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Coffee, Couches, and existential dread

After graduating from high school last year, I decided that I want to move abroad to study. I signed up for a course called Literary and Cultural Analysis at the University of Amsterdam in April 2021. At that point I was living at home with my mom studying for my final exams and even though I knew that studying abroad also meant moving out at home, all of that still seemed to be very far in the future. But then summer came, and I had to look for a place to live and very soon the time had come for me to move to Amsterdam.

On the 24th of August I left my small village in Luxembourg for the metropole. The two weeks leading up to this were dramatic. A lot of crying, a lot of anxiety, a lot of nostalgia but also a lot of curiosity, excitement, and happiness. I wanted to capture this feeling and put it into a song and so I wrote “Coffee”.

I was truly on my own for the first time in my life between remembering to buy toilet paper and not forgetting your keys when you leave the house there was this sudden feeling of just going ahead and doing whatever you want. It was this liberating feeling that I couldn’t wait for in my last two years of high school, I did everything I could to speed up those last years so I could finally be free and alone. But then when I was finally free and alone, I realized that all of this also meant that I was growing up and becoming an adult. I was leaving my adolescence behind and staring straight into adulthood’s eyes. Once I realized this fear hit me. It was an existential fear, being so far from everything I had known until this far understanding who I was became more complicated as I had to find a new social circle, new habits, new interests. The fear of living an adult life, of being caught in an endless circle, the insecurity that the most exciting part of life will soon come to an end.

Looking back now, nine months later, everything turned out fine. I made amazing new friends and lead an exciting life in an exciting city. Being an adult is not that bad after all.

I took all of these confusing emotions to Hamburg, where I put them into a song with my friends and producers Valentin and Sebastian aka. re:dasein. Before arriving, I had already written all the lyrics down, I had a brief idea for a melody. Coffee was the last song of three we recorded. Valentin and I sat down at the piano in the studio and slowly came up with a chord progression we liked. Sound wise I wanted to combine the softness and innocence of my childhood with the wilderness and craziness of adulthood. The song starts as a rather soft piano ballad but grows into an energetic pop song towards the end, representing my own growing up. Throughout the song I feel like I get increasingly more comfortable with my new environment. To me “Coffee” doesn’t mourn my childhood but celebrates everything that’s to come after.

When it comes to the video, I had the amazing pleasure to work with Two Steps Twice and their team in Berlin. I had already worked with them on the video for Bubblegum, so I was very excited to go back. After we had finished up Rares, the director, asked me if I wanted to co-direct the future videos with them and I was more than happy to do so. We both share a passion for film and cinema and working together on this felt very special. I first went to Berlin in February where we discussed the vision and script. We spent 4 wonderful days together, scripting videos, collecting ideas, cooking together and staying up very late every night to have movie nights with the rest of the crew. With all the ideas we collected in mind, I went back home and sat down to write a script. I had never done anything like this before and most of the time I had no idea what I was doing.

We wanted to create a very cinematic and dynamic video for this song and recreate my experiences of moving into my new place. We were strongly inspired by the director Yorgos Lanthimos who is known for his award and strange movies. We rented out furniture to create a homely living space. At the end the camera pans out to reveal that it’s all just a set, which to me feel like the epitome of adulthood.

After having to reschedule the shoot last minute due to covid we finally shot the video at the beginning of April. I learned a lot during the entire process of this video. During the entire shooting period, the entire team (minus the hair and make-up artist) stayed in the same flat, we all got very close during this period, and it felt like we had created our own family.


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