I am convinced that role models can help us achieve our own wishes and goals. That’s why I launched the series “conscious creatives telling their stories”. Here I would like to introduce you again and again to people who are consciously and creatively shaping their lives.
My interview guest today is Dania König, singer and songwriter from the Rhineland. Dania first drew attention to herself with the band “Königwerq”, among others as a support act for Lionel Richie, PUR and Nena and as a participant in the preliminary round of the Eurovision Song Contest. Meanwhile she is active as a solo artist and still writes beautiful, catchy songs with profound lyrics.
Dear Dania, …
… when did you realize that you wanted to sing professionally and how was your way there? Or was there never that one moment and your life just developed in that direction?
I’ve always wanted to sing! But the fact that I wanted to do it professionally developed relatively late.
I started making music and writing songs when I was 5 years old. And I always sang, wrote lyrics, wrote poems and stories.
When I was in the twelfth grade I had a band. But it wasn’t until the last year of school, shortly before I graduated from high school, that it turned out that I wanted to study jazz and popular music. Because until then I didn’t even know that it existed.
Up to this point I was thinking more of music therapy or music teaching. And then a friend asked me why I wouldn’t study popular music. And that’s how this path developed.
I must say that at first there was little awareness behind it, except that I had the feeling: “Yes, that’s right! That makes perfect sense!” But I didn’t have a big plan then what I would want to do.
Within the study another band was found. With that the way began with “Königwerq” and it went then more and more in this direction that I actually earned my daily living with it. And I am also very grateful about that.
I can’t imagine anything else today.
There was a situation after my studies, I was looking for a direction, because we had some difficulties within the band to decide how to go on. So I sat down to meditate with the question “Why am I doing this? What am I here for? What is my job here?”.
It was actually during this meditation that a sentence came to my mind when I asked those questions. And the sentence was: “I want to touch people”.
I think that inspired me a lot as I went on. That has become a principle and foundation stone for me. That I want to touch people with the things I do. And I am very grateful that it has developed in such a way that I can do it today.
… did you grow up with parents who were very open and conscious about life? Which aspect of your upbringing had the most lasting effect on you? Which of these do you still appreciate today?
Oh, everything! I’m incredibly grateful to my parents. I think without my parents’ support and education, my parents’ way of dealing with me and my sister and life, I wouldn’t be who I am today.
What impressed me most about my parents was that they were always real. They were always honest. They didn’t pretend anything to me. There was never this announcement: “You are a child, you can’t do that yet, you don’t understand it yet”. But with us we were simply lived. My parents shared life with us. Of course there were rules, structures and everything, but I never had the feeling that I wasn’t enough or that I was too small for anything or that something didn’t concern me.
I’m seeing the same thing with my kids today. How my parents treat my children. Because I have the feeling that this way of dealing with children has become very rare. I think nowadays people are very quick to dismiss children and not take them so seriously. I noticed that especially when we lived in America for a while. There is simply an extra children’s world. For everything! Children have a special food, a special school, a special place where they can go at concerts…it’s so separated and divided. That disturbed me a lot, because I always had the feeling: They have to learn to live with us. They have to share life in order to get to know it. And not get an extra place everywhere.
I learned that from my parents. And also the fact that we were not told anything, but that everything was exemplified. There were hardly any reasons to talk about rules or patterns of behaviour. Because we have seen in our parents how one treats and talks to each other, how one treats other people. And I also find this a very important aspect, which I also try to implement with my children. That I don’t have to explain much. It’s that they learn how to deal with each other in the family and know how to deal with each other in the world.
“The fact that I want to touch people with my life runs like a little river under me, beside me and in front of me.”
… who and what inspires you?
It can be anything and everyone. I just try to go around the world with my eyes open. And then anything can inspire me. From a sunrise to a good book, a nice word from a person, an article in a newspaper, a flower by the wayside or my dishwater. It depends a bit on the mindset.
Quite often it is my children and quite often it is actually my husband. I think whoever goes through the world with open eyes can be inspired by all kinds of things.
… at some point every person who is consciously concerned with life will probably come to the question of what he can do/does good to the world and people with his actions. Have you ever asked yourself this question?
Yes, of course, I keep asking myself that every day!
As I have already told you before, it is my concern to touch people. That this is the reason why I am here. But music is not the only thing that counts. Of course this influences me a lot in my work, in the songs I write, what I do on a concert stage. But it also occupies me in my daily life.
Even if it sounds a bit silly, but I would like to go through the world as a blessing. I want to do something good for my children, but I also want to do something good for other children. Or for our neighbours, or the community we live in here. No matter.
Of course, you don’t always succeed. You sometimes have bad days, are in a bad mood or don’t want to know anything about anything. When there’s a lot going on, when you’re overwhelmed or have problems yourself. But basically I think the fact that I want to touch people with my life runs like a little river under me, beside me and in front of me.
… in what way do like-minded people matter to you? Is it good for you to exchange ideas on topics that move you deeply, or do you prefer to deal with them in silence and in your music?
It takes both. I am a very self-reflecting person and I need a lot of loneliness and peace. I don’t always get them, because I have 3 children and my husband is very often on tour. Which means that I am responsible for everything that 3 children bring with them. This means that I would like to have a little more time and peace to quietly deal with things that are important to me. That doesn’t always work, but I have tried to build small oases for myself in everyday life. This includes making myself aware of breathing deeply or drinking a glass of water in small sips. To go out and look into the sky. That I simply focus again and again. Ask myself how I am doing right now. And then I also listen to myself. 😉
I find that a very important point.
To that extent, yes, I do a lot with myself and like to do a lot with myself. I also need that because new ideas and songs come out of it. You just need a lot of peace and loneliness.
But it’s also incredibly important that I know that I’m not alone in this. That I can exchange myself with people. I have some wonderful friends who tick there just like me. I know that I can arrive and tell them something that I have read or that moves me at the moment. And I know they don’t think it’s funny, silly or strange, because they feel the same way and they can come to me like that.
The most important person in this regard is my husband. We are both very similar in that. We both like to be alone and have this good exchange with each other. We simply understand each other very well in this respect. We already know how the other one ticks. When we then talk about such topics with each other, it is in any case very fruitful and important. I am very grateful to him for that.
… what does it mean for you to lead a creative life?
A creative life never ends for me and it involves more than just my job. And I’m not just creative when I’m standing on a stage or in the studio producing something or sitting at the piano or guitar writing songs, I’m actually trying to extend my creativity to all areas of life. Sometimes more and sometimes less. It doesn’t always have to work. Some days are just, like in every life, felt for the barrel.
I believe that you can draw strength from times when you feel extremely uncreative. Just like a tree in winter. That you somehow need it. You can’t always have output. And sometimes you really have to fill up first.
I love this picture of this fountain with the three bowls. One bowl is full and flows over into the next. And only when this bowl is full does it flow over into the next one.
That’s a very important, beautiful picture for me. Because it shows us that we have to be replenished again and again. That’s not an active thing. That has nothing to do with the fact that we have to do something to become creative. We have to open up. I think it’s super important to have that in mind often enough. That you remain open, even to the smallest and seemingly unimportant things in life. Because these things fill us up and make us overflow.
Copyright Pictures: Dania König