? Only Q. His given name is a mononym. And even if this will make a Google search of his work rather difficult, it certainly sets him apart. His music also sets Q apart from the rest of what is out there.

On the album “The Shave Experiment”, his first release with a major record label, Q takes inspiration from funk, pop, and alternative R&B, and overlays it with his distinctive, seemingly weightless falsetto.

“Take Me Where Your Heart Is” is my absolute favorite from the album. It’s a love song. What more is there to say? Well, it also has a very danceable, 70s-inspired sound that makes you want to copy the slightly awkward, but ultimately cool moves Q showcases in this video:

If you were wondering “Where did week 10 go?” – not all songs from my Track 2021 list are commented on here. For the full list, you can head over to Spotify. I will continue to fill it with new music.

Mascha chose to make Leipzig her home nine years ago and currently pursues a PhD in American Literary and Cultural Studies. She’s an avid reader (and sometimes writer), who loves a good science fiction novel more than anything. When she’s not reading, she likes to keep busy taking cute pictures of her cat, creating colorful handcrafted projects, and dancing Salsa - all while listening to great music.

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