photography by Alina Gärtig
On “Echoes of Memoria” the emotions prevail with a heavy dose of melancholy.
“This album has been on our minds for two years. Now, at long last, our protégé is finally taking its first breath. Our idiosyncratically grown plant that’s battled through all these shared moments of struggle, doubts and frustration is now standing up again through key moments of inspiration; regaining confidence and acceptance of who we are. With Echoes of Memoria we conclude a chapter, as it’s the roots of our identity that we carry in our hearts…forever.” At the beginning of December German live electronica act, Ameli Paul, released their remarkable debut album Echoes of Memoria via independent Berlin-based imprint MEIOSIS. We had a chat with the likeable artist duo about the very personal story and inspiration of the album, why singing opera felt liberating for Ameli and their thought on what love is compared to our last interview some time ago.
You are currently on tour with your new album Echoes of Memories. When we last spoke to you in February 2021 you told me it was one of the toughest times for you without playing live and this energy that comes from it. Are you experiencing touring even more intense now than before?
Ameli: Definetly. Producing/studio time is one part of the job, the other one is playing live. And at the beginning of 2022 we felt like we have lost the balance. So when we played our first shows we were really excited. But there was this collective hunger. And when we finally all met again in the clubs, on the dancefloors of the festivals, there was even a stronger feeling of community than before. All the holdback was allowed to burst out of us again. It was insane!
Paul: The last summer was just perfect, we did a lot of festivals, travelled a lot and now supporting Monolink on his Europe Tour is a dream come true. It was intense, eventful and challenging. We were definitely playing the biggest shows we ever did. As much as we enjoy(ed) it, I also crave for some studio time now!
Your favourite live-play track out of the album and why?
Paul: It got to be ‘Encore’. We’ve played it so often as our last track in our live sets, but now as it is released on our album it feels even more special. we got a lot of touching feedback about the blend of classical opera and electronic music. Also playing the Encore remix of Ruede Hagelstein is a lot of fun. Amelis part in the break just kills it.
Ameli: For very special occasions one of my favs is ‚Melancholia‘. This song is kind of fragile and needs attentive listeners. But when people are engaging with it, there is this lovely and intimate atmosphere. Looking forward to play it next year on our solo concert show.
You just said it – On Encore there is opera singing. Is it you singing Ameli, right? I was really impressed by the voice but I have to admit that I had to accustom myself to it at first because I am not so much into opera – but I gave it a second chance listening and it´s a gripping and bold mix. Did you have any apprehension that people would reject the song or was it even with the purpose to deliver something different and unique that might challenge also the listener?
Ameli: Yes, it’s me and thank you! I am a classical singer and did a lot of opera when I was 20. Later on, I focused more on my own bands. When Paul showed me the instrumental of the track, I instantly started singing these operatic vocals, and it felt just right. The surprised faces in the crowd when playing this track in a dark club at 6 in the morning – priceless.
We never overthought this track, there wasn’t a purpose, but it actually tells where we come from and shows that we don’t want to be put in a box. I think for many people, classical singing is just not cool, this is what I also used to think. When I started singing Opera in the club, I had the feeling to be myself, forgetting about what people might think… So maybe yes, there is a purpose. It’s to be yourself!
“When I started singing Opera in the club, I had the feeling to be myself, forgetting about what people might think… So maybe yes, there is a purpose. It’s to be yourself!”
The album is about your relationship, about transition, inner turmoil, your journey as a couple. Did you start the album with the intention that it would be about the different stages of your relationship or this just happened in the process?
Not at all. First we were overwhelmed by doing a whole album and just collected songs and sketches we liked…Then we got inspired and knew exactly what we wanted to tell musically but also textually. We found the first voice message that Ameli sent me (Paul) and thought it would be cool to put it on the album as this was the start of us making music together. So it became more and more evident that we were displaying our whole story, all the phases of our relationship.
As you revealed recently in October you two broke up. At which point of the album production and how did you realize that the music you were working on was also a processing of your break-up?
It just came naturally. The final phase of the album coincided with our break-up, and we slowly realized that the whole album, the music and the lyrics predicted what we didn’t consciously knew. We still felt very close and connected. Having a band also puts a lot of pressure on a relationship (or vice versa) and we didn’t want to screw our bond.
“Every time I feel that I get trapped in this negativity of expectations, I know that I need to step back, reflect and have some time for myself.”
The track Musca “is about withstanding conventional relationship expectations and never stop fighting for the relationship you want to have.” I actually feel in our times people also sometimes give up on relationships too easily and our expectations on relationships are unfulfillable too. What are your expectations on a relationship today?
Ameli: I think it can be tense to go into a relationship with a lot of expectations, and it is also not fair for your partner. One thing that is very important to me is an open, honest communication. And for me, the biggest challenge is to listen to myself, to be aware that my partner is not there to make me happy. Besides, I am the one who should make myself happy. Every time I feel that I get trapped in this negativity of expectations, I know that I need to step back, reflect and have some time for myself.
Paul: In our case we shared everything, we loved, we worked, we travelled and lived together 24/7. At a certain point, we opened our relationship and allowed ourselves to have other relationships because we wanted to make it work. It brought us closer and inspired a lot of other people to experiment more, to be more present in the moment, honest about your feelings, fantasizes towards your partner and others, communicate and adjust.
When we realized that the romantic relationship didn’t hold-up to what we wished for, we took the pressure out of it and focused on our friendship and music. But believe us, it was everything than an easy decision…
Last time I asked you what love is and you answered: Love is……when we hug each other at the end of a concert, exhausted and happy. What would you answer me today to this question?
Ameli: Love is the strongest and greatest thing ever. It’s always in us but so often over layered by fears, doubts, insecurities, selfishness, anger. Love is Peace.
“Love is the strongest and greatest thing ever. It’s always in us but so often over layered by fears, doubts, insecurities, selfishness, anger. Love is Peace.”
Best moment of 2022?
Paul: Playing Sonnendeck at Fusion Festival 2022 during the sunset, a hungry crowd and the feeling that our work of the last two years during the pandemic paid off.
Ameli: I also remember this moment and how nervous I was when I saw all the people out on the dancefloor. Was incredible! For me, one really special concert was the one at KOKO London. Never played in such a beautiful concert hall before and people were so gentle.
Do you have any New Years resolutions?
Paul: Make more music and keep social media consumption to the minimum.
Ameli: Finding a studio space.