Berlin-Barbara Panther's powerful sound is almost impossible to define. Originally from Brussels, she's a Berliner through and through.
How are you coping with not being able to perform?
2020 has been a dizzying rollercoaster in every sense of the word, the good as well as the bad. I love performing. It's a huge part of who I am and what I do, so that is missing at the moment. But I am singing and dancing at home all the time so that helps a lot.
What do you miss during the corona pandemic?
Being on stage and physically sharing energy. Loving the way I love. Jumping on a plane whenever I want to visit my people all over this globe, but as they say... "freedom is of the mind"and lives in the soul and the imagination. But there where I can physically not go right now, I visit in my dreams and try turning it into art.
What have you been working on creatively during lockdown?
I am writing a new album with Matthew Herbert and it's going great so far. It was supposed to be released already but was delayed because of an unfortunate event that happened to my person. Working on it. Good things are coming soon. I am also re-releasing my album "Feminine". I released and performed "Feminine"in New York last year and was going to take it on the road, but those plans got cancelled because of the pandemic. So actually I'm looking forward to all that is to come with anticipation. The present is not too bad, it all depends on how you stand in it and how you go about all the gravitational shifts that are taking place in your conscious and subconscious. Sometimes it feels like hanging on by a thread in these trying times though.
Any recommendations on what do in Berlin during lockdown to fight boredom and stay sane?
I am never really bored. I am feeling very lucky to be creating and working on the things I love the most. I would say that being creative takes the mind off things and has the power to catapult you into other dimensions. Dimensions I'd rather be at the moment than the reality of corona. To let yourself dream and prepare. When in doubt, follow your inner compass. Instinct knows all.
Change the narrative even if it ain't always easy. I go on long walks to clear my mind. And bike rides. All things that don't require wearing a mask. I hug the trees. I love learning new things. I get rid of distractions. I don't need them. I write in my diary a lot and dive into the unknown.
Let people know you think of and care for them. Communicate and share. Think of love and beautiful things. I feel transformation all around me so now is the time to reflect and be the person you really are. Do not fear the microscope. Actually, I love having the time and space for introspection.
Express yourself through your mask. More sensitivity. Take responsibility. Listen to music, lots of music. Take pictures. Talk to your plants and give them names, watch them grow. Follow the moon. Get an aquarium and listen to the sound of water. The sound of water helps me contemplate. These are some of the things I have been doing anyway.
What are you looking forward to most when the pandemic is over?
In my solitude I have learned many things about the world we live in and it has given me an amount of personal freedom of the mind and the soul, but also a lot of restlessness. There is no going back to normal for me. Too much has happened this year that has shook my core. Humanity! I will definitely be more alert stepping outside. Because unfortunately this pandemic has divided humans even more and I notice a lot of aggression out there.
If you look at the state of the planet and the human race, actions have consequences. I don't take life for granted because it can be taken away just like that. I have the feeling we've been given extra time to fix the flaws and stop the bleeding. So, humanity..."one more time with empathy". Nature rules and can live without us, not the other way around.
Will the pandemic ever be really over? When it is, I want to hit the stage again with my new work! One other thing I want to do is go back to New York and finish what I started. I was working last year on a musical Hamlet and was going to go back this year, but obviously that didn't happen.
Getting rid of my mask and seeing people's faces and smiles again and keep on keeping on. After the chaos comes a new life form, and in the meantime let's conquer the storm. This too shall pass...