Singer-songwriter in berlin: of spherical bodies and love of animals

You can hardly defend yourself against so much kindness. Fee Badenius performs on Friday and Saturday in Friedrichshain at the Zebrano Theater.

The "main prize" is sitting at the bar. The singer also sprays good mood in the bar Photo: Martina Drignat

"It would actually be nice to be able to accompany songs with a few chords like that," Felicitas Badenius thought to herself as a teenager. At 18, she got a guitar for Christmas and taught herself how to play with the book "Learn to play the guitar without sheet music." At first, the Lubeck native set her own poems to music in "a kind of musical diary." In 2009, her then boyfriend and now husband, cabaret artist Rene Sydow, encouraged her to submit her demo recordings to the Stuttgart song competition Troubadour. She promptly won the young talent promotion prize.

Later, she did try guitar lessons once – and was told that she had "already gotten so many things wrong that it would be difficult to learn the classical way again.

This obviously didn’t hurt the singer. She now performs as Fee Badenius on various cabaret stages. For a few years now, she has no longer stood alone in front of her audience, but is accompanied by musicians Johannes Still on piano and accordion, Jochen Reichert on double bass and Christoph Helm on drums and percussion. Her third album, "Feederleicht," released in December, is the first with a band.

Singing teacher

After graduating from high school in the far north, Badenius moved to Witten in the Ruhr region in 2006, where she still lives today. When she talks about her music, you can hear her enthusiasm and passion. Nevertheless, the singer has a two-track career – also out of conviction. In a kind of "parallel life" she works as a teacher at a Waldorf school.

In the beginning, the job at the school was also a basic financial security that allowed Badenius to work on her songs. In the meantime, she has enough gigs and would no longer have to teach for financial reasons: "I’m now only a teacher because I like doing it and the students have grown on me."

Jan. 27 & 28, 7:30 p.m., at Zebrano Theatre, 8 Sunday St.

When she hands off her own class in a year and a half, Badenius wants to try out what it’s like to do just music for the first time. She says that balancing both lives is only possible with the support of her school. She also gets time off for attractive performances: "I think they like the fact that I can let off steam in other ways," says Badenius with captivating cheerfulness. Still, she doesn’t mix her two food points: "I also sing with my students. But not my own songs." By separating the musician from the teacher, Badenius says she would "probably have two personalities."

Love goes through the stomach

In her song "Ware besser," Badenius then questions her own personality. "It would be better if I were sometimes a little brighter, if I were more beautiful," it says. But if you talk to the singer, you get the feeling that she is not resentful of her own fallibility, but also welcomes it. She deals ironically with her own weaknesses in her songs. In her song "Body Shapes" she addresses diets and the desire for a slim waist, finally coming to the conclusion "the perfect geometric body is the sphere".

In the process, the many references to food do not find their way into the singer’s songs by chance. She finds that "in the culinary realm, there are many opportunities to address and express ambiguity." Besides, Badenius laughs, she simply likes to eat and is "a pleasure seeker".

But the woman with the radiant smile and the long brown hair also formulates lines like "I’m your main prize and you’re my loser. Admittedly, she comes across as so friendly that one would buy the singer a new lottery ticket immediately without offending her. With a vocally almost kitschy empathy, she manages to mock exes eloquently. She formulates her implied social criticism humorously and does not elevate herself above her listeners. Perhaps that is one reason why her songs, while thought-provoking, do not create a lingering heaviness.

She doesn’t quarrel with her own fallibility, but welcomes it, plays with it

Similar to how the singer describes her character, her new CD "Feederleicht" is sometimes cheerful and bouncy, sometimes melancholic and thoughtful. The 30-year-old explains that her songs often arise from themes that occupy her for a longer period of time and then "find a channel through a song". Thus, "Durchreise" compassionately addresses the situation of arriving refugees who have nowhere to stay. Badenius asks herself what one longs for in such a situation, what constitutes a home. Putting this song on the CD was important to her.

But her humorous pieces also belong inseparably to Fee Badenius. Because morals and good will are challenged again and again in everyday life: "I would so like to be kind to all animals. But why did God make them so delicious?" she asks in an innocent voice in "Fleisch ess Lust". It remains to be seen whether the Ruhr potter-by-choice will also win over the audience in Berlin with her relaxed demeanor. With topics ranging from exes to commitment to food, she probably has a good hit rate.

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