Legendary German producer Felix Jaehn is no stranger to success. His career began when he won the prestigious Bambi Award for his international fame, earning the title as the youngest artist in history to receive 2 Diamond Award certifications.
His songs effortlessly glide towards #1 no matter what country and he has received more than 100 gold and platinum records worldwide. His streaming prowess, with over 5 billion plays to-date, propelled him to stages at Tomorrowland, Parookaville, Ultra Miami, and more, not to mention being voted ‘Best Dance Act’ once again at the German Radio Awards.
In 2021, Jaehn made large strides to produce his second studio album “Breathe,” featuring singles that encapsulate his arduous and complex journey as an artist. Through his collaboration with The Stickmen Project, Jaehn has been able to elevate his craft and transform into an icon among dance music fans. Jaehn took his talent to a whole different ball game by releasing the music video for his first hit of 2022, “Rain In Ibiza.”
Jaehn maintains his position in the Top 150 Spotify Germany Charts, continuously charting on Germany’s radio Top 30. In his newest sensation “Do It Better,” featuring iconic German popstar Zoe Wees, Jaehn challenges himself further to create a perfect radio pop-leaning hit, getting ready to line up the rest of the year with many other singles. Jaehn’s past extraordinary masterpieces provide an exciting glimpse into what to expect from the multifaceted maestro moving into 2022 and beyond.
Hi Felix! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today. Glad to have you join us! How are things mate and how has 2022 played out for you so far after the crazy past 2 years we have had?
2022 has been amazing so far. I’m really enjoying life. I’m enjoying the shows, partying again, dancing again, and going out. I also learned a lot from the past two years and I definitely did too much in the past sometimes, and when I was struggling to manage things now I feel like I am finding a good balance and I am grateful for everything that I can experience.
‘Cheerleader’ An absolute classic and a huge milestone in your career, with more than 1.3 billion views and counting. Tell us about how you got to this point in your career and what it feels like to be part of the Spotify mile high club and one of the very few to have achieved something of this calibre?
Yeah, it’s still surreal for me at times. I look at those numbers and I am like what the fuck. 1.3 billion listeners on Spotify alone. Honestly, it just kind of happened. I was 20 years old when I made it. I had just started producing. I was already DJing when I was 16 at student nights, then I went to London to music college and built up my SoundCloud page. I played some shows at Pacha and Ministry of Sound in London and I sold tickets to play and I was just young and hustling. Writing emails to 200 blogs every day. Trying to make my music heard. Then, suddenly it just started growing on Spotify and became one of the first global Spotify hits in 2015. We broke a lot of records and all of that just happened naturally. There was no label push in the beginning. Somebody just picked it up, added it to a playlist, and then it charted.
Listen on Spotify
Your latest release ‘Do It Better’ is an absolute banger! Could you tell us more about your creative process throughout this project and how you came to collaborate with Zoe Wees? What was your motivation for this release?
I met Zoe at a photo shoot during a remix I made for “Girls Like Us” and in the past one and a half years we have just been chatting a lot, she became a friend of mine and we always wanted to make a song together and we were looking for one for quite some time. I was working on “Do It Better,” and I felt like it needed her voice and energy so I sent it over and she loved it. When she recorded it she honestly took the song to the next level.
Her voice is amazing, her energy is amazing; when she performs she just turns into a whole new character and you can feel all that feminine power coming out of her and I love that. That’s why she ended up on the record. I am super grateful for it because it feels amazing.
Listen on Spotify
One topic we love to touch on here at UFO is mental health awareness and how it affects music industry professionals among others. What is your take on mental health and depression and what advice would you give to our audience and to upcoming DJs and producers reading this?
The one piece of advice that I want to give is to always listen to yourself and to take the signals your mind and body are giving you seriously because they all come from somewhere. We can all find out where they come from and work on it.
I was super socially anxious and I was suffering panic attacks for almost three years when my career was at a peak and it was difficult for me to live because I couldn’t even leave the house on my own. I was too afraid that another panic attack would happen. On my personal path, I realized that all my fear was irrational somehow and all the pain and suffering were just stuff within me being triggered.
By being so famous and traveling the world and being on red carpets etc, I was constantly out of my comfort zone and I was thrown into situations that were triggering. Stuff within me from my childhood or so many different things. I did three years of therapy. I can’t mention it all in one interview now, but I transformed all of these things, and the better I got to know myself and the more pain I was transforming into love I wasn’t triggered as much anymore and I could live freely and happily and easily and playful again and I am super grateful for that.
I would say that if you are suffering, hang in there – you are not alone, listen to yourself, listen to your body and mind. A basic practice that is easily done is meditation. Just 20 minutes can change your life. Those are some tools that I use every day and it helps me to stay focused and present and happy most of all.
Our team is always looking for new music that hits home here at UFO Network. Give us some of your favorite tunes to date and which artists would you suggest we keep on our radar?
My number one favourite artist is Tommy Genesis. She has this record called “A Woman Is A God” and I love it so much. It’s powerful, it’s strong it’s beautiful, it’s produced by The Martinez Brothers and it’s rich and has a super cool sound that I love as well. Go check it out.
Music is food for the soul! Name one song, a classic, that never gets old for you no matter how many times you have listened to it?
Well now that you mention soul, I gotta go a little bit off the genre, off pop, off dance music. My number one spirit song is “Spirit Bird” by Xavior Rud. I originally discovered it in a melodic stance Bootleg by Alexa in 2011 but now I listen to the original modes of the times.
Whenever I want to connect with myself or prompt myself or I feel like I’m getting lost in thoughts. This is the song for me to put up and it develops so nicely throughout the song. It starts really calm and it builds up that crazy energy and it really lifts me up and gives me energy like food does so this is the one.
One thing we love to ask on behalf of our audience is name one thing that your fans do not already know about you and would not know if it weren’t for this interview?
To be honest I have heard this question so many times and I have run out of answers because I talk so much and I talk openly so I feel like I pretty much said everything. One thing maybe not everyone has heard yet is that I am currently working on turning my home into an organic farm and growing my own vegetables and am following a Promo culture. Promo culture practice has turned into one of my hobbies. That’s what I am doing in my countryside home when I am not doing music.
What projects do you currently have ‘in the works’ and what can we, as well as your fans, expect from you for the rest of 2022?
I have a release due dropping next month with Ray Dalton called “Call It Love (Sing It Back)” and another clubbier track in the works that will hopefully come out really soon. I can’t wait to share my new music with everyone!
How do you get a song started? Tell us about your production and creative process. Do you get the infamous ‘producer’s block’ at times and find a need to have to realign with your creative side?
At the moment, I tend to start either with the drums and bassline or with a sample melody. Could even just be effects or drum sounds as well. I tweak it first, I edit it to what I want it to be. Then, I start building elements around that. In the past, and I still do as well, I often work with vocals. So either with remixes or we do a songwriting session at first and then I have a vocal or singer-songwriter send me songs to work on together.
Then, the composition of the vocal is already giving me a direction or a guideline to follow for the process of the production in a way. Right now, I am working on discovering new sounds, so I like to start more freely or without a song or vocal already existing.
And, of course, I get those blogs too and I also focus on other things. I also have a private life. I do gardening and sports and I see friends and lots of things and when it doesn’t flow I just don’t force it and I do something else. And then it just happens at the most random moments. Often at night to be honest. I am like I should go to bed and then I am like um… then I’m passing my studio set and I am like let me sit down for 30 minutes and then I end up staying in the studio all night. So I try not to plan it just stay in the flow and work creatively when I feel creative.
The last question but one of my favorites! The relationship between a DJ and the audience is a fragile one – how do you find balance between giving your audience what they want and treating them to something new at the same time?
Balance as you say. Of course, I have many hits and people expect to hear my hits. I also use those to do new remix versions of my hits like every one or two years. Then I introduce new sounds to the already known songs. Other than that, I always play a little bit of what you know me from and what you might expect from me. But my DJ sets are always a journey. I couldn’t stay within one tempo or genre or sound or feeling forever. So I am doing lots of things.
I am doing massive tempo changes throughout the set. I try to literally take people on a journey with different waves and just go from face to face. Similarly, in the production process, stay in the moment, stay in the flow, and stay connected with the crowd. Watch them, feel them, analyze them and then try to go on that journey together. That’s definitely the most beautiful thing about Djing.
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