What do Germans love even more than their own language? People singing songs in their own language! For a few years now the so-called “New Deutsch” trend turned normal people from the streets of Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich into true stars. Pop, rap, and schlager top the national charts regularly, local acts like Helene Fischer, Cro, and Unheilig are heroes, even though not everyone is into this kind of often sentimental and even redundant linguistic patriotism.
18-year old Lina Larissa Strahl, born in the Lower Saxonian city of Seelze and famous for her movies about a young witch and her friends, is the latest pop sensation from Germany. Lina’s debut song “Ohne Dieses Gefühl” got over 600.000 views on YouTube since it was uploaded a few weeks back, her first album “Official” is purchasable right now.
To learn more about Lina and how she uses social media we talked to her about Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter, asked her if she’s more into Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift or Rihanna, and even spoke with her about creepy stalking men, how she would resolve the refugee migration crisis in Europe, and if she’s ever going to be a part of some scandal.
So I tried to get into Snapchat recently, but every time I watch some random fashion blogger sitting in a café and talking about why her overpriced avocado brunch is the best breakfast ever, I just want to delete that app and burn my phone. But I assume every 18-year-old uses and loves Snapchat. You’re 18, right? So, please explain to me: Snapchat, why?
Yes, I’m 18. But I have to admit that my Snapchat account isn’t older than maybe four months. I’ve never been that girl on Snapchat and I guess I never will be because there are other apps I use more. For example Instagram. You can have fun with Snapchat but I think Snapchat easily gets too private, so I only use it when I’m in the studio or on tour.
You made movies about a teenage witch, her best friends, and ponies. How did you get into the music business?
It was 2013 when I uploaded a video on YouTube and then sent it to a German casting show that runs on a kids channel. It’s called „Dein Song.“ It’s about writing and performing your own song. I ended up winning the finals and that was a very big step for me. I got to know my current producer Peter Hoffman. Through the years after the show, I’ve regularly been in his studios and we made music. Just then I got the request for my film role. But for me and my producer, plus the whole team, it was clear that we wanted to make an album, we just wanted to do it at the right time and not rush into something I wasn’t ready for yet. Now I’m 18, I finished my A levels, so we thought the right time has come to publish the album.
What’s more fun: Making movies or making music?
This absolutely depends on what I’m doing. When I am shooting a movie, I give 100 percent. When I’m in the studios, I do the same. I can’t really decide what’s more fun. Both things are fun… but I guess, I could never choose between the two. Then again it’s important for me that the people know, that music has always been my passion, and always will be, and that the filming was more like a hobby that is now a job.
Bands like Silbermond, Juli and maybe even Tokio Hotel made German pop music popular again. Are you glad about that “New Deutsch” trend – or are you personally more into English music?
That’s easy. I am totally more into English music! I really, really like the music I do and I’m so proud of my album, but personally I’m not so into German music. I only listen to German rap, a few good pop songs, and my own music, everything else on my playlist is either American or English.
You’re a, what old people call, digital native. That means you were born right into the era of the Internet. Could you imagine a life without it?
There are days when I wished there was now wifi or Internet on this planet at all. There are times when I’m really hating it. You get addicted so much and so fast, that sometimes you can’t stop yourself. But instead of watching some other peoples lives on Instagram we should do more for ourselves. We should go outside and enjoy the sun. Have more times for our friends and not waste that precious time on a Netflix series. The problem is, after all complaints, we still use the internet every day and we treat our cell phone like a real baby. I guess that is something we should think about. Otherwise, I love the possibilities the Internet gives me to stay in contact with friends in different cities or even countries.
Are you one of those people who are addicted to their phone and get anxious about what they could miss if it’s not in their hands?
Oh yes, I am. I don’t like that I am one of those wifi kids, but I fear hotels without any wifi or service. I just like staying in contact with my friends at home so much that I couldn’t imagine not to text or call them at least once in a day.
Okay, so, would you rather go without TV or your phone for one year?
Next try: Would you go rather without pizza or your phone for one year?
Wow, okay, last try: Would you go rather without love or your phone for one hundred years?
Phone!!! Love is so much more precious than any material thing. If you have someone to love, you have won. But: The one should love you back. Otherwise your situation would be shitty…
I think my favorite social network is Twitter because it’s uncomplicated, fast, and short. You’re not so much into that, am I right?
Well, I have been into Twitter quite much. But that was two years ago, where I called myself a „Directioner.“ I loved One Direction so I always tried to get the best and fastest information about them. That was only possible on Twitter. Right now, where I have a lot of stuff to do, like finishing school and publishing the album, I have no time for that anymore. Let’s see what will happen if I have more time to be on Twitter or networks like that.
Young people share everything with the world on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. Are you sometimes afraid that you may share too much of you on social media?
I am, but I guess it’s in my hands and under my control. So I don’t post private stuff, you won’t find my room at home on Instagram or family pictures. It would be pretty scary for me if my fans would know all the names of all my family members.
Yeah, totally. So, I recently saw you in a Nintendo TV commercial. Are you into video games? Because I play a lot!
When I was younger I always had my Nintendo with me. Now, after I was part of the commercial, my love for “Mario Kart” for example came back. So when I travel, you will probably see me playing Mario Kart.
Do you have any role models in the movie and music business?
I looooove Jennifer Lawrence! She seems to be such a strong woman, with a strong mind and big heart. I really like the way she believes in being herself.
If you could go on stage and sing a duet with Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift or Rihanna – whom would you choose?
I would definitely choose Selena. I really like her new album, I love the lyrics. Some of the songs inspire me and to others I just like to sing along.
Do you think young girls look up to you?
Yes, I’m sure some of them do. It’s a nice feeling, knowing that you’re a role model in some kind of way, but, on the other hand, you have a huge responsibility. The thing is that I’m only 18, that I still have to figure out who I really am, and that I, myself, make mistakes and still learn from them. I’m not perfect and that’s what my fans should know. They can look up to me, but they shouldn’t cover me.
How do you deal with people who insult you over the Internet?
I am lucky to say that I never had to deal with much of hate. Yeah, sure, there are some insulting comments but most of them are so senseless and dumb that I can almost laugh about it. I guess most of these „haters“ are just too frustrated about their own life, so they hate on others to make themselves feel better.
And how do you deal with fans and stalkers who get too pushy?
That’s a real difficult thing. Sometimes men get too close and it’s disgusting, weird and sometimes even scary… The problem is that I’m more like a shy person when it comes to situations like that. I guess I have to learn to say NO.
You’ve got your own YouTube channel. Do you want to become the next big YouTube star?
YouTube is fun! And when I was younger I always wanted to make videos for YouTube. Now it has become a real thing for me and I take it seriously. But I don’t wanna be that typical girl on YouTube with hair and makeup tutorials or drug store hauls. I have faith in the first years of YouTube, in short comedy videos, in parodies and films that were shot in small rooms at home. Follow me arounds can be a cool thing, but you have to make it interesting and not just talk through the entire video. Let’s see what will happen on my channel.
What’s your favorite TV show?
That’s hard for me to choose. I’m currently watching so many shows on Netflix that I’m like suffering under a show overload. But I guess my favorites are “The Vampire Diaries” and “Pretty Little Liars.” I’d love to be a vampire from “TVD.” They are such cool and strong characters!
You’re quite smart, right? How would you resolve the refugee migration crisis in Europe?
That’s not so easy to respond. It’s a very big topic and I wish I would have more power as an individual to change things, but I guess we’re all involved in it, and we have to find an ultimate solution that’s bearable for both sides. In best terms we surely should all stand on one side and support each other.
Okay, something easier, let’s say you’re the next president of the world – or something like that. What’s the first thing you do?
I would definitely lay all my power in solving the world’s problems. I would try to stop or better decrease the climate change. Further on war is not an option to solve any problems. You cannot bomb for peace! So we should stop fighting and start thinking!
Did you ever do drugs?
Never ever in a million years. But yes, I drank some Pina Colada on my 18th birthday (laughs).
If you’re ever going to be a part of some scandal, what would be the headline?
Actually, I can’t really imagine. Maybe it would be “Young woman kills pizza boy for delivering the wrong pizza. #Ilovefood #nocheesenofun” (laughs).
Google, Apple, and Facebook are inventing amazing technological wonders right now, like self-driving cars, smart computers that control your home, virtual reality glasses that beam you right into artificial worlds. What’s something in the future that you’re looking forward to?
I would like to have a beaming machine! That would be really cool! You could just beam yourself from one place to another. Traveling would be very easy then.
What do you want to do and be in, let’s say, 10 years?
Wow, I don’t know. Being happy is my biggest wish. To have found a nice and lovable guy until then, that would also be quite nice.
Sounds like a plan. So, are you going to help me becoming the next big Snapchat star now?
Haha, if you want to, I can surely help you! I can’t promise you that my help would actually help you, but it’s worth a try!
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