Engines of society - Yasmine Kauffmann

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In cooperation with Losch Luxembourg, we regularly present women who have a very special impact on Luxembourg society through their professional careers or simply through their personal stories.

The morning is grey. Grey to the point that even the biggest hits of last summer would struggle to create the illusion. Yet, Miley Cyrus and her single Flowers, whose cover and music video display blue skies, a swimming pool, and summer, are making Luxembourg dance.

Track 1 of the album Endless Summer Vacation has been at the top of the Luxembourg charts for a few weeks now, and Yasmine Kauffmann – who could also be nicknamed Mrs. Chartbreaker – knows all about it. The probability that she is the one who announced it to the country last Saturday is high. Today though, she is getting ready to test-drive a CUPRA Born.

Yasmine is a 29-year-old woman who works in the field of culture. As the communication and press relations manager for the Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, she combines her full-time job with hosting the iconic Chartbreaker show on Eldoradio. "What I do is broad and varied, " she explains. "PR, press, media planning, social media… It's a big mix of everything."

When she saw that this position, which combines the Grand Théâtre and Théâtre des Capucins, was available after she graduated… "I said, 'That one's for me.' (laughs) It was everything I had always wanted to do." Culture – and making it more accessible to everyone – has an important place in her life. "By the way, you often find me in the audience." She loves theater, cinema, especially music, and… "Yes, yes, yes. I love cars, " she insists. "Anything that involves sports and speed, I love."

That works out well. The new CUPRA is the perfect definition of a sports car. Designed for those in search of emotions, its design alone is enough to give you butterflies in your stomach. Its elegant body fused with sporty lines and subtle colours are stunning. The Glacial White, which has a slight polar blue tone, brings out the copper of the hyper-modern logo… Simply consistent.

The new CUPRA is the perfect definition of a sports car. Designed for those in search of emotions, its design alone is enough to give you butterflies in your stomach.

Aurora Blue, Rayleigh Red, Geyser Silver, as well as Quasar and Vapor Grey complete the range of colours. Whatever it may be, the result, combined with the aerodynamic side threshold, Ceremony Light headlights, and Aero Wheels, is electric – just like its engine. Because on top of all that, this new CUPRA is environmentally friendly. Pleasure and speed, all without a guilty conscience. Victorious on all levels.

At the back, the bottom of the Born's trunk reads the letters C U P R A in large. The CUPRA brand still charges ahead. "I don't know how to unplug this, " Yasmine laughs, intrigued by the test drive of an electric car. Indeed, this ride will mark her very first time behind the wheel of a car without fuel. Without further ado, she gets in the car. "Wow – an induction charger, " she exclaims. "That's great. My phone is always dead. (laughs)"

Although the car doesn't look like it from the outside, it is spacious on the inside. "It could accommodate a family." That being said, the sporty feeling is also omnipresent here. The leather-wrapped steering wheel equipped with multifunction buttons, and the DINAMICA bucket seats made from high-quality recycled materials, make the CUPRA a comfortable little racing car. "It's sporty but relaxed, " summarises Yasmine. "I love the seats."

She turns on the ignition and the e-Sound reverberates. A system specially designed by CUPRA that offers a unique acoustic experience. Yasmine taps the touchscreen with her finger: "Ass dat do de Navi? (Is this the GPS?)" A 12-inch floating infotainment display, as standard, capable of displaying a wealth of data including 3D navigation. Exactly. "I'm talking as if I've never driven a car before. (laughs)"

Music and media

Yasmine knows the way to Remich, a choice filled with memories, though. If her phone is always dead, it's because her job requires her to always be available, even on weekends. "My life is defined by the search for myself and what I want to do, " she explains. "I am constantly searching. I am never satisfied with what I have…I never say to myself, 'Phew, it's good. You've made it. Take a breath for two seconds.'"

Or almost… "When it happens, it's only for a short moment, and then I get back to it. I start asking myself questions again. I resume my search. In the end, it has affected my entire life." On the roads of the west with green landscapes, the Born takes corners like a fish in water. Yasmine turns on the radio. As often, Eldoradio starts automatically: "Ah, genau dat Richtegt! (Ah, spot on!)"

Den Hitradio zu Lëtzebuerg. In addition to hosting a show there, Yasmine loves music. She even made it her major in high school. "I've been doing music since I was little. My father has always been into it, and my mother used to sing." After graduating from high school, she went to study marketing in Brussels, but she wanted to become a journalist: "At Eldo, I realised that I didn't necessarily have to study journalism to do it."

Radio made her the person she is today and propelled her into the world of media. At a speed worthy of the instant acceleration of the Born. From 0 to 50 and 100 km/h in just 2.9 and 7.3 seconds, the power of 204 hp and the performance of the Battery 58 kWh (62 kWh) / 150 kW electric motor will even change the minds of gasoline and diesel fans. Pressing down on the pedal, which is made of aluminum, guarantees thrills.

The safety of the Born is enhanced by the CUPRA pack of the same name, which includes parking assistance, lighting assistance, and much more. Combined with Dynamic Chassis Control, which adjusts the suspension of the chassis to smoothly adapt to every bump and curve, the car offers a comfortable and exhilarating driving experience. "I really like it, " comments Yasmine as she turns up the volume.

Yasmine enjoys being able to play whatever music she wants in the car. "The same song 120 times in a row until I get sick of it (laughs)." Like in the studio, she is her own DJ. "Doing radio on Saturdays is my balance. It's like yoga for others. It brings me something. I arrive at the studio, turn on the microphone and I am free." From 1 to 5 p.m. "I can turn the volume up, sing along, dance…"

"I started with radio in a very classic way, at the Schülerradio (students' radio), " Yasmine recounts. Her school, the Lycée classique Diekirch, had – and still has – a station that broadcasts the local radio, Radio Lora. "That's where I had my first radio experiences. I wrote reports, recorded them, cut them, produced them." Then on Wednesdays, during the lunch break, "we had a live show on Radio Lora".

She enjoyed this first contact and wanted to learn more. After spending several vacations at RTL, Eldoradio offered to train her as an animator. "I didn't even know what it was, but I accepted. (laughs)" In 2014, she hosted her first show. "On May 4th. I was super nervous and the stress was mounting because the news guy wasn't showing up… I was already imagining myself improvising. (laughs)" Fortunately, he eventually arrived and the force was with her. As a freelancer, she then succeeded in hosting shows including the Morning Show in the summer.

Two years later, the opportunity to have her own fixed show arrived. "What I liked the most was Chartbreaker, " she says. "It's a completely different show from the others. It's 4 hours without reports, without news. You only have your music. Then for me, just turning on the mic and saying, 'This is this song, here we go, ' isn't really doing radio. Doing radio means being authentic but informed. I also tell a lot of anecdotes about how certain songs have impacted my life."

Through a narrow alley lined with charming terraced houses, the CUPRA Born enters Remich. With a view of the Moselle, its embankment, and a grey sky, nerves relax. The same colour palette as the North Sea, but in Luxembourg. Like being on vacation. At the water's edge, a parking lot that barely accommodates ten cars beckons us. Yasmine decides to park there and starts her maneuver.

"I need to concentrate, otherwise the next time someone recognises me, they'll say 'Look, it's the one from the radio who can't park (laughs)", she jokes. "Or no, you know what, I'll say it was Maxime (the reporter, ed. note) behind the wheel. (laughs)" But with the CUPRA, there's no need to go that far. Thanks to its Top View Camera, four different cameras visualise the environment of the Born at 360 degrees. Easy. Convenient.

If other driving aids are still available to the driver, the exit warning will make car enthusiasts allergic to the slightest scratch more serene. This aid is none other than a traffic detector during door opening. Parked on the roadside of heavily populated cities where traffic is constant, there's no need to fear anymore. Because if a car passes by while someone tries to open the door, the system emits a signal.

Childhood memories

Yasmine gets out of the car and takes a walk along the boats. Looking into the distance, she remembers her salad years. "Remich is connected to some beautiful childhood memories for me, " she recalls. "At home, Sunday was the day when we stayed with the family and did an activity. We had lunch together, then we climbed into the car and went somewhere… The 'somewhere' that I have the most memories of is Remich."

"It was basic moments. We went for walks, went on a boat ride, had an ice cream." And like any good parent in the '90s, her mother never let go of her camcorder. "She took it with her everywhere – Everywhere! – and filmed everything. We have tons of Remich tapes. On some of them, I'm still in a stroller and on others, my sister, who is 3 years younger, is there and we ride our scooters on the esplanade."

Suddenly, it starts to rain heavily. A real downpour. Yasmine takes off her coat and puts it over her head. "It's not a good hair day, " she laughs, taking refuge under a small shelter until the weather calms down. Music is also a source of many memories for her. The music videos she loves – "I'm from the MTV generation!" – the songs of her adolescence, and especially, the record aisles at the supermarket…

"When my parents went shopping, my sister and I stayed there." Especially at Belle Etoile, several stations equipped with headphones and 6 CDs each allowed listening to the latest releases. "Thanks to these stations, I discovered a lot of music." In 2001, she received her first album. "Shakira's Laundry Service. I fought for it and I got it. (laughs) I still remember the label '25€ / 1,000 francs' on it."

For her, the best music year is without a doubt… "2007. I think of Justin Timberlake. Beyoncé who was releasing hit after hit. Rihanna's Umbrella, Ciara's Like A Boy. I listened to that so much. Let's put some 2007 on for the ride back! (laughs)" Walk over, Yasmine gets into the CUPRA. David Guetta's I'm Good comes on. "That's really bad, " she laughs. "I don't say it on air, but…" It's really bad.

With stars in her eyes at the thought of launching her playlist, Yasmine challenges the Born to the ultimate test: her sound system and CarPlay. But have no fear. As far as cutting-edge technology is concerned, the CUPRA, which allows you to bring your digital life on board, plays at home. Thanks to the wireless Full Link, everything (including Android Auto) is accessible intuitively and safely. The Beats system with 9 speakers, meanwhile, offers concert acoustics.

"I have tickets to see Robbie Williams, Lizzo, Sam Smith, The Weeknd, and Macklemore this year. I can't wait." In the distance, vines peek out. "For me, electric has always been a question of autonomy, " explains Yasmine. "But in reality, the most frequent trips are from home to work and the supermarket, so it's more than enough." To go for a ride among the grapes, without a doubt.

In its approach, CUPRA is committed to the planet. The goal is to reduce its CO2 emissions at every stage, from its supply chain and production process to delivery to customers. To convince these customers, everything is put in place, starting with a battery that can travel from 375 to 552 km depending on the motor. This is equivalent to a round trip to the ULB – and more – where Yasmine studied, on a single charge.

The online services of the CUPRA CONNECT GEN4 application, which include remote vehicle control, allow for the planning of vehicle charging and calculation to best prepare for long – as well as short – trips. No more leaving things to chance. Even turning on the heating from a distance is possible. No more driving covered like a Bibendum again either.

At the service of culture

Even if she sometimes needs to recharge her batteries too, Yasmine loves and believes in what she does. "Culture is mega important, " she explains. "It's essential for society. Whether it's a visit to the theater or the cinema, the need is enormous. We realised that during the pandemic. Culture has no equal, no alternative." It also allows us to cultivate ourselves and find our identity. "You can find a lot of lessons in it. Artists like Sam Smith, Lizzo, or Harry Styles who embrace who they are, for example."

"Culture has no equal, no alternative. (…) It is mega important. Whether it's a visit to the theater or the cinema, the need is enormous."

Yasmine Kauffmann

As for her, she helps to transmit that to people. "By playing songs, but especially by introducing artists and their background. I contribute to cultivating the general culture of listeners. That also means that if I spread fake news…it's not cool. So if I play a song that I don't like, I don't say 'It's crap' but I say that, in my opinion, David Guetta, for the song I'm Good, chose the easy way out. (laughs)"

From the alleys in the heart of the vineyards, the view is sublime as the plants succeed one another by the hundred. The passage is narrow. Are we on a road or a bike path? Nobody knows, but the CUPRA doesn't back down. "In the theater too, the responsibility is big, " explains Yasmine. "Let's take opera… It's full of stereotypes. Young people think it's only for old people in costume on Sundays."

"There, among other things, it's up to me to tell them that they don't have to be afraid and to come and form their own opinion." Speaking to a younger audience can be achieved through colourful and glitchy posters or references to their pop culture. "But you have to be careful… because you don't want to exclude our regular clientele either. The margin is narrow. It's a change of perspective and you have to find a balance." Don't go too far.

Now on the way back, Yasmine is carried away by the pleasant driving of the Born and hums the lyrics of the hits from 2007. "I have to admit that I don't listen to a lot of radio, " she laughs. It's true that in 2023, streaming has taken over. "On Spotify, for the moment, I listen a lot to the time capsules of the '90s, '80s, and even '70s. (laughs)"

She has found her personal balance, between the Théâtres de la Ville and the occasional Saturdays she spends hosting and dancing in radio studios. It lies in the values of her childhood, in the music that has rocked her, and in her authenticity.

"I was 14 when I realised that music was something I needed, " she summarises. "That hasn't changed. Music is my loyal companion, my therapy, and I couldn't live without it."