I saw Canadian born Berlin based singer/songwriter and artist Dan Bodan play at Kreuzberg’s Südblock about two weeks ago when he was performing at a party organized by S&yM gallery and was pretty impressed. Both his boyish street style (before he started singing I thought he and his stage partner were kids from the neighborhood who had taken the stage) and his laconic, but moving ethereal love songs with a touch of Arthur Russell really got stuck in my head. When I found out that he has just recently released a new video to his single “Aaron”, which is out via DFA, I thought that it would be a nice opportunity to ask him for a little interview, and he agreed. So here’s the quick and dirty Q&A we did via Facebook – for a more detailed conversation with more background information I recommend the interview he did with Don’t Panic.
Since when are you working on music? Do/did you have other music projects aside from the songs you release as a solo artist?
I started doing music like 13 years ago at home. Mostly 4track shit and I made music with the program Acid Pro. Then in Montreal I was pretty involved with the noise scene and the underground club Zoo Bizarre. But i kinda took a break when I moved to Berlin, focusing on art. now i’m back in the swing of things.
You’ve just released two singles, “Aaron/Db” and “Under a Cancer Sky”, which contains a cover version by Alexis Taylor/Hot Chip. I saw that you also played a gig with him in London and he interviewed you for Dazed Digital, so do you plan on collaborating with him in the future?
Sure, Alexis is great! We keep in touch and I send him music for advice n shit. Hope to do something in the future, we’ll see.
Your first album “Nudity & Atrocity” was only available at Pro qm and Motto in Berlin and you’ve played a lot of gigs in galleries and other art spaces. Is the release of your new single “Aaron” on DFA a step in a new direction for you, since you’re gonna reach a new audience?
I had a nice 2 or 3 year fling with the art world. But it’s a pretty limited platform for a musician, so i’m taking things back to the club, so to speak.
You’re co-founder of a label called Mangrove on which you’re released “Nudity & Atrocity” first album. Are you still working on that project?
Oh totally, Martin and I want to use Mangrove as platform for releasing people’s stuff in the future, but at the moment gotta focus on establishing myself to i can apply that to the label
The video to “Aaron” was shot at Kottbusser Tor, a huge housing project in Berlin-Kreuzberg. What relationship do you have to this place?
Kotti’s kinda omnipresent in my life. My friends all live there, I’m a few blocks away, and I spend time there everyday so its the centerpoint of the city for me. Made sense to shoot the video there.