I recently took part in the TEDxBerlin event with a special theme about Superpowers.
The invitation was advertised as follows:
Admit it! At some point in your life, you have run around the house in a cape or costume pretending that you had superpowers. There’s an irresistible attraction about superheroes that captures the imagination of young and old. But we don’t have to look far to see and observe superheroes with superpowers. It is in each and every one of us. With these powers, we all can make an impact and create change.
Just by sitting comfortably in the audience and listening to all the great lectures, I found myself entertained and already full of superpowers.
To be honest, in order to get out of my cozy comfort zone, I felt that I needed to not only do something for myself, but also give back to this event and the people.
A simple idea: I wondered what everyone’s favorite superpower song would be and why not right here: Attending a conference where inspiring and creative work is encouraged would of course be just the right setting to carry out this experiment. I was freaking nervous.
Actually, I just couldn’t find the right words for the first two or three people and I felt that everyone was staring at me as if I wanted to sell them something from outta space. But then I just started asking them about their favorite music and it kind of worked!
It also felt like I was asking them something very personal on the one hand and something they would love to share on the other.
Suddenly it felt like talking to good friends.
Hi! I’m putting together a playlist of Superpower songs. Would you like to join in and tell me what your personal Superpower song is?
(Here’s what everyone else has written, it’s easy: Just write yours down.)”
I suddenly came into contact with all kinds of people, from old to young, shy or open-minded. Some had to think first and I came back later after a while, some asked around in their group and others had to open their smartphone favorite music player and check out their favorite superpower song.
From Bach to Prodigy to Tina Turner to Queen to Gloria Gaynore to Prodigy to Radiohead to Lauryn Hill, the musical spectrum was truly amazing.
Interestingly enough, this is music that I would never have chosen or even come up with, of course. From the long playlist of all the Superpower songs you can see in the picture above, here are my five personal favourite tracks.
Johann Sebastian Bach: Magnificat
This Superpower song was premiered in 1723 and is an incredibly powerful example of late baroque music of which I have absolutely no clues. I look forward to learning more about this genre one day.
Sarah Jarosz: When Doves Cry
Originally a song by American musician Prince and the lead single from his 1984 album Purple Rain.
I am super happy to get to know the American singer-songwriter Sarah Jarosz through this project, her version with mandolin is fantastic!
Fun Fact: The song was sampled for use in MC Hammer’s 1990 hit “Pray”, one of the few samples of his songs legally approved by Prince.
Sampa the Great: F E M A L E
Sampa the Great, is a Zambian-born Australian singer-songwriter, rapper and a true superpower woman for me. She is Australia’s most productive black hip-hop export artist, where she often talks about the visibility of black and local artists in Australia.
Noah’s Boat: Watching the River
Noah’s Boat from Berlin has been around since 2013. With the acoustic guitar at the heart of the music, Stefan Korgens writes songs between ambient and world music that are extended by electronic elements.
What a great band to follow!
Joan as Police Woman: The Magic
Another extremely talented American musician, singer-songwriter and producer, fell completely in love with this song and her style.
Head over to Spotify and start listening to all of the great Superpower songs.
So once again many thanks to all who have participated!
For those of you who are reading this, let me simply ask you:
What is your favorite superpower song?