I have a dream – an interview with Alina Süggeler
Musical Jewel and Musical Bridges
She is an all-rounder. A strong personality – and she is our Veganuary godmother: Alina Süggeler. The female lead singer of the band Frida Gold is not only a singer, songwriter, pianist and model, she’s got a lot more to offer. And she also has a lot to say. The vegan has been committed to animals and environmental protection for many years. That is sufficient for us to find out more about this committed woman in an interview.
VELIVERY: Alina, you have been successful with the band Frida Gold for over 10 years. Your albums ‘Juwel’ and ‘Alina’ that contain fantastic German songs are particularly famous. That’s how most people know you. How did this band come about, and how would you describe your music and your ‘mission’?
ALINA: In the beginning, with the carefreeness of youth, it was mainly about finding out how far we would get with our music. We had a great desire to grow, we had a great desire to share our music with many people. There was something thoroughly feminine missing in the German-language music scene at the time. I then wrote this music for myself.
VELIVERY: You are also a pianist, play the flute, etc. Has music always played a role in your life and what drives you in life? Especially when we look at another of your album titles: ‘Love is my religion’?
ALINA: I have always searched for a connection. Connected to myself through music, connected to others through music. Music builds these bridges.
The first step to change should be easy
VELIVERY: You talk about connectedness, but also mindfulness. What does that mean for you in everyday life, in our behaviour and thinking?
ALINA: For me, mindful living means acting consciously and attentively.
VELIVERY: Maybe it starts with the realisation that ‘Things have changed’ – the name of one of your songs. Our world is changing, so I guess we can change too … What is contemporary for you? What exactly is conscious consumer behaviour? So, what can individuals do without necessarily turning their whole life upside down?
Conscious consumption can also only mean consumption in moderation at first. Everyone certainly has an area in their life where the first step is easy to take. In order to create long-term and sustainable changes in your own life, I think the first step should be easy. I would always start by asking myself why I consume what I consume. Once I have examined my motivation in this respect, the next step would be to see how comfortable I feel with it. Whether I consciously tolerate certain shortcomings or whether there are certain things which I haven’t considered. When it comes to meat consumption, factory farming, the associated animal suffering and the impact on climate change, I think many of us have ‘remorse’, albeit well hidden. I firmly believe that once you invite these feelings in, they will sit at the table with you from then on. That way, we would face the issue head-on. Nowadays, a vegan diet is hardly a sacrifice. There are so many substitute products that it has never been easier to make the journey.
Consistent living brings real joy
VELIVERY: Yes, when we talk about mindful living, it very quickly becomes about our diet. You are a vegan yourself. When did you start eating a purely plant-based diet, and how did that come about?
ALINA: I started eating a completely vegan diet just over 10 years ago. We went on tour a short time later and my body really thanked me for the change. I felt unusually light and super alert. I haven’t eaten meat since I was 3 years old and have never consumed many animal products, so the step towards a purely vegan diet wasn’t a particularly big one for me. What I found more difficult was gradually getting rid of the leather items in my wardrobe. I’ve managed to do that now. And I really enjoy this consistent lifestyle. I just feel honest with myself.
VELIVERY: Can you explain your motive more detail so that we can understand it? What role do animals play in it? You have animals yourself, right?
If I love one being, I love them all
ALINA: As a three-year-old, I decided that no animal should give its life for me. That is still my conviction. I have the freedom to choose in my life, I can decide. And I would always choose that no animal should suffer or die because of me. I live together with my siblings and many dogs from animal welfare organisations, and I realise every day that if I love one animal, I love them all. I can’t differentiate between species.
VELIVERY: You’ve done some great campaigns with PETA, for example. Do you see yourself as a role model here? And can this be a lifestyle?
ALINA: I think we all have the power to be a role model for others because of the differences we make, the convictions we pursue and the attitude we have. However, this works particularly well if you enjoy what you stand for. I simply love cooking, and I love preparing vegan dishes for others, who then become ambassadors.
Become an ambassador for vegan delights
VELIVERY: Are you a foodie? What food inspires you, and what are your top tips for ensuring that a predominantly plant-based diet is successful and enjoyable?
ALINA: I enjoy anything that both smells and tastes good. Sometimes it doesn’t matter whether it’s elaborately prepared or completely natural. And that’s also the beauty of a vegan diet. It works both ways. I think it’s important that it’s really hearty. I like full-bodied flavourful dishes. That is a must. We can try out together how to make it purely vegan.
VELIVERY: A wonderful suggestion! We at Velivery have quite a few ideas 😉 That’s why we have a huge range of recipes, tips & tricks in addition to the great plant-based products … and that’s why we’re so excited that you’re our sponsor for Veganuary 2024. After all, this is exactly the moment when many people are motivated to simply try out more plant-based flavours.
To pick up on another wonderful song title of yours: ‘What do you dream about’, what do you believe in?
Turning dreams into reality
ALINA: I have never stopped asking myself this question, and I find it very difficult to find an answer these days. Perhaps I dream of a world in which we are allowed to heal collectively, in which each individual receives enough attention and has enough affection in their own life and then, from that point, gives their best to the community.
VELIVERY: Thank you very much for these powerful, touching impulses. – What new music can we expect in the near future?
ALINA: We are currently working on new music and are also asking ourselves how we can make our path more sustainable and mindful.
VELIVERY: Thank you very much again, Alina. All the best for your projects and have a great Veganuary!
We find many of Alina Süggeler’s ideas and initiatives and her refreshing openness simply worth their weight in gold and look forward to many more new things from her and Frida Gold!