musician and designer – Berlin
“I like stories, and I am a storyteller in my particular way either when I am playing music or making design or art,” says Jenne Grabowski about himself. And be sure, you can’t slow him down: Jenne is a Berlin-based musician, a designer and the founder and art director of JB. Magazine, an indie magazine which celebrates the interplay of the arts, music and street culture. It’s all about movement, change and creative visions but never about giving yourself up to the fast pace of life today. His topics are well-chosen and include extensive interviews with a personal touch, loads of art, photos and selected works.
Whenever Jenne is not busy searching for interesting people and topics or working on a new design project, you can find him either on the skateboard or behind the mixing desk. He has been playing all around Germany, i.e. some of Berlin’s most well-know clubs like WMF, Panorama Bar, Bar 25, Café Moskau, Watergate or Cookies. Also, Jenne acted as the tour DJ of The Whitest Boy Alive on their “The Patience” tour through Germany. This circumstance gets us down to a beautiful liaison between three of our supporters: Jenne is friends with DENA and hand in glove with Marcin Oz and we are glad to have found supporters in all of them, true to the motto: “Support each other. Together we are strong!”
A very warm welcome!
What is more important to you, the sense of taste or sight?
If I’d loose sight, I would still be able to taste all the yummy food. Or I could still see the sun shining while everything tastes neutral. Damn, both are important and I hope I can keep those senses forever.
You are a creative person. What is your vision for your personal work?
I want people to explore a little something that could be common or special, to find something of themselves. I like stories, and I am a storyteller in my particular way either when I am playing music or making design or art. Balancing humour and seriousness, relevance and vanity, extent and detail.
JB. Magazine covers the arts, music, and street culture. Is it your personal mouthpiece? Who do you want to reach and what is your intention?
Yes, you can call it my personal mouthpiece that is influenced by a bunch of people, animals, things and whatever involved, making it happen. JB. is about telling stories. The stories of others, my personal stories, those of my friends, of dreams and how we shape our reality. I want JB. to reach out to people that are awake and share a sense of awareness while I am not focussing too much on a particular culture. Of course, sharing certain kinds of interests makes me able to connect more easily with other people, and this is important to me. It fills this project with power. When I think of the magazine and the potential reader, I don’t know anything about the person flipping or reading or wandering through our editorial world. But if I reach out to people who are not necessarily using the same colors to paint that I would, but making them think about the colors or listen to a sound that hasn’t been audible in their lives before, then that would be one very important accomplishment.
To what extent does Berlin, your place of residence, exert influence on your work but also your personal way of life?
It surely does, but after such a long time living in Berlin, I cannot state the extent of it anymore. I have family in this town, so many friends, skate-spots, art, music or work, the countryside around where I am meeting foxes and squirrels and trying to hang with beavers… Everyone has a large share at it. Kreuzberg is my home, it’s the basis of my current chapter in life but I am always eager to wander out to explore new places and spaces, close and far away.
„We slow down when everything is going fast“ – this sentence is part of your mission statement and seems to reflect your main intention. What is your personal advice for coming down?
We love what we do and we are progressing and moving in the forward direction. But we are not submitting ourselves to the fast-moving nature of our world and to the compulsion of cultural change. Though the only constant is change, we are taking it really easy. Both feet on the ground as we can’t fly. Well, sometimes we can… If something is not happening now, we can wait with ease for another good moment because the next moment will always be the best.
Print was declared dead when online magazines got stronger and stronger. But you still believe in the power of print. What makes it so unique to you?
“Punk was dead when the first punk said: Punk is dead!” This is nothing nostalgic, it is a serious thing. Somehow we are fulfilling a desire that had been there for so long. It is also the wish to have something real in a digitized world. We are digitizing our brains day in day out. It is something for the tactile perception. Watching, reading, cutting, folding, tearing out a piece of art and altering it into new art, or hanging it on the wall, sharing issues or articles, burning the paper. It’s like having sex instead of thinking of it. Sometimes the thought is enough, but reality can be pretty sweet.
What is the most beautiful thing you ever saw?
I love and hate superlatives. And it’s hard to pin down a single moment or thing to claim it the most beautiful. But I would say it was the birth of my son Henri, because this magic was not happening on this planet.
What would you like to see more often?
People with courage and presence. James Turrell skyspaces. The real mountains. Or a James Turrell skyspace in the mountains, like the one in Switzerland I found last summer. The sea. The skateboard under my feet. My friends that I love but live to far away, even just to see them for a high five…
What do you prefer: sunrise or sunset?
I love both. Including the twilight. Sunset is about ending, which can be really dramatic. But the aesthetic, the transition is such a beautiful thing. The sunrise is always the beginning of something new. The unfolding, the flourishing, watching it all grow and not knowing where it will take us.
When was the last time you gave back and what did you do?
Giving should be natural in order to receive. But always without expecting anything in return.
What is your tactic for making the world a better place?
Staying in the now and keeping in my mind that life is actually about nothing. No faster, stronger, better, whatever. It all just happens in its own pace. Just give up! That is the formula.
Who is your personal hero?
No glorifying, but it could be a long list. If I think of someone next door, it would be my son who just drew me a complex weather chart, my good friend who just borrowed me a piano or the other who connected me to one of my most favorite street photographer from New York!
What is your picture/sound for IWISHUSUN?
Picture: the fall leaves and the golden sun in the woods the other day.
Sound: the sound of my skateboard I am riding on down the street by the sea while I am humming.
Did we forget to mention that Jenne takes beautiful pictures, too?! Check out his photos here.