“We need the echo”


By Jacqueline Vieth April 16, 2018 – 18:27

“Artists are called to become aware of the responsibility of their music,” says Udo Dahmen. Photo: Pop Academy / Arthur Bauer

Pop Academy boss Udo Dahmen understands the criticism of the Echo Award ceremony. He would not abolish the price. In an interview, he explains how the price could be taken into the future.

Stuttgart – Since the award of the echo to the rappers kollegah and Farid Bang are the price-responsibles massive in the criticism. Udo Dahmen, artistic director and managing director of the Popakademie in Mannheim, sees a border crossing of the artists. But he still sees a future for the price.

Mr. Dahmen, it hails criticism for the Echo-responsible. There are voices saying that the prize is no longer valid. How do you see that? Does that belong echo abolished? No, we need a price like the echo. He has proven himself in the course of his history – as the prize of the German music industry. We would do well to hold on to him and continue writing. But the conditions under which it is awarded must be changed. How could that be? The nominations must be different and the event should be different. The responsible persons must now become clear about this. The Federal Association of the Music Industry has made it clear that he will do that. How exactly that looks is not yet clear. Do you have suggestions? It would be useful if the balance between what is popular and what professionals say is made differently. Today, the awards in most categories are based on the outcome of the sales and a subsequent jury vote. That should be weighted differently, the experts should get more weight. The sales aspect would have to play a significantly smaller role than before. Are there any examples where it already works well? In the US in the award of the Grammy! There, there is a large panel of experts who nominated certain music, certain albums and artists. Does a music prize jury need defined criteria in the future to work on, for example, to keep anti-Semitism and sexism out of the event? It remains to wait and see what the responsible people want to do now. Basically, it’s always about the individual case, you have to rate. It is a difficult decision about art freedom and its limitations. Therefore you can not set blanket policies. And of course the artists are called upon to set clear boundaries and become aware of the responsibility of their music. They have also addressed the event as such, which would need to be changed. What are you thinking about? The question is always: Which content would I like to transport? For example, you could give the prize a different direction by overriding it with a motto or topic. These can be very different things. There are some anniversaries that we celebrate in pop culture or lifetime achievements that are honored. This could be a focus. This is also known from the Grammys, that not only the life’s work is honored, but also a certain music direction is valued more strongly due to the historical visibility. What would be an example? 50 years ago the Beatles album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has been awarded four Grammys. That would be a very interesting motto, for example. In the history of pop music, which now reaches back almost 100 years, there are a number of things that I can imagine. Was it a mistake that Kollegah and Farid Bang appeared at the Echo – and got a prize? It would have been better not to award the prize. You could have found another solution. For example, leaving it on a nomination – and not offering them such a large platform when they appear on television. Are these two really “bad boys” or is that part of art freedom? Here was clearly exceeded a limit. Certain utterances are simply not acceptable, which were made in the song. With all understanding of provocation and freedom of the arts: I join Campino. If misogynistic, anti-Semitic allusions are made and thus taboo breaks are committed, then you have to oppose that ,


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