Masha Qrella (Berlin)
Masha Qrella is a figure from East Berlin with cult status. She has held concerts at the Volksbühne, the HAU and the Sophiensaelen theatre, and revolutionised “indie pop” with bands like Contriva and Mina before starting over as a solo artist. She spans the aesthetic arc from Brecht’s house composer Kurt Weill to the British performing arts collective Gob Squad. Her peers and concertgoers appreciate her understatement, which certainly doesn’t match the musical force with which her melodies can sweep the listener away. At times, listening to Qrella is like surfing a wave with depth. She is both a star and anti-star in her scene. The makers of “Grey’s Anatomy” must have thought “that suits us” when they licensed a track by Qrella for the soundtrack of the series. Qrella also writes film scores and theatre music, however. She has also studied Brecht and Weill in depth. “Woanders” is her first concept album in German, on which she collaborated with Thomas Brasch. The singer, who was born in East Berlin in 1975, finds fragments of her own history in her lyrics.