Musician and initiator Diana Ezerex from Karlsruhe is a doer par excellence. She combines her creative and socio-educational skills to create a better tomorrow. “I am convinced that we can create a fairer society if we reflect more on ourselves and question our behaviour.”
Diana learned to play wind instruments such as the recorder and saxophone from a young age. However, in order to be able to accompany herself, she taught herself to play the piano and guitar. She also wrote her own songs at a very early age. Her first solo performance, however, did not follow until the final concert of her school career.
After her A-levels at the age of 17, Diana moved away from home for a voluntary year and studied media, social and business education in Magdeburg, Great Britain and Brazil.
She played her first solo tour in 2016 in ten cities from Berlin to Biberach. Six months later, Diana also played behind bars for the first time, in addition to clubs, cafés and living rooms. “I was fascinated by the parallel world in a prison and wanted to meet the people there. My music was the door opener for that.”
Diana processed the intense impressions into songs that have relevance there and also, above all, for society. This resulted in Diana’s debut album “My Past’s Gravity” (release 25.06.21) and an interdisciplinary project based on it. Together with numerous creative people from all over Europe, theatre pieces, videos, a remix album, a book, a short film and a benefit exhibition and more are being created, which highlight social grievances on various levels through different media.
Offsite Melange - My Past's Gravity Pop Music & Social Critique
Since May 2017, Diana Ezerex has been playing voluntary concerts in prisons in German-speaking countries. At the Popkurs Hamburg, she was inspired to write an album about the experiences she had and the topics related to prison. Her song lyrics and also the compositions deal with topics of the past, present and future/perspective, describe societal causes and challenges that lead to children not learning to solve problems without violence. Topics such as mental health, suicide, acceptance and finding one’s way in society are also being addressed. From the examination of the prison setting, songs emerged that are not only relevant there but also and above all for society in general. The music ranges between (urban) pop, hip-hop/trap and soul.
Under her project “Offsite Melange”, in which she wants to include people who are on the fringes of society as part of its essential heterogeneity, the singer is working on a book based on the album, in which the song lyrics are printed, along with their respective background stories, sources of inspiration, intentions in the choice of words, etc. But above all, as an outstanding part of the book it will contain: autobiographical short stories & lyrical contributions as well as illustrations by prisoners. With the book Diana Ezerex wants to give prisoners a chance to tell their story. The book will be published in German.
The album is critical of both system and society. In connection with this, the musician and educator (studying B.A. Educational Science and currently M.A. Cultural Mediation at the University of Education in Karlsruhe) wants to design creative music workshops for young people that deal with violence and addiction prevention. Furthermore, music videos for each song, a play and short films will make the topics more tangible and accessible in various ways. In addition, different versions of the songs will be created in cooperation with youth orchestras from all over Germany, which on the one hand will bring the social issues directly to a young target group and on the other hand will create a connection between high culture and subculture. A remix version of the whole album will also help to support this goal. A benefit exhibition on the topic of isolation will give word and drawing artists from prison and outside a platform to share their thoughts and art. The proceeds will go towards artistic resocialisation measures.
In cooperation with filmmakers, directors, musicians, producers, authors, editors, graphic designers and educators from all over Europe, a broadly based artistic project is being created, which highlights social grievances on various levels through different media. One of the artist’s heartfelt concerns is to reach young people, to show them perspectives and thus to change society, even if only a little bit. As described above, she hopes that this will bring about lasting social change, showing that we can all do something to prevent people from “going off the rails”. That we all have something to give to a better world. Inspired by the prison, which is a very honest mirror of society (Leo Tolstoy), general social & structural issues are to be processed, illustrated and to be put in motion.