After moving to Berlin, Cera Khin became one with the techno scene in no time. Four years after her first gig, she tours the world and runs her own record label LazyTapes. And also –she trains to be a hypnotherapist.
By: Filip Sandström Beijer
Photo: Lamia Karic
Like many others, it was the freedom and openness of Berlin that attracted Cera Khin six years ago when she packed her suitcases and moved from Tunisia to Germany.
“In Berlin, you are free to do whatever you want. No one will judge you. In Tunisia many people feel much more restricted. I mean, I see so many men from Tunisia in Berghain for example, living out their real selves in a safe environment. People can be themselves and authentic in Berlin.”
In Berlin, she met the club culture that never sleeps and spent days and nights on the dance floors at the city's best clubs. Love was instant, but at the same time she felt that she wanted to contribute to the culture and music herself.
Said and done, she went and bought her first turntables and started producing her own music.
“I’ve always brought the music with me from my childhood. It’s something that’s always been part of my family. But I had never been DJ:ing before”
In 2016 she had her first gig at Paloma Bar in Kreuzberg – the same place where she, two years later, came to have the first main event for her own record label LazyTapes. The rest is history and Cera Khin has now played Berghain, About Blank, Griessmuehle and almost every club you could ever think of in Berlin. And she’s been touring the world making crowds go crazy from her high bpm techno, being a self-appointed technogym trainer. Just Youtube her and you will understand.
“Going to my gigs is like going to the gym. Both me and the people on the dancefloor are dancing and sweating a lot. It’s basically like working out, and I really do like working out. Instead of going to the club to take drugs, you can just dance instead and it helps you to stay fit. At the clubs today people are even wearing outfits that could be their gym outfits”
Cera Khin is one of those artists who must be experienced live if you are to feel the full impact. No two gigs are alike, and she says that she is very good at feeling out the energies. From sweaty technogym to rhythmics and influences from the east and 90's ambiance. Everything is mixed together into a sound free from rules.
"I never have a set list when I play. At most I have an opening song. But after that, it's always a journey with the audience. I think I'm good at feeling the atmosphere at the moment and the dynamics on the dance floor and I think empathy is one of my main qualities ”
With a sound that even makes Berghain shake, one can assume that Cera Khin herself is a person who lives on the dance floor when she is not playing. But actually she plays and tours so much, that she doesn’t go out very much when she is home.
“I'm a pretty lazy person and I enjoy being at home and writing new music. When I play, I go all in, but then I make sure I get enough sleep so that I can maintain my energy level, because I tour so much”
Despite bookings at festivals and clubs around the world, Berlin is still the base for Cera Khin and it is not uncommon for her to have her best experiences at home. When we talk about positive concert memories, she tells us that one of her absolutely best memories so far was actually her latest gig – a covid-safe gig at Else, just before Berlin was shut down and forced into lockdown 2.0.
“It was absolutely fantastic to get back there and the crowd was just wonderful. So dedicated and respectful to each other. If someone took off the mask for just a few seconds, someone was there and told. You noticed that people cared and took everything seriously. It was actually one of my best experiences so far. It was so wonderful to see people dance and be together again. ”
2020 has been, to say the least, a special year for the entire artist industry and Cera Khin, like many others, has experienced canceled tours, closed clubs and an everyday life that no one could predict. At the same time, the year has given her an opportunity to gain new insights and write new music.
“I am still a beginner and there are lots of opportunities for me to develop. During the year, I have had time to devote to making new music and become better technically. As a result, I have just finished a new EP that I will release in 2021, depending on how the pandemic develops”.
In addition to music, she has also had time to pursue one of her major interests - philosophy and hypnotherapy.
“Since I suddenly have the time, I’m studying hypnotherapy for the moment. This year is special for everyone and I think that we need to expand ourselves. But also, I’m a person who is curious about different aspects and phenomena of the human mind. There are a lot of people struggling with mental health issues, and this year hasn’t made things easier. And now I feel like besides music one of the my life purpose is also to become a therapist.
Although the future is somewhat uncertain, it is ensured that Cera Khin is already in the starting pits when the pandemic is over, and has some new music in store for us. Whether it's a technogym or not.
”We will see, maybe it’s all very ambient” she says with a laugh.