Creative in Berlin: Benedict Etz

Benedict Etz recently started a summer internship at Berlin’s multicult.fm, which broadcasts from Marheineke Markthalle in Kreuzberg. You can hear him on CultureClash, a bi-lingual English/German show that airs fortnightly on Saturdays from 10 to 11 am.

benedict etz - CopyIntroduce yourself

Hi I’m Beni! I’m 19 years old and currently a Philosophy, Politics & Economics student at the University of Warwick. I grew up in London but both my parents are Austrian and I am myself an Austrian citizen only. Due to this I grew up bilingual in German and English.

What’s your favourite place in Berlin?

A tie between the Dussmann on Friedrichstraße and Space Hall, a record store on Zossener Straße in Kreuzberg. 

Tell us about CultureClash

CultureClash is a bilingual show, which always has 60% of the presenting in German and 40% in another language, which for my shows is English. There have also been shows in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Polish – and we are keen to expand the number of languages! The aim of the show is to celebrate Berlin’s diversity. It is also the youth magazine of the station so it caters to young and creative people in Berlin, and especially those with a multicultural background.

What is working at multicult.fm like?

Multicult.fm has a very creative and inclusive vibe. We are all free to find projects we are interested in and explore our own interests, amidst the backdrop of catering to many different cultures. The studio is located on the second floor of the Marheineke Markthalle in Kreuzberg, so there is food from the whole world within a few metres of the station, which is a pretty ideal situation come lunchtime! The station is pro-integration and tries to broadcast in as many different languages as possible with some great world music being played around the clock. There are not many full-time employees and many who work part-time so I meet new people who are linked to the station most days which is always fun!

Take us through your process – how is your show made?

In the week leading up to the show I start to think about what themes I want to feature and who I would like to interview for particular segments and features. I try to get those done during the week so that I can apply them into the show as effectively as possible. We pre-produce the show fully as it is too complicated with the constant change of languages to record in one take. Before recording I try to write out what we should say in each part of the show in both languages but in different colours so that it is obvious when the language is being changed. Then, a couple of days before the show is scheduled to start we go in and record everything in the studio alongside the music that will be played. After this, I take all the recordings and edit them using audio software so that the show sounds the way we want it to. When it is perfected, the show is uploaded, ready to be played on Saturday morning!

What is the best thing about working in radio?

My favourite aspect of radio is the chance to nurture interests. To make a good feature, a good amount of research is needed and this is incredibly interesting. It also give me the chance to interview really cool people, which is exciting!

We’ve been hearing about the decline of radio since Video Killed the Radio Star, yet it’s still going strong. What do you think the power of radio is, and what attracted you to this medium?

Radio is brilliant because it only engages one sense. As a result, it enables multitasking while still being engaged. I got into radio, as I wanted to get a chance to talk about my interests, which is not always possible otherwise. It is also an incredibly satisfying and fun activity!

Can you recommend any great radio shows out there?

My favourite radio station is an Austrian one called FM4, which also has bilingual segments funnily enough. It’s primarily a music radio and plays some great alternative and indie music. A radio station from Seattle in the U.S. called KEXP also has a great online presence. And finally, one from Dalston in East London called NTS is good too!

What is the most interesting thing you have learned while making CultureClash?

How well radio can work in different languages! It is a very interesting dynamic because we try to convey roughly the same information in both languages so anyone who understands either language can follow. This may seem like a limiting factor but it leads to a fun dynamic that works perfectly for a youth show, particularly for a station like multicult.fm.

Benedict’s show airs this Saturday 4th July, 10-11 am. The show features a little interview with yours truly, An English Man in Berlin. Tune in via multicult.fm or on 88.4 if you are in Berlin, and 90.7 for Potsdam. If you enjoy the show and live in Berlin, you can get involved – just send an email to cultureclash@multicult.fm.

If you are being creative in Berlin and would like to chat about it, contact me.

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