After several singles announcing the album “Superhuman” by Nowand, today the album itself has been released on the German label Mole Listening Pearls. The tireless passion and dedication of Mark Bahlig, the mind behind the Nowand project, and his tireless passion and dedication to create music that touches the soul, in a never-ending search for an inner realm, is also reflected in his musical creations. His multi-faceted productions are equally emotional and captivating as he allows vulnerability to penetrate deep into his creative side. Mark’s music is meant to question and encourage.
Born in Johannesburg to German immigrants, Mark has traveled extensively, lived abroad for many years, studied fashion and industrial design, worked as a product and graphic designer, trained, worked as a consultant and soaked up all facets of life. Stays in England, America and Switzerland have given him a wide view of the world. Music accompanied him at every turn, punctuating a life marked by a wealth of human experience.
A defining moment in his life occurred during an intense emotional period not long after his mother’s death. During a business trip to Germany in 2014, he hit rock bottom and broke down while visiting relatives in Hamburg. Realizing he had fallen prey to addiction, he decided to seek help and initiate positive change. In the midst of all this turmoil, Mark experienced a tremendous surge of inspiration when lyrics began to spontaneously materialize in his mind. They obviously revealed his inner state, and at the time he could not have guessed that the song “Running Into You” would mark his rise as a musician. Music that combines elements of new wave, deep house, techno and dub, as well as the timeless sounds of the eighties and nineties. What emerges from this lively cocktail of influences is emotional, accessible and deeply personal.
A year and a half later, and in the midst of his recovery process, Mark met with musician friend Gustavo Fasani in Cape Town, and together they began to explore the song and bring it to life. For their first acoustic sessions, Gustavo played piano and Mark sang into a microphone. Soon, new songs emerged that morphed into more electronic forms when Gustavo began experimenting with an analog synthesizer. Their shared fondness for synth pop, club music and electronica began to permeate their recordings, forming the basis for Nowand’s signature sound. By a happy coincidence, they were sent on a path that led them to Berlin.
After discovering world-renowned sound engineer and producer Hannes Bieger through a segment on Electronic Beats TV, they knew they had found the person who could help them take their project to the next level. This was the beginning of an extremely fruitful creative partnership that would form the foundation of the Nowand output, and over the course of two years they traveled frequently to Hannes’ studio in Berlin. Various unforeseen circumstances led to Gustavo and Mark’s career paths parting ways in early 2019, with Mark traveling to Berlin for two studio sessions as a solo artist that year.
Fairly early in the project, another key collaborator, Jason Birkwood, came into the picture. He was inspired by Nowand‘s creations and wanted to get involved. With many years of experience in artist and event management, he initially took on the role of manager and took care of the business side of things.
However, being a music producer himself, it wasn’t long before Mark and Jason also found themselves in the studio, refining, composing and creating together. Returning to his ancestral roots is an important part of Mark’s magical journey, especially since his father had fled East Germany via Berlin in 1961. In the German capital, Mark recorded new material, developed new ideas, and refined his recordings to achieve optimal sound quality and arrangements. It was a time of sustained growth and self-discovery for Mark, both personally and musically, watching a true master at work while finding the confidence to share his own knowledge and intuitive wisdom. Mark has always had an affinity for poetry and lyricism, which comes through loud and clear in his music. He expresses heartbreak and sorrow, elation and wonder, and conveys the whole human experience as told by someone who has experienced all that he sings about.