This past Friday at Kingdom, German dj producer Felix Jaehn absolutely killed it. The show which was presented by Real Music Events was not one you wanted to miss. Before his set, Felix sat down to talk with us, and filled us in on the many new endeavors he has coming up in the near future. Already a hit in Germany and across Europe, Felix is now making his mark in the states. It’s safe to say that we can be expecting a lot more from this 21 year old tropical house producer.
The colorful lighting, open dance floor, and the platform stage at Kingdom makes for a more personal experience that you really look for at a show. Felix told us his connection with the crowd is the biggest part of his performance, and Kingdom is the perfect venue to make that feeling possible which was great being that it was his first show in Austin.
Felix was one of the producers that was apart of the tropical house movement early on. He incorporates instruments like piano, xylophone, and saxophone to add a tropical and deep house spin on the music. His rise to fame around the world started with his hit track “Cheerleader”, which became massively successful globally in 2015. The song reached number one in 20 countries including the U.S., the U.K., Mexico, Australia, France, Sweden and Germany. This success led Felix to become the first German artist in 26 years to top the charts in the U.S.
In 2013 when OMI signed with U.S. dance label Ultra Music, the label approached Felix and asked him to produce a remixed versions of the original song in hopes to connect the song to a wider audience. Originally recorded by OMI, Felix transformed the track to a tropical house rendition of the otherwise Jamaican reggae styled song. After the success with “Cheerleader”, Felix partnered with 15 year-old vocalist Jasmine Thompson and released a new take on Chaka Khan’s song “Ain’t Nobody”, following up with tracks like “Eagle Eyes” and “Book Of Love” as well. His most recent releases were with Dim Mak label head Steve Aoki, and American Idol’s Adam Lambert called “Can’t go home”, which also topped the charts.
Be sure to go follow Felix on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep an eye out for his upcoming releases. You can find his music on Soundcloud and don’t forget to check out the playlist Felix just put together on Apple Music to celebrate the weekend.
Check out the interview below!
Q: You had been interested in music from an early age when you started playing violin; what inspired you to make the transition into electronic music?
F: I guess at some age when I was like 14 or 15 I quit playing violin because I went into sports. I was playing in a youth orchestra and was also playing football and tennis. So you couldn’t really do both on the weekend. You had to decide between one of those. Then a few years later I came back to music through djing. So it wasn’t really a concrete decision to go from playing the violin to djing; It was more like a natural kind of development to quit playing the violin going back to sports and then getting interested in djing and going back to music that way.
Q: Growing up in Germany, what kind of music did you listen to, did that play a part in your production style?
F: I listen to pretty much everything honestly. And, I guess obviously what you listen to inspires you and kind of influences your production style as well. But it’s not that I only listen to electronic music and that’s why I produce electronic music now. When I was 11 or 12 I listened to a lot of 50 cent and Lincoln park for example, so it could be really anything.
Q: You’re the first german artist in 26 years to top the charts in the us, when you first heard the news what was your reaction?
F: Well, I was obviously just super happy and proud. Everyone was going crazy about it in Germany, like on the news and stuff. It was quite a big thing. So yeah, I was just super happy.
Q: If you could collab with any artist who would it be?
F: Sia because her songwriting is amazing.
Q: You haven’t had too many shows in the U.S. how do you like it? What are some cities that you have played that are your favorite so far?
F: I like it a lot. It’s definitely really interesting as well. Because it’s like just a bigger party. Everyone wants to make it in the U.S. and it’s just such a huge amazing county. There are so many great venues to play. I guess one of my favorite ones so far to play was probably New York. I played at Webster Hall which was pretty cool. Which was pretty cool just because it’s such an amazing and historic venue. So that was one of the better ones.
Q: It’s your first time in Austin, what were you expecting when you came? How do you like it?
F: Honestly I didn’t really know what to expect and I still don’t know what to just because I literally just arrived a few hours ago and I went straight to bed and now just got up. i’m super happy to be here tonight.
Q: Kingdom is an Austin staple for house and underground music. How do you like the venue? Is it much different than venues you are used to playing?
F: I haven’t actually seen the room yet, but my tour manager checked it out earlier and he said it’s amazing and I heard its like roughly 300 capacity and the people are pretty close to the dj so I always love that cause you can really feel the people and the vibe and I like to be close to the crowd and connect properly.
Q: What can we expect from you music wise and what are some of your goals for 2016?
F: I guess i’m just working on a lot of new music because I don’t want to just repeat what i’ve done before. I want to keep developing. So i’ve been doing some collabs now. I just released a track together with Steve Aoki which is also influenced by his kind of edm world so it’s like a combination of two styles and then I just did a german songs with a german legend. Quite cool for me. And then there’s a new song coming out really really soon. Actually nobody really knows about it yet. It’s going to be around 70 bpm so it’s again something really new for me so I like to just try out new things and hope your going to like it.
Interview by: Erielle Gabay (Reviewer)