The exceptional weekend and opportunity that Breakaway Columbus was, for us, was made a million times more surreal by meeting an exceptional artist. The team of German-born artist, Felix Jaehn, reached out to WTV weeks before Breakaway and offered an interview. We never would have thought that, in itself, would have happened. So it goes without saying that experiencing such a genuine, energetic, and heartening artist and manager team became another one of the moments that we cannot fully capture with words. Thank you to Felix, Johannes, and Andrea for being such an amazing team to work with. This post and the happiness that it brought us (and we hope brings you) would not be possible without them.
Our interview with Felix actually started with Johannes retrieving his long-time friend from the crowd. Felix was just dancing among the crowd that he would be playing to, in a matter of hours. He comes backstage still bouncing and smiling from being immersed in the culture he has created his own brand in. Even before we spoke a single word, we knew that we were with one of the happiest kids in the world.
Felix was born and raised throughout Germany. At a young age, he took to music through violin lessons. A training he traded in for cleats and a racquet, as he went to play tennis and soccer. Sports did not tear the artist completely from music, however. Felix made friends through school and sports, and with them celebrated birthdays and other big moments. Those parties are where Felix was pulled back into music. Of course, the celebration was the draw but he had an infatuation with how music enhanced all of these moments. This curiosity turned into control as he took over the aux at any opportunity. Allowing him to shape and determine the mood of the parties. Felix knew it could get better than just crafting playlists, and from there got his first controller. After a little practice, Felix entered his party tour phase; he became the resident DJ at every birthday party after that.
He took his developing talents and vibe defining ability with him as he traveled extensively for school. Felix traveled through Germany, New Zealand, London, and Berlin. All at different points in his life, and for different reasons. Music stayed steady though, as he continued growing amongst the changes in scenery. Felix moved from birthday parties, to 10pm-6am unpaid parties, to finally landing his first real gig, at 18. All the while learning to produce music, taking inspiration from artists like Avici, and using those to define his own sound. With an extreme passion and love that he still embodies, he transformed an aux hog into a DJ who produced a ‘Cheerleader’ remix that has almost 1 billion streams and plays stages like Tomorrowland and Parookaville.
We could have gone on for hours about the stages he has seen and the success his tracks have found. We did hear about the time he screamed “Viva Mexico” to his first big festival, Pal Norte. And how crazy it was the first time he played to a crowd of a million. We can watch those videos and check those stats, though; what we wanted to hear was who it has made him into. We were lucky enough to get into that good stuff over laughs, Coronas, and the backdrop of Breakaway’s lineup of music.
Felix talked to us, as friends, about the amazing comfort and confidence he has found throughout his career. From taking risks with music to coming out as bisexual, Felix has found unbelievable support. Giving himself to his fans and receiving such support and joy is what has pushed him to continue to be himself. Felix is not on a path to make more, see more, or have more. Instead, he uses his career to do what makes him happy. He continues to make people happy with his sets and music because that is where he finds himself happiest. This chasing of joy is what makes his sets so energetic and real, what his career is grounded in, and what is driving him to share even more of himself with the world.
Felix’s next big step to happiness, other than traveling the world and bringing life to stages, is a concept album. He told us his next project is an autobiographical production story. The project started with ‘Love On Myself’, where he is expressing frames of his life through music. ‘Love Of Myself’ is his coming to understand being yourself is what is important. There is no reason not to do anything but put love on yourself, above anything else. Songs, with strong life messages that he has learned, will fill the foreshadowed 2020 album. Felix looks to tell his story through the production of the music, as well as the lyrics he is co-writing. This album is something that we could see brings him bliss, and we are sure will bring us the same.
As if this 25-year-old superhero needed another project, Felix is also helping to make more talent. Assuring to empower and inspire artists through mentoring. He told us about his new experience mentoring a DJ, and bringing him so many tools he discovered on his journey. One of those tools that he shared with us, and one we now share with any artist reading, is understanding that music is happiness. Felix advises artists to put your whole heart into what you do because people will feel that. Success will come with time, but it is important to be happy and true to yourself before, during, and after you find it. Enjoying the ride of being an artist, doing what you love and what others love, is so important.
Meeting Felix and Johannes was such a life-changing experience. Talking, dancing, laughing, and taking pictures with such genuine people was a gift we cannot thank them enough for. We know we have said ‘happy’ a lot this post, but Felix injected us, our conversation, and his set with massive amounts of it. As an artist, he is inspiring. As a person, he is a breath of fresh air. As a performer, he commands the energy. We hope this is not the last time we see Felix and Johannes. But in regard to this time, we say a warm “Danke” to Felix and his team. Hopefully, next time we see them, they greet us with the crucial German phrase they taught us-
“Wir gehen jetzt eir Bier trinken. Prost!”
Until next time.