„With her, the shore of the river Spree becomes the US Westcoast: Masha Qrella makes pop of the finest, smartest and most intimate variety, of which if you were blindfolded, you would perhaps think you were somewhere else completely. The Berliner writes small big hits to dance around the house, for long car rides along empty streets and for the feeling of having a suitcase left standing in the distance somewhere. The reviews for her fifth album, „Keys,“ had one unanimous agreement: Here you can listen to one of the country’s greatest songwriters. „
– Gudrun Gut, Pop-Kultur –
Qrella was born in East Berlin and grew up in the towering apartment blocks of Marzahn and Lichtenberg. She taught herself guitar, bass, saxophone and keyboard. In 1997 she was a co-founder of the Berlin instrumental bands Mina and Contriva and had her first international success following Europe-wide concert tours.
With both bands she created the typical Berlin instrumental post-rock sound of the late 1990s. Gudrun Gut brought her to her label Monika Enterprise, on which Qrella’s first solo album Luck was released. With Luck (Monika-Enterprise, 2002) she defined herself as a songwriter and solo artist.
She entered into several artistic collaborations (amongst others, with the artist group Rechenzentrum, touring solo as a support band of Calexico and Yo La Tengo, released in collective several records, which moved sonically between electronic and punk and then returned back to song writing for her second solo record Unsolved Remained (Morrmusic, 2005). From this album, the American TV series Greys Anatomy licensed two songs and she also toured the USA for the first time.
The cinematic aspect of her music is also evident in her collaboration with directors like Karsten Fiebeler (Kleingruppen Forever, 2004), Andreas Arnstedt (Die Entbehrlichen, 2009), Diana Näcke (Meine Freiheit, Deine Freiheit, 2011 and Die Geister, die mich riefen, 2017), Monika Treut (Von Mädchen und Pferden, 2014) and Maria Sole Tognazi (Viaggio Sola, 2013).
The English-German performance group Gob Squad has booked her as an artist and she toured with them internationally. Stefan Pucher summoned her for a collaboration with the Deutsche Theater, staging pieces by Goethe, Shakespeare and Sophocles, in which he integrated her as a musician.
In 2007, Qrella interpreted songs by Kurt Weill and Frederick Löwe on behalf of the HKW Haus der Kulturen der Welt . Those songs are released on her third solo album Speak Low (Morrmusic, 2009). With her fourth solo album Analogies (Morrmusic, 2012), whose production was funded by the Berliner Musikinitiative, she also toured in Japan for the first time. The latest self-produced Album Keys (Morrmusic) was released in 2016 and combines disco-pop and songwriting.
The Polish record label „Jazzboy“ licensed the album. With Keys Qrella toured Europe-wide (with a special focus on Poland) and also in Japan. Keys was released in Poland in autumn 2017. In September she has worked in Warsaw together with her band and the polish artist Kortez on new pieces for a double concert at the 4-Kultur-Festival in Lodz. The result of this collaboration was released as the second CD of the limited edition of the new Kortez album „Moi dom“ in Poland.
In 2018 the focus has been on score-writing. Now she is working on new songs.
2016 KEYS (LP Morrmusic)
2013 BOY‘S DON‘T CRY (7“ Morrmusic)
2012 ANALOGIES (LP Morrmusic)
2009 SPEAK LOW (LP Morrmusic)
2006 DON‘T STOP THE DANCE (7“ Morrmusic)
2005 UNSOLVED REMAINED (LP Morrmusic)
2002 LUCK (LP Monika Enterprise)
SCORE FOR CINEMA & TV
2018 MEIN BERLIN (TV, dir: Simone Dobmeier und Torsten Striegnitz)
2017 DIE GEISTER; DIE MICH RIEFEN (Cinema, dir: Diana Näcke)
2016 MISTRESSES (TV-Serial, US)
2014 VON MÄDCHEN UND PFERDEN (Cinema, dir: Monika Treut)
2013 VIAGGIO SOLA (Cinema, dir: Maria Sole Tognazzi)
2011 MEINE FREIHEIT, DEINE FREIHEIT (Cinema, dir: Diana Näcke)
2009 GREY‘S ANATOMY (TV-Serial, US)
2009 DIE ENTBEHRLICHEN (Cinema, dir: Andreas Arnstedt)
2004 KLEINRUPPIN FOREVER (Cinema, dir: Carsten Fiebeler)
SCORE FOR THEATRE
2010 – 2019 REVOLUTION NOW! – GOB SQUAD
2016 HEINER MÜLLER FESTIVAL – HAU Hebbel am Ufer
2014 WAS IHR WOLLT – DEUTSCHES THEATER
2013 ELECTRA – DEUTSCHES THEATER
2012 FAUST – SCHAUSPIEL FRANKFURT
2011 BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN – SOPHIENSÄLE