Name: Odd Beholder aka Daniela Weinmann
Occupation: Singer, songwriter, producer
Current release: The new Odd Beholder album Sunny Bay is out now via Sinnbus.
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Daniela Weinmann: "Every artist wants to represent a crowd. But I don’t trust my sense of identity; I wish that my music finds a very diverse crowd, a crowd of sensitive and open people. You could say identity influences my creativity negatively – creativity is a means to overcome identity. Creativity is a means to create something unheard of.
If I had to decide between subjectivity and identity, I’d pick subjectivity. Nonetheless I must admit that recently, I’ve come to understand that subjectivity is a privilege.
Identities exist structurally – to deny that would be white fragility (read Robin diAngelo). I think it is the oppressed that really have an identity, as in having a fate. For the privileged, identity is a game. They decide who gets to be whom.
So as a privileged, white, middle class, Swiss woman I feel likeI can do something to set oppressive identities free: I can embrace curiosity, fight prejudice, model an attitude of listening and learning and be radically empathetic. I want to be free to doubt myself and to deconstruct my beliefs if necessary.
The only identity that I’ve been assigned to and that I’ve sometimes suffered from, is womanhood. Sometimes people expect me to make music from a female angle – and these people seem to know exactly what that would mean and this hurts. My experience of discrimination helps me understand how discriminations feel.
Something has always bothered me about the word “privilege”. It sounds like something you want to have or keep. But I can’t recommend it. Having a privilege is benefitting from injustice, and if you truly understand that, you feel like you are born into a family of thieves.
I’ve been angry and sad about colonialism and sexism since I was a teenager. Growing up with good opportunities came with the price of growing up surrounded by corruption, lies, heartlessness, racism, arrogance, greed. I felt depressed and doused in the nihilism of late white capitalism. That’s one of the biggest wounds I have received in my life: To know that I will never be the good guy in the story unless we manage to change society profoundly. I felt (and I still feel) overwhelmed by the task. I think that hurt drew me to grunge. I deeply feel the hopelessness that the grunge generation talked about. I am happy about the younger generation and their fights, I support them how I can. But I must admit I never had an ego that big. I haven’t lacked the love. I’ve lacked the hope.
Privilege sucks and that’s how white (and cis / male) people will in the long run benefit from its deconstruction, too. I wish that in the future, identity is something fun, rich and playful – not a means of oppression.
Until that’s the case, I don’t want to sell my identity and use it as some kind of marketing gimmick for my music career."