Jan Blomqvist is a solo artist and bandleader based in Berlin. His sound blends between the lines of electronica, indie and pop. His latest album ‘Remote Control’ features melancholic vocals and introspective melodies, creating the hazy soundscape one would associate with sunrise and sunset over the playa at Burning Man. In 2016, Jan played on the Robot Heart stage, but it is current base in Berlin that interests us more at BOUND.
In the first edition of ‘My City’, Jan takes us on a tour of Berlin, showing us his favourite hang-spots in one of the most diverse, and forward-thinking cities in Europe.
Introducing Jan Blomqvist
Where are you from?
I am from the north of Germany in the middle of nowhere. My neighbours were sheep, cows and horses and I played in the dark forests every day. My school was one hour away but I remember there were always many friends at my home.
When did you first visit/decide to move to Berlin?
I moved to Berlin 15 years ago. I loved it from the beginning and I still think it is the best place to live for an artist or somebody who works in a creative business.
What was it about Berlin that made you want to live there?
The culture, the opportunities, the quality of the techno scene, the music scene in general. The freedom to do whatever you feel like as long as you respect the freedom of the others. I liked that a lot. The people, the artificial lifestyle, and the cheap flats which still have a ‘fight club movie’ character. The food also, you can find every kind of food here. Berlin is especially good for vegetarians. There are so many uncountable things which make Berlin the best place to live. As long as you find the balance between life and partying, then you’ll be very happy here.
What is your favourite part of the city?
I like the centre of east Berlin and Prenzlauer Berg. It is quiet and peaceful and I love these old houses which tell a story even if it is a sad story. But of course, I also like Kreuzberg. Both parts are suffering from gentrification, but it is still nice. I won’t complain.
My City – Berlin
01 – Berlin Prenzlauer Berg
“I love to walk through my hood. Unfortunately, gentrification, of course, is a big problem in this part of Berlin, but it is still a nice walk around. I love the old houses in east Berlin, the quietness the peaceful but artificial character of this area is perfect to walk and think, to tidy up your thoughts. really inspiring. I like the small shops even if I am not their typical customer. But I like it that these little shops everywhere still defy the capitalistic way. There are no typical American franchise shops stores for example.”
02 – Berlin Mitte
“The centre of east Berlin is just beautiful. This spot is great to think about stuff. Many tourists come here and walk way too slow, but if you just wanna sit and think it is perfect. It is close to the University of East Berlin, a place I always wanted to study but never did, unfortunately.”
03 – Berlin Friedrichshain
“I have to recommend Berghain/Panorama Bar, I think it is one of the best clubs in the world. Berghain is one of the last clubs in Berlin where you can find me dancing often because it is still open on Sunday evening when I come back from my tours. I also like Sisyphos or Kater Blau on Sundays but Berghain is just my personal classic since 12 years now.”
04 – Berlin Prenzlauer Berg
“Zweistromland is one of my favourite Lebanese restaurants. Ok, it is not a restaurant but not as unhealthy as the other fast food places in my hood. Lebanese food is perfect veggie food, it tastes so fucking good and it is fresh and healthy.”
05 – Berlin Prenzlauer Berg
“Not far from my place is this area where the Berlin Wall was 25 years ago. It still feels like no man’s land, it is perfect for jogging. You can run next to the Train rails until Pankow and then back. It’s the perfect 10km run.”
06 – Berlin Mitte
“I have always loved rooftops. This photo was taken, when we climbed on the Berliner Verlag rooftop to make the photo-shooting for my ‘Remote Control’ Album cover. In the background, you can see the weekend rooftop where I made my live video for Something Says which surprisingly went viral and gave me an important push for my worldwide booking requests.”