“German music thrives on content”

Milky Chance is one of the most successful German music exports worldwide. Read how the band explains its success in this interview.

With “Stolen Dance”, Milky Chance landed a global hit.
With “Stolen Dance”, Milky Chance landed a global hit. Universal Music

Multiple platinum in the USA, gigs on the largest festival stages and a world tour: Milky Chance has done what only a few German bands have been able to do. In 2013 its single “Stolen Dance” became a viral hit. The music video on YouTube has over 530 million views. Now the band from Kassel is touring the world with their third album Mind the Moon. We spoke to Philipp Dausch, along with Clemens Rehbein one of Milky Chance’s founders, about their success, the German music scene and promoting young talent.

How do you account for your international success?

If only we knew that ourselves (laughs)! The fact that our lyrics are in English has probably helped a lot. Because German music definitely has a harder time abroad - apart from Rammstein, of course. We’re just happy that we seem to have struck a veins all over the world and enjoy discovering new countries and cultures.

Germany would be the genre ‘intellectual schmaltz’ - in a positive sense.

If Germany were a music genre, what would it be?

Since it’s always said we can’t be assigned a definite genre, I’ll simply invent a new one: Germany would be the genre “intellectual schmaltz” - in a positive sense. For me, German music thrives on content. The lyrics are often very precise, personal and profound - whether German rap or pop.

How does the German music scene differ from that of other major music nations like the USA?

I have the feeling that the music scenes in the USA or Australia are a bit more diverse and that indie artists have more opportunities there. Here in Germany there is also plenty of room for experimentation, but more in the subculture and unfortunately not so much in the mainstream.

Is that why you support young musicians in your hometown Kassel through the free Levi's Music School?

Yes, maybe. We just wanted to provide musical support for children who enjoy music at an early age but can’t afford music lessons outside school. If this makes the German music scene a little bit more diverse, so much the better.

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