Playlist: Benedict Wells

©Collage / Oriane Baud

Benedict Wells created a playlist for us that eases in the autumn

The scene was as follows: a mild summer evening after an exceptional concert by Nils Frahm at the Funkhaus actually couldn’t have been more perfect. The gift to my good friend C. appeared to be a success, the two of us blissed out after a shared bottle of warm beer. Back in Berlin Mitte, her request: one more drink, it’s not yet midnight. On the bench in front of our favorite Italian, we order a glass of wine. A friend invites himself via text and informs us that, in turn, his good friend Ben would soon be toasting with us.

He’s coming from his reading, he still had to do signings. Which “Ben” is that then, I ask. “Wells. Do you know him?” A short pause, and then I couldn’t keep it to myself anymore: of course I know Benedict Wells! And especially his books. And the film (Becks letzter Sommer). When I shook his hand half an hour later, I did it like it was nothing. Which couldn’t maintain itself long because I was too euphoric that his copy of his newly released book Vom Ende der Einsamkeit was lying on the bench behind me.

A few minutes later he invited his former “discoverer” over to us, who was having a drink in a bar across, in turn, with my old editor, then at Berlin Verlag. An hour-long, standing conversation followed that we didn’t want to end until 3am. C. and I in the middle of it, who was passionately reciting her favorite first lines from books. We remember quickly – the evening actually couldn’t have turned out better. But then that even worked out on top.

In said new book by Ben, music plays a roll, which is why I’m even more excited that we could win him over for our Playlists feature:

Please tell us how you came up with the playlist!

Every now and then, I post playlists on Facebook, something for the fall or for a walk in the city, so the idea to make a soundtrack for a novel wasn’t that far out there. I already put together a list with hundreds of titles for every book that I then listen to while writing. It’s important that the songs fit to the story.

For example, I’m currently tuning in to the next novel. It will be different than the last one, a classic young people’s book, the summer being sixteen. I’ve been thinking about the storyline for a year, so slowly it came together and I can start. At the moment, I’m tinkering with the playlist. When I’m moving through the city and thinking about the book, I like to listen to Highway Patrol Stun Gun by Youth Lagoon and In A Drawer by Band of Horses. For me, both contain the mood that I want to reach later with the novel. And when it comes out, maybe I’ll post the soundtrack to it again.

Your best experience as a DJ?

At a school party when I was 18 years old. Where the music that I played was absolutely terrible.

Is there a song that saves every party?

That’s hard to say as a layman DJ. But when the people like electronic music, Nicolas Jaar was always good, for example Mi Mujer, or also classics like Blue Monday by New Order. And at birthday parties the usual things by Parov Stelar, Franz Ferdinand, Michael Jackson and The Chemical Brothers have worked, or also songs like Smooth Sailin’ by Leon Bridges. Personal favorites like Jamie T have only rarely gotten things going, so rather Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It by Will Smith – then, astoundingly, almost everyone is dancing.

What is your favorite song of all time?

Like a Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan.

Do you have a personal favorite playlist? And if yes, who is it from?

At the moment, a playlist that my sister burned for me with 90s hip hop. I’m listening to that constantly right now.

You can get Benedict Wells’ new novel here.

©Alex de Brabant

Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.