littlecity.

style, music & soul in a little city called montreal.

music monday / zola jesus

music monday / zola jesus

blog_Totokaelo_Zola_Jesus_Rick_Owens_2a

raised on a forest in merrill, wisconsin, nika roza danilova had an early introduction to music, begging her parents to work with a vocal coach at only 7 or 8 years old. based on her small town roots, you might not expect her sound to be so industrial, but as zola jesus, her performance, personal, and musical style is as modern-goth-urban as they come.

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featuring / ben nevile

featuring / ben nevile

ben nevile

ben nevile flies under the radar. although he regularly updates his soundcloud page with what seems like snippets of his musical musings, his profile is decidedly non-descript. he doesn’t have a facebook fan page, or a twitter account. his beatport profile is wiped clean of any telling information, and his biography on the telegraph recordssite – his home since he first started releasing music…

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music monday / ekali

music monday / ekali

it would be relatively easy to say that vancouver-bred producer and DJ nathan shaw’s sound is the distillation of his bc roots. windswept with dreamy atmospheres and skittering scattered beats, grounded in rugged percussion – such a description wouldn’t be wrong, but for the producer, best known by his stage name ekali, it would be underwhelmingly oversimplified.

[soundcloud…

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one month ago, i packed up my entire life (and by that i mean i packed up 9 pairs of shoes, 7 pieces of outerwear, basically no clothing, and nothing else of use to me other than both my laptops, great job emma), hopped on a plane, and relocated to berlin, germany. it was scary. nothing anyone told me, and certainly nothing i told myself, prepared me in any way for the past four weeks. i’ve always published on littlecity in the name of full disclosure, so for better or for worse, here are some things i’ve learned about berlin.

before you leave, everyone will try to say nice things about your probably stupid decision to move across the world to a country where you don’t speak the language, and where you do not have a job that pays you. “you’ll be fine,” they will say, “you can get by without german! you’ll find a job in no time! the miniscule amount of money you saved will totally last for at least 3 months.” these people, though they mean well, are liars. save more money. learn the language. don’t accept unpaid internships.

on the other hand, here are some things that people told me that are true: “it will be scary,” “you’re going to have the time of your life,” “you’re so lucky,” and most importantly, “you’re going to fucking love berlin.” all truths, and all things that i remind myself when it gets particularly hard.

because it gets fucking hard. i have shed tears. yes, furious hot tears such as when i spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to deposit money into my german bank account and ended up storming out of the bank, money still in hand. tears, such as when i got lost for a half hour trying to find the S1 platform amidst the construction in mitte. tears, such as when i received emails gently letting me know that i didn’t get jobs i really wanted. yes, it gets fucking hard.

but you surprise yourself. more than anything this past month, i have surprised myself in strength (number 3 on this list notwithstanding), in perseverance, in courage. even when shit gets hard, and all you want to do is curl into the fetal position and wait for this entire decision to blow over, you toughen up — you message german friends to help you with your banking, you buck up and ask as many locals as you have to until you find your way, and you pull yourself together and keep moving forward because, let’s face it, that’s the only option you have. and that’s a really soul shaking thing.

germans are rude. they are aggressive and they don’t give a shit if you throw elbows at them to get out of your dancing space at club der visionaere. they will knock you over and spill your whiskey, and they’ll make you like it.

the music here really is as good as they say. in my four weekends here, i’ve hit CDV, berghain/panoramabar, tresor, renate, anita berber, and wandelbar, to name a few and this city has been an endless source of inspiration and unrelenting amazing music. there is so much to discover that you will probably bleed from your ears trying to do and see and hear it all. you’ll dance to techno for 19 hours and then go home and dream about techno and then wake up and do it all over again.

you have to learn to say “no.” luckily, despite popular opinion, i’m actually quite good at knowing when to say no, and it’s a good thing too because as some random guy said to me from the top bunk of a broken bunk bed at renate, “if you’re not careful, this city will eat you up and never spit you back out.” he looked like he knew what he was talking about.

germans are basically the equivalent to the fat person inside of you that you never let eat. this country is obsessed with pastries. there is croissanteries (or the german equivalent to a croissanterie) on every corner and in every u-bahn station. they have croissants drizzled with chocolate and filled with nutella. there is pretzels for sale everywhere you look. they put mayo on fries, on sandwiches, on cut-up tomatoes, inside pretzels, and on slices of cucumber with salt. it is obscene but it is also fantastic because now i can eat forever and ever with no shame. goodbye social life.

it’s grey. this is another one of those things that people warned me about, “it’s never sunny there lol,” they said. they were right, it’s not. it rains and it is cold and it is grey, but it’s berlin, so you get over it.

did i mention the music?

september photo diary / and some things i’ve learned in berlin one month ago, i packed up my entire life (and by that i mean i packed up 9 pairs of shoes, 7 pieces of outerwear, basically no clothing, and nothing else of use to me other than both my laptops, great job emma), hopped on a plane, and relocated to berlin, germany.

fabian rosas beckman / exposition ephemere

fabian rosas beckman / exposition ephemere

my first time visiting fabian rosas beckman‘s apartment in montreal’s plateau, we had snuck off from an after party to go look at his art — including a piece he was gifting me after i had gushed it on facebook. to say that his apartment was filled with his art would be an understatement. every surface is literally covered in paintings. and not just walls — tables, counters, tops of shelves,…

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aurevoir montreal

a little over seven years ago, i sat in the backseat of my parents’ car, listening to “wide open spaces” by the dixie chicks on repeat, and crying as they drove me from my native toronto to montreal. i had spent the previous night having what i would later describe as enlightened moments with my best friends and my high school boyfriend — we had watched the sunrise from the top of the playground…

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