Ultra-cool Berlin-based R&B talent...

Berlin based Dena is a sensation.

Adventurous R&B with a highly personal theme, her work seems intimately intertwined with her own life.

A brave, potent soul, Dena's new album 'HMU' is out now, casting her work in a fresh, extremely potent light.

Set to play a pair of ultra-rare UK shows next month, Clash caught up with this breathlessly creative talent to find out her influences.

She introduces them...

Music that has meant a lot to me in life and especially in the past years while working on my album...

Kelis - 'Good Stuff'

This song, Kelis herself and her vibe are so important to me and the way I listen to music. I was having her first three albums on eternal repeat when they came out beginning of the 00s. I love everything she and the Neptunes have ever made. Growing up dreaming to be able to make beats and write songs, I finally had a little home studio set up many years later.

When producing 'Imaginary Friends', there was definitely a moment I thought of 'Good Stuff', while programming the cowbell and playing the synth against the beat in the outro.

The Internet - 'Get Away'

The Internet are my favourite band. The summer when their album 'Ego Death' came out, a long time relationship had ended for me and I didn’t enjoy or listen to any music for many weeks. This album brought me back to life and it was the only music I was listening to. It was also the moment when I realized I need to go back to the studio and work on music.

The first song I wrote was 'Freaking Out', consisting of pianet and GarageBand preset beats, after which I went to NYC and recorded my EP 'Trust' with my friend's band. It will always remind me of the summer of heartbreak and listening to The Internet.

Chilly Gonzales - 'Gentle Threat'

I heard this tune for the first time on New Years Eve 2016. I remember the snow quietly falling down and a candle burning and feelings bouncing between a heavy heartbreak and hope for the future. I didn’t realize it back then, but now I precisely remember the moment I heard this song in and what it meant to me.

And now it almost feels like a subconscious memory of it must have hit me when I was writing 'HMU' on the piano a bit later that next year. Thanks Chilly.

King Krule - 'Ocean Bed'

King Krule is one of my favourite musicians nowadays and the mood of his voice and music go under my skin. I was listening to his debut album and especially to that song a lot in the middle of an emotional phase some time ago. I got hooked to the bass line and even googled the notes and remember jamming on repeat to it with my bass guitar, pretending I’m in the band.

Eyedress - 'Sofia Coppola'

Eyedress and I had met on the internet and had previously made a song called 'Can We Try'. Last year he had a gig in Berlin and on his day off we went to the studio together with his bandmate Rhxanders and made a song that is now on my album, called 'Things That Mean A Lot'.

I love his dreamy spaced out sound and am a big fan of his latest album and this track.

- - -

'HMU' is out now. Catch Dena at the following shows:

18 London Old Blue Last
20 Bristol Simple Thing Festival

Join us on Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

Buy Clash Magazine


Follow Clash:

Read more about...