About This Project

Jules Ahoi (born Julian Braun) has never shied away from new paths but in 2024 the 34-year-old musician is finding his way back to his creative DIY roots and a new artistic self-confidence. When we spoke to him, he was not only preparing for the release of his new singles and the upcoming album MAGNOLIA (The Bauhaus Tapes) and the tour of the same name in the fall, but also for his art printing exam and his upcoming graphic design studies. 

As at the beginning of his music career, with the former band Manua Loa (translated: “something great handmade”), everything on this album is once again from a single source and completely self-made. Since then, he has tried out pretty much everything that is possible when it comes to approaching music production: “Producing and writing with other artists, in large studios, sometimes giving away the design,” says the Cologne resident. “The development in recent years has been more in the direction of bigger, better, more produced, more polished – I felt somehow lost. It’s crazy when you release songs that you can’t really play without a bunch of technology and backing tracks. In the end, however, I realized that it doesn’t necessarily need that and that I actually really like making all the components of an album myself, even if it takes three times as long. But that also makes the albums much more intimate and personal projects.”

Jules Ahoi sees his various musical stations like time capsules: “My albums are always a stage in my life. I do it primarily for myself – or maybe one day for my children or something (smiles), so that they can pull the records off the shelf and say: These are two years of my father’s life. Or for me, like a kind of diary.”

So now it’s a conscious decision to go back to the roots – and at the same time a whole new chapter begins for the musician and artist, who some might still think of as a ‘surf musician’ and ‘van life pioneer’, but who is much more than that. The basis for his new work – as the title suggests – was an artist residency at the Bauhaus World Heritage Site, the renowned design school in Dessau. The album, which will be released in late summer 2024, is not purely musical in nature, but the result of an intensive engagement with music, poetry, design, and visual art.

His time in Dessau had a profound influence on Jules Ahoi’s musical work and, inspired by the approaches and environment of the Bauhaus, opened up new perspectives on his own artistic expression. The new album “MAGNOLIA (The Bauhaus Tapes)”, the result of this process, stands for more than just musical creativity: it is an interplay of different art forms that transcends boundaries and gives rise to a new, cross-form and interdisciplinary genre – artfolk.

“Boundaries, especially in art, are made to be blurred,” says the creative mind, explaining his approach. “That’s when it starts to become interesting and exciting for me. My time at the Bauhaus made me realize that I don’t have to “divide up” my interest in art. On the contrary, I am currently experiencing the greatest satisfaction in allowing all forms of expression to flow into one another.”

With artfolk, Jules Ahoi finds a genre for himself that is particularly inspired by so-called ‘naive art’ (also: “Art Brut”), a collective term for the artistic works of self-taught artists. He sees this combination of different forms of expression by non-academically trained artists as a source of supreme artistic liberation and draws parallels to his own biography. 

In the spirit of the Bauhaus school, Jules is also an interdisciplinary artist – musician, lyricist, painter/draughtsman, graphic artist – who always incorporates his immediate surroundings and chance finds into his creative process. And the newly formed quintet around him consists of Muriel Bonn (cello, bass), Ornella Tobar-Gaete (violin, keys, electric guitar), Johannes Rüther (drums) and Joris van Treeck (bass, electric guitar), all multi-instrumentalists. After two successful tours and numerous festival appearances in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the singer-songwriter is finally returning to the stage with his newly formed band in fall 2024 to present his new album “MAGNOLIA (The Bauhaus Tapes)”.

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Artfolk, Bauhaus school, Jules Ahoi, MAGNOLIA (The Bauhaus Tapes), Manua Loa