Fresh, Mature, Unbounded: HBT’s Exclusive Interview with Gunnar Nanuk & Lorraine Baron
First, Gunnar: Congratulations on your very exciting 2019 year, and for your three German Rock and Pop Music Awards 2019*, that must have been very exciting! First prize for Best Hip Hop Album for “Time is Out”, second prize for Best Electronic Artist, and third prize for Best Electropop Band. What was it like hearing about it for the first time? Did you see it coming?
I heard on the 17th of November that I was nominated in three categories – it was a very exciting day. Even more thrilling, was the day that I actually won in all three categories – it was sensational and very humbling too. In my prior life as a metallurgy and technology instructor/master, I worked very hard to teach and support youth – I was a workaholic, so it was not until 2012 that I was able to dedicate more of my life to music. Since then, I have connected with musicians around the world, mostly through Soundcloud and other virtual forums, and I’ve continued to build my studio space. In April of 2019, I was interviewed by the GEMA** Virtuos magazine (GEMA, 2019), and was able to describe my studio, my work process, and what inspires me to write music.
So, Lorraine: Congratulations on your new collaboration with Gunnar to create this new great Hip Hop song called “Get Out”. How did you two meet? And, how did this collaboration happen?
Well, as Gunnar mentioned, we musicians are often sharing our music and connecting with each other through various social media platforms and forums. Gunnar listened to some of my tracks, made some nice comments, and was in touch with me. One of the best things about making music today is our ability to connect remotely and create music together through international collaborations. Gunnar asked me to work on Steig Aus to produce an English version of the song. He sent me the tracks without vocals, and the lyrics translated from German. I kept the meaning and message of this amazing song, edited the lyrics, and sang and spoke some lyrics for the new English version. Gunnar then produced the resulting track, and we are very pleased with it.
So, why do you believe this collaboration works so well?
We are very excited about what our collaboration can bring. We work well together because we have the same values and beliefs about life and music. We are both “mature” – we both have had caring, sharing, and successful careers with youth. We have given a ton of our time to supporting the future and both have had active roles in social justice issues and sustainability for the planet and for nature. We are both into music because it is a passion, and our focus is never on financial success – only on writing great music, supporting important causes, and making a difference through the messages in our songs.
Gunnar’s original intent with “Get Out” was to give women (or men) the courage to leave relationships that are harmful. Lorraine has also written many songs with this theme. Lorraine’s Master’s degree was in Child Abuse Prevention Education; the #MeToo movement and other current political events are great motivators for writing music.
The song “Don’t Say We Didn’t Know” is our next project. It is also dedicated to youth and to our planet. We are thankful for #TheGretaEffect and want to support our planet with more songs. There will be many more such collaborations. We work well together because we are both very committed, trustworthy, and authentic.
We are fresh because all of our music is new and current – and we are always young in our spirits because of our continuous work with youth. We are mature – we look at the important issues today. Because we have lived for some time, we choose to focus on topics for our songs that can really make a difference – this maturity is an asset. We are unbounded – nothing can stop us from writing excellent music. We are not bound by monetary pressures or organizational pressures – we are our own producers and labels, and we have all the time we want to spend on our musical goals.
Fresh, mature, unbounded – we feel so lucky to have met and to continue to make awesome music together.
Gunnar Nanuk & Lorraine Baron
Footnotes * The German Rock and Pop Music Awards is Germany’s oldest, most successful and largest national competition for rock and pop music groups and individual artists of all musical styles. **GEMA is the German performing rights organizations for musicians, similar to BMI or ASCAP in the USA, and SOCAN in Canada. Reference GEMA. (2019). Places of Inspiration: Gunnar Nanuk. Virtuos: Das mitglieder-magazin der GEMA (April), 22.