Frederik: The Interview (S1E4)

Frederik_TeaserYou can find Frederik almost every weekend next to flea markets at Mauerpark or Arkonaplatz in Berlin. His energy seems to infect visitors immediatly. He plays on the streets since 2001. Frederik was one of the promising candidates in the danish version of X Factor in 2008. When he hits the first note you will see them cheering and singing along with big grins. He has a certain talent to provoke sudden joy and lightness through goofy jokes and an entertaining show. He grew up in Denmark with his father and 3 brothers. In 2012 he moved to Berlin with his wife and dogs.


1. What does a typical day in your life look like?

I don’t find that life is a struggle and I don’t find it’s a struggle to support myself. I love what I do and I am so happy about it. Sometimes I stop and look at myself and think: I am really boring. As exciting and entertaining I can be when I am performing equally as boring and low key I can be at home, like hanging out with a book or so.


2. What are your best characteristics?

Curios, open minded. Generally I don’t argue much. I don’t spend much energy to put my point across or convince others with my opinion. But I do stupid things that can piss people of. For example I am very aware of language and meaning of words and the construction of sentences. There are so many options and possibilities. That excites me. When I hear a word I immediately see all the synonyms of words that could have been used instead. So I keep telling people about all the different possible meanings of their words and sentences instead of listening to what they have to say. People hate that.

3. And your worst?

I can be quite grumpy and dark. I tend to keep really private and seclude myself. It is very much a part of me and I welcome it. I just want to spare people my dark side. Which is kinda hard when you live together with 5 people. I enjoy being alone also. Also I can stress, but I am working on it. And I think I am getting better at chilling which may come as a surprise. I am actually learning to take it easy in certain areas in my life. If I am late for an appointment for example I can be an evil bastard getting out of the door. Also some of my strong sides can work against me, you know. I love performing. But sometimes I have like a force inside of me and it can be hard to turn it off. I can find it hard to relate to people in a non-performing way. So when being with others I am either the sender of attention and putting up a party, making stuff happen as if I was working on the street or I just pretty much shut up and be really quiet. It’s a contrast of either 100% or almost nothing! Of course there are shades of grey in between but that is something I am aware of. Also, I tend to take life easy. And sometimes things need to be taken seriously. I don’t know if I am a sociopath or something but I just feel like I am from another planet. Which can be a cool thing or really weird. Sometimes I give myself this Mandra, you know like “You don’t know shit! Just shut up and listen!”. So I try not to be arrogant with things. I just need to learn how to deal with people on a personal level.

4. What makes you feel lonely?

I enjoy being lonely and I very often put myself into lonely situations. The last extreme lonely situation was about 10 years ago. I traveled to Australia alone and didn’t really read the visa memo. So I got some problems and stranded in New Zealand. I just felt reeeaally lonely, I couldn’t have moved myself further away from home.
Loneliness is just a state of mind. You can sit in a room full of people and feel lonely.

5. What makes you sad?

Injustice, things or people that are being treated poorly. Like this dog from Bosnia that just entered our household. Hearing stories about people treating animals poorly makes me sad. Because to some extend people can rise up but animals often can’t. I like to be a super hero with powers to correct evil.
Also the structure and design of poverty, the structure of developing countries, debts, interest and war. All that saddens me and makes me angry.
When I am misunderstood by my closest family and friends or when I have hurt them, that can make me sad.
Sleepers make me sad. People who are kind of imprisoned. And people who are not aware of the effects of their actions and others get hurt. Maybe that’s more anger than sadness.


6. What makes you happy?

Glimpses of freedom and spontaneous joy. Seeing people breaking out of whatever they were kept in. I like innovation and when people do new things, experience something for the first time- that’s just phantastic! I cherish moments and the little things. Sometimes I feel like freaking out about stuff in a Bjorkish way like in Dancer In The Dark. I like kids, sometimes I behave like one. But it’s just a quality of exploring the world and being stupid. Every day is a discovery. That’s also something I work with. When I achieve success I am somehow in the state of mind of discovery. I am singing the same songs. The interesting thing is not what you do but what surprises you which is the quality of the show. Seeing people breaking out of their shell. I constantly try to move people, offer them a new vibration, pull them, push them- not to a specific result but to engage the audience in my show. Performing is a two way thing. It’s not them looking at me it’s me looking at them!
Sometimes I catch myself being happy for no reason at all. Sometimes I just get high on life. Try out idiotic stuff. I celebrate idiotism and like to do stupid things sometimes.

7. What’s the secret to a happy life?

Giving up, letting go and enjoying the ride. Find what you like to do and do it. Keep things really simple. Keep moving, pick up new ideas. There is no secret. There is nothing you have to figure out. Just be happy and yes, you can be happy! There is nothing specific you need for that, just be it! I am 33 years old and I am becoming more and more happy. I enjoy getting older. I like my grey hair. And you know what makes me sad? When people pull out my grey hair from my head! Other people are imposing their vanity on me! If they don’t like grey hair, cool. But don’t mess with mine!


8. Looking back, what do you regret?

There are millions and at the same time I accepted things. I am learning to grow from failure. There always is a choice of on what you focus. I can easily write a list with thousand thinks. But I guess everything happens for a reason. Well, once I have invested a lot of money in something. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that… But again, I learned from that. Oh yeah, once in Prague my wife leaves me for 5 minutes and I exchange 500€ into a currency which is worth nothing. That made me really grumpy. I was there to play some music. So I shifted my angry energy and focused on music. And I had such a great time. Instead of hating Prague I really loved my time there.

9. What would you like to achieve in life?

I have a book to write my goals into. I wrote down that by 2014 I would have 150 000€ in my bank account. And that I would play in the cinema at Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, my own songs, full house! And of course I want to release a 3rd album. But also of course I want to keep exploring, expanding, traveling… just moving.


10. What fears influence your behavior?

I think every time we instinctly fear something it comes from the past somehow, without even knowing what is going on. I love my childhood and cherish it but I was traumatized in a way, too. My father comes from Denmark, he is a sailor  and lives in Madagascar. He has 4 boys with my mother, I am the youngest. When I was 2 years old we travelled to Denmark, just my father and my brothers. And then I lived my whole life without my mother. I did establish contact with her in my adulthood. We started writing emails when I was 21. Later I visited her when I was 24. So there was lots of trauma there. Many questions… who is this woman and such. My father is dead now and I learned that there are two sides of the story. I had that certain image of my mother when I lived with my Dad which completely transformed when I met her.  So I used to have that fear of losing people, for example in relationships ‘cause my mother left me. For a child the easiest solution is “Oh, she doesn’t love me!”. That influenced my relationships. But I am cured now.

11. If you wouldn’t live a busker life, what do you think you’d be doing?

I actually wanted to be a stunt man. I love Jackie Chan, fight scenes and stuff. But stunt men hardly get any credit. You get stabbed and burned and everybody thinks it’s Brad Pitt! I also would have liked to fly helicopters. I couldn’t see myself doing the same thing the whole time. I’d love to be a condola driver in Venedig for a year or sell ice cream in New York or drive the tram for a week. But there is really nothing I could do for like 30 years. Nooothing!

* All photographs by Carolin Kraft