Born in Yaoundé and currently based in Berlin, Elsa M’Bala aka A.M.E.T. is a sound artist who makes live podcasts as a mixture between DJ’ing and live radio shows, in which field recordings and interviews are shared live with an audience. She performed internationally at Akademie der Künste Berlin (DE); Casino Luxembourg-Forum d’art contemporain (LUX); Dak’Art Biennale (SEN); Gessnerallee Zürich (CH), among others. She made the trailer for the Berlin Biennale 10. A.M.E.T.’s musical journey, and her reflections on race, cultural background, gender and spirituality, challenge preconceptions of how someone’s music should sound based on where they’re from. Her practice breaks with western classical music by creating graphic scores that enable her to include semi tones as it is regular in non western music. By using technology, she amplifies her unique voice and addresses narratives of inclusion and visibility. Her work is also marked by collaborations with musicians, dancers, artists, performers and makers from different backgrounds. Since 2019, Elsa M’Bala also practices as a massage therapist. As a participant of the Amplify Berlin <https://amplify-berlin.de/> creative development program, she worked toghether with mentor Hainbach.
1: I love being by myself
2: What I most miss about Cameroon beside the food is yaounde street chaos
3: time is not linear
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I started playing acoustic guitar at church when I was 17 years old
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
any album by those artists is very much what I still listen to.
les tetes brûlées
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
as a friend once said “schmutzkreativität”
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
be a gardener
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
les filles de Illighadad on Sahelsounds
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Hainbach :) dreams come true
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
as a performer, recently I played outside at Musica in Neerpelt in
Belgium and it was truly magical the way the sun was my natural lighting.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
very important. technology as allowed me to process musical information
differently then what I thought was possible.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
yes I do. 2 older brothers the older one introduced me to Björk, Rammstein, Busta Rhymes, DMX he also used to rap but quickly discovered he wanted to make money instead which he now does as an IT programmer in Switzerland. The younger one used to live in Toronto before the pandemic and was always very supportive of my creativity. he help me a lot wherever he could.
Photo © Martin Schmidt