Alexandra Dröner “Qualities of Life” Growing up with Berlin
For aeyde’s “Qualities of Life” series, we sat down with six women who inspire us with their unique views on work, life, and finding balance. In Part Five, we caught up with Alexandra Dröner, 53, who spent her younger years at the center of Berlin’s blooming club scene of ‘90s as a booker, doorwoman and DJ. Although you won’t find her on the city’s sweaty dancefloors anymore, the passion she found for music helped her develop a career in fashion and marketing. We spoke to Alexandra about how she and Berlin have changed in the past 30 years, pursuing her passions, and life as an ongoing journey of development. Meet Alexandra Dröner.
Images: Julia Sellmann
Words: Angela Waters
“Maybe both Berlin and I are much more confident than we were when the wall came down. It was as though Berlin had to find itself, but I also had to find myself in the past 30 years.”
aeyde: How would you describe yourself?
Alexandra Dröner: I’m goofy—I’m always trying to have fun and make someone laugh. On the other hand, I’m also an introvert. I’m very creative and quite emotional, even though I hide it behind being loud and tomboyish. I’m passionate about music, of course, but I’m also passionate about food. I’m very much into—not cooking myself—but rather knowing about food. I’m passionate about philosophical and sociological topics, and psychology. It’s super important for me to analyze myself and the world around me so that I can come to my own understanding of things.
a: How did you get into music?
AD: I was 22 when I came to Berlin. I came here to study, which I did for a little while, but then the whole techno movement happened and I just didn’t have time to study anymore. It’s not an uncommon Berlin story—not at all.
Berlin is such an open, free, and embracing city. It was an epiphany to come here and be able to pursue my passion, which was music, at first, and then writing. The city just offered so many amazing places, spaces, and opportunities, especially around the time that I came here which was a year before the wall came down. After the wall came down, it really turned into this playground of opportunities, which is why I love it so much. Berlin is definitely different now, but it still offers a lot of opportunities. It’s still the only city in Germany that has so much room for passion.
“It may be strange to say this, but I definitely have not peaked yet. I’m still developing. There isn’t a point in your life where this development ends.”
a: Living in Berlin for more than 33 years, how have you changed with the city?
AD: Maybe both Berlin and I are much more confident than we were when the wall came down. It was as though Berlin had to find itself, but I also had to find myself in the past 30 years. It’s not so much that Berlin has turned into something perfect, but it has more substance in a way— because it had to, because it was not kept small by the wall anymore. For myself, I see a kind of parallel development from being very young and feeling very small, coming from a small city, towards much more confidence as an adult, who still has some young ideas in my head.
a: What makes a quality life?
AD: I need to be able to have fun—uncontrolled fun—whatever my kind of fun is. That is super important to me. Quality of life also means that I’m having fun with other people, which is something that makes me really happy. I really want people to have a good time when they see me. It doesn't matter if they’re friends, or they just met me, they should basically go home and say, ‘That was fun.’ I like that, it gives me joy.
a: Do you have any unfulfilled dreams?
AD: It may be strange to say this, but I definitely have not peaked yet. I’m still developing. There isn’t a point in your life where this development ends. There are still things that I want to do.
A need for security somehow still holds me back from being more adventurous. And sometimes when I say this to friends they say, ‘Look at your life, you’ve done so many crazy things,’ referring to my clubbing or playing in front of 2000 people at a festival. But these things weren’t challenging to me. I think there are other things that are difficult for me and I would like to overcome certain barriers within myself. I’m very positive that I will be able to do more exciting things. But I don’t have a ‘dream’ dream. It’s not that I can say, ‘I want to be a ballerina,’ or, ‘I want to have a jacuzzi.’ Still, I think there are territories I can conquer that I don’t even know about yet.