Fiva – Dein Lächeln verdreht die Köpfe

Rapper, poetry-slammer, anchor, author, founder of a music label - Nina Sonnenberg, aka Fiva, has many job titles. This multi-talented artist has been active on the German rap scene for about 20 years, stands on poetry slam stages across the nation and has her own radio and TV shows. What drives her? It’s simple: Music. “Music can never be boring. Music never stops evolving and is a constant engine,” says Nina. “It is also my constant engine.”

Just look at Nina’s life. The Munich native was born in 1978 and grew up in a time when German rap was taking off. Everyone around her rapped and Nina followed their example: “It all went surprisingly well, right from the start. I’m not a pop star but I’ve always been pretty well integrated, first in the rap scene and then with Poetry Slams.” Shortly after her first freestyle show in 1999, as “Fiva MC,” Nina went on tour with “MC Rene,” signed her first record deal in 2001 and in 2002 released her debut album Spiegelschrift (Mirrored Writing).

Nina’s gift for languages and her fascination with reading and writing have been instrumental in launching her career. In 2002 she won third place in the solo competition of the German-language Poetry Slam championships and she has been leading spoken word and literature workshops for young people. Her work as an author led her to the Poetry Festival Oslo, Norway, to the European-Lebanese Rap Festival in Beirut, to Israel and Palestine as well as Siberia. Two of the TV programs she anchors were nominated for the prestigious Grimme Prize.

Nina has many talents but also a mind of her own. That she is not willing to let her music be twisted became obvious when her production company didn’t like her demos for her new album. So Nina decided to go at it on her own and founded, together with DJ Radrum, the label Kopfhörer (Headphones) Recordings in 2005. “It was tough to be rejected like that. But then we thought, let’s do it ourselves,” said Nina. “I wanted to make music just like that. I can’t write any pop hits.”

A smart decision! In the meantime Nina has released six studio albums and is really loved by her fans for her music. What does she wish for the future? More women in the music business. “I wish that in all areas - not just rap - that there were simply many more bands with women. But the women themselves need to do something about that!” And in the male-dominated music scene a smile may not be enough to turn heads!