Selectors: Lena Willikens

Dekmantel and Grolsch celebrate their long holding partnership by presenting their first video in the 2018 Selectors documentary series, starring musician and artist Lena Willikens. The uncompromising DJ is known for her signature sound, but also has an artistic side which was practised during her art studies and nowadays showcased in her and Sarah Szczesny’s audio-visual project Phantom Kino Ballett. “At one point I figured that I missed to express myself visually. Luckily, when I felt the need to express that again, I met Sarah. This is something I need, and my music DJing benefits from activating this other part of my brain.” Next to Willikens and Szczesney, the video involves artists Vladimir Ivkovic, Borusiade and Phillip Jondo.

After compiling the fifth Selectors release on Dekmantel Records and having played many Dekmantel events over the last years, it felt like the right move to explore the world of Lena Willikens. Within the 9-minute-long documentary, she shows a side of herself that connects her strong and never-ending love for music and art. “My father was an artist, my mom an architect – art and doing art always felt easy to me”, she states. After a while, Willikens turned her back to the art world and started to get more involved at Düsseldorf based bar-club Salon Des Amateurs, where she was able to develop herself musically as well and became one of its most familiar faces. “Lena was the first one of Salon Des Amateurs to play out, get a proper booking agency and show the importance of Salon Des Amateurs”, good friend and artist Vladimir Ivkovic says about Willikens’s early days.

In the documentary, Willikens touches on several highlights in her life including her time as an art student, taking her turn to music and eventually getting back involved with her visual, artistic side again. Besides that, it puts the spotlight on how Willikens uses her music as a way to express herself in general. “It’s like a dream where you process the things you’ve experienced – that’s what I feel in the best moments when I play”, she sums up. It perfectly describes what makes her a phenomenal DJ; she takes you on a trip and leaves the end destination as an unexpected, but always inspiring surprise.

Selectors documentary series
Every country and every city has its musical heroes – locals who live for music and spend most of their time behind the turntables or in the record store, always digging for that one special record to complete their five-star collection. All energy is invested in their craft that is DJ’ing and sharing the music they have found. These exceptional and passionate DJs have set an example in their communities, inspiring many to dig deeper and share in their love of music. They turn left where others go right. Dekmantel and Grolsch are inspired to take on the challenge of telling their stories in the Selectors documentary series.