Berliner Sofia Portanet: A pop star and a journey to the stars

Berliner Sofia Portanet

A pop star and a journey to the stars


Mon August 29, 22 | 10:40 | FROM Christian Titze

Picture: Charlotte Kastner aka Chuxontourphotography

The BBC has already called Sofia Portanet “Germany’s next international pop star”. Before Corona, however. Now is the time to prove it. With pop music that sounds rock and punk at times. On Monday, he will perform in a unique place. By Christian Titze

“Sometimes I would like to be a man,” says Sofia Portanet when asked if it is still more difficult for women in the music industry than for men. But he says it as a joke. Only when she re-enters the studio and the gentlemen treat her as if she has no idea about the recording technology, does she want to switch places for a moment.

The 32-year-old released her debut album “Freier Geist” in July 2020, which brought her a lot of praise. Unfortunately, the premiere falls in the middle of the first year of the pandemic. No concerts. A disaster for any musician. For a novice like her: naked horror. But Corona also froze events.

And now is the thaw. Portanet is embarking on a concert tour in Germany in November and is now embarking on an extraordinary concert in its homeland in Berlin. But more on that later.

From Kiel to Paris

Sofia Portanet was born on the day the Berlin Wall fell, deep in the west, on the northern tip of the republic, in Kiel. Father is Spanish, mother is German. She grew up in Paris, loves living in the French metropolis, loves chanson, but also French pop. He notes that the French are very fixated on their own culture.

Maybe this is also the reason why he will leave here one day and look for something new. In contrast, according to Portanet, Germany often struggles with its own culture. Singing in German and wanting to gain international fame is a real announcement. And Portanet does them. But not only.

Face to face

When we meet at Oranienstrasse for an interview, it starts pouring. On a day that starts at almost 30 degrees in the morning. We walk in their neighborhood.

In 2009 he will come to Berlin. Kreuzberg is love at first sight. Sure, he also loves Paris more than anything else. Paris is sophisticated yet secluded. A city that has long since found its character, while Berlin is still searching – he says.

And there is one more difference: “If you go to a supermarket in Berlin in your pajamas, nobody cares. It would be unthinkable in Paris. ”

Their base is Kreuzberg. “Since I’m in Berlin, I know what kind of music I want to make,” he explains almost casually. It sounds a bit like this: I found my own language here.

Sofia Portanet at her performance (Source: Charlotte Kastner aka Chuxontourphotography)
Picture: Charlotte Kastner aka Chuxontourphotography

Early dreams in the children’s room

The desire to create music and earn money on it has been around for over years. She said it for the first time at the age of nine, she says. Her parents did not take her seriously. Even when she wanted to go to the USA a few years later to train as a professional singer. Someone had other plans.

She sings anyway. He even sings very well, but in the children’s choir of the National Opera in Paris. Well – Freddie Mercury sang at the opera too, but not as a child. Interestingly, this is likely to be the same throughout Portanet’s career: it doesn’t always fit in a drawer.

To the stars

The 32-year-old now sings in three languages: English, German and French. And it has a certain range of repertoire. Some songs are more pop, others have 80s ties. Her German songs sometimes sound almost punk. The fact that the direction is slightly skewed is already evidenced by the fact that she shot a video with the legendary German thrash metal band Kreator and sang a duet with the founder of the band Mille Petrozza. It’s a lot weirder than Nick Cave with Kylie Minogue then, but at least just as cool.

On Monday he will appear at the Zeiss-Großplanetarium on Prenzlauer Allee, but without the Kreator singer. A place that allows for a unique audiovisual show. The organizers saw the potential of the planetarium and together with “Live Radiant” they prepared a whole series of concerts.

Visitors collapse into armchairs, listen to music and watch a light show in the dome that is supposed to catapult them into another world. And Sofia Portanet’s music is the perfect soundtrack for this journey.

Broadcast: evening program rbb24, August 29, 2022, 7:30 PM

Contribution of Christian Titze


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