Articles, Blog

ROBIN SCHULZ – THE MOVIE


My goal was to earn a living with music. So to pay the rent and a little more. Suddenly, bam! You’re a superstar. But I’m not a superstar. I’m me. The camera man
doesn’t have to carry anything again. -You want to go on it again?
-Oh-oh! Last year I did an arena tour, which was very, very cool. And it was very big,
with live singers and a great production. That meant two trucks
and three coaches. Then the whole stage was set up. Let’s go. This was our first big live tour in 2016. It’s the next step, and it has to be taken
to make sure he’s a pop star. Not just a DJ, but a pop star. You can have a cool gig
DJing for 200 or 400 people, and you can have a cool gig
DJing for 75,000 people. The important thing is that the people
enjoy the music and party with you. My production manager
gives me instructions first. He tells me what’s off limits, because a CO2 cannon
will go off or fireworks. Shortly before,
I sit on the stairs by the DJ booth, and take a deep breath,
as I’m always nervous before my gigs. But once I’m up there
and see the audience, I know they’re waiting for me,
and want me. Then the intro comes on.
Three, two, one… A DJ is not a band. A band has
several people who perform more. And so we have visuals
in the background. We use them
to try and animate the audience more. We said from the start,
“If we’re doing this, let’s do it right.” We invested a lot in visuals.
We wanted to do something very special. We saw that the tour
exploded onto the scene. Sometimes we played
for up to 8,000 people. In Munich and in Hamburg
the venues were completely sold out. We got a Sold Out Award for it. The first highlight of the show is
“Sun Goes Down”. On one hand we have Jasmine Thompson
singing live as a special guest, and then the evening, beach mood
we all know from the summer vacation, we try to recreate that. “Show Me Love”
is another atmospheric song, and thanks to J.U.D.G.E,
who’s a wonderful stage performer with a huge presence who’s great
at drawing in and animating the crowd. Robin was always fidgety and hyperactive as a child. Always moving about… He loved music as a little boy already. As soon as we had a computer, he would sit
in his room and mess about with it. Yes, he was like that from the start. My dad was also a DJ in the 80s. My mum owned a nightclub then,
but I hadn’t been born. This was in the early 80s.
I was born in 87. And my dad listened to
a lot of electronic music. I mean, electronic music of that time. 80s music. That did influence me. I was 15 when I first went to a club, and
I instantly fell for the music and people. It was just… really, really cool. And then I decided to become a DJ too. Then, when he got older,
he played at clubs. I had my first gig when I was 17. In Osnabrück. Unpaid, but he got drink vouchers
for him and his friends. I started out DJing here.
At the time it was called Dekadenz. I invited all my friends of course. My then girlfriend had a sign reading,
“Robin, I want your child!” I laughed my head off. I had great support. They knew it was my first DJ gig
and really cheered me on. And, yeah… It was cool. All my friends were involved
with electronic music. Either they liked the parties
or they were DJs. The first Freie Vögel party was here.
My good friend Daniel Bruns organized it. I DJed here too at the time. It was outside and for free. The cross beams are still there. It looks the same. Even the dancefloor’s
still here. They didn’t pull it up. Although this was years ago. The stage is still here?
Even the dancefloor. -We left it.
-Yeah, right? -You wanted to play again, didn’t you?
-Nothing’s changed. I can dance a bit and you can…
We can do that, right? Daniel Bruns is a legend in Osnabrück. He’s been DJing here for ages. And I used to look up to such people. I was the little one, he was the big one. The big, famous DJ from Osnabrück
who organized festivals and events. In clubs, too. I was so happy
when he would speak to me. “Let’s do something.” Those were the first parties
where Robin DJed. So he quickly became well-known
in Osnabrück. I come from the dancefloor.
I love dancing, and… It makes me happy. When you’re a DJ yourself,
you keep an eye on the crowd, to see how they react to the music. Robin was the one
who’d look all lost when a break came. Then he’d jump up and… “Yeah!” Well, a lad like that stands out. It did a lot for me. Otherwise it was just back to normal life. You could switch off
and have fun there, think about nothing
and just enjoy the moment. Obviously Ibiza is the Mecca of
the electronic music scene. The world’s biggest, most renowned clubs
are here, like Pacha, Ushuaïa, Space, Amnesia, Privilege. It’s basically a dream for any DJ to spin music in Ibiza. What’s special about Ibiza is that everything to do with
electronic music is concentrated here. It has a very special vibe. Lots of people… You meet
all the big names in music here. Ibiza is dance. All of it. You hear dance music
non-stop on the radio… What’s really crazy is that
when you drive around Ibiza, you see huge billboards
with your face on it. And this is in Ibiza.
In Ibiza, it’s very hard… to get your own residency. Only the people who’ve been
in the business for long or who’ve really achieved something get that. You can see that. Like Avicii
and Martin Garrix, the really big guys. So you won’t be king in Ibiza
just because you have a worldwide hit. No way. It’s a very different world.
Business is tough there. Last year we considered
having a residency, but Stefan said, “Let’s start small. Mess up once in Ibiza,
and you’ll never get another chance.” We played several parties
with David Guetta last year. In Ushuaïa and in Pacha. And… this year, we have the first big party of our own,
called “Blue”, which we co-headline with Oliver Heldens at Ushuaïa. Every Thursday. We’ll replace Armin van Buuren that night. We’re arriving soon.
We’ll go straight to the backstage area. I usually get to the venue
one hour before I’m on. So I can drink a beer,
meet some friends and have a chat. Feder’s there, who also has a No1 hit.
Even Felix Jaehn plays with us too. Klingande are there. The funny thing about the party is that
everyone playing there has had a No1 hit. Ushuaïa does daytime parties. You get to see the sun set, and it’s open air. The special thing about Ushuaïa
is that it’s a hotel complex. The rooms are built around a pool and the stage is right in the middle. So if you rent a room there, you can watch the shows
directly from your balcony. It’s prestigious to be in Ibiza. The whole world is watching. If you have your own night at Pacha or at Ushuaïa, or play with David Guetta
at “F*** Me I’m Famous”, the island’s biggest night, it’s obviously good for us as well. You get different bookings that way.
The fees are negotiated differently. So if you’re a resident DJ in Ibiza,
you’ve really made it. Robin totally filled a gap. When he first played here, all the girls
hit the dancefloor immediately. It was girlie music. Yes, “girlie music”,
but it was right for us. We listened to the productions
he was working on then. And you knew,
“Okay, something’s happening here.” I wanted to make music.
I had no other choice. I had no money, nothing. I started out on a Pentium III processor.
I downloaded FruityLoops. In the beginning,
when Robin sat at the computer, shuffling these little files about, I didn’t quite know what to make of it. But then you soon began
to hear the results. I sat at it every day. I learned, watched YouTube tutorials,
as I didn’t have producer friends. But you need input, you need to learn. Then, at some point,
he needed a better computer, so he could process more data. At some point I dared
to ask my girlfriend whether she could just…
give me her signature. So I could get a MacBook
and pay in installments. I felt awkward. I spent six months
wondering whether to ask her or not. Then I asked, and she actually did it. I’m very grateful to her. It had to work, and it did work. The laptop was definitely the decisive
point that helped him to progress. I’ve never seen anyone
fight for his thing like Robin. He was someone on Facebook
I considered deleting as a friend, as he kept going,
“Hey, listen to my new stuff. Listen.” We would take turns every hour posting things here and there. Every day, again and again and again. Because you have to do something,
if you have a skill, because you have to get
people’s attention, which is really hard. He created so many channels where
he provided stuff for people and his fans. I’d never seen that. At some point it worked,
and I uploaded stuff on SoundCloud, to not only get feedback from friends, but from the entire world. His international success
came from the bootlegs. He had already been hyped
for his own music before that. “Same” and “Sunset”, stuff like that. Those were his SoundCloud hits, I’d say.
Many people found out about him. My goal was just to earn a living with music,
or with DJing. So to pay the rent, and a bit more. That was my goal back then. And… then it suddenly skyrocketed. When “Waves” came out, Robin got more major bookings. Because the number of clicks he got… was gigantic. For a “provincial” DJ back then,
that was incredible. When you’re a no-name, you don’t get
the chance to work with good singers. So you rely on other stuff. So you take songs and… remix them. It was a bootleg, as it wasn’t authorized.
I wasn’t allowed to do it. And I produced it in a flash.
It took me five hours. It wasn’t a big deal.
But it made me well-known. Everyone in Osnabrück had heard “Waves”. People from outside Osnabrück asked if we
knew it. “We’ve known it for a year.” He started playing gigs abroad
and in bigger German cities. And so he got more and more attention. Energy! Then it really went through the roof when the major labels
released his songs. With Robin Schulz,
we’d keep hearing stuff like “Robin Schulz from Osnabrück
makes these great bootlegs and things.” We tried to contact him,
which was quite hard, I have to say. I found him on SoundCloud, where he
then had 50,000 followers, I think, but no contact address. Eventually I decided to sort it out and said, “Right, let’s go find him.”
Like a covert operation. Coincidentally,
I’d talked to some friends before that. He said, “I’m going to meet Robin Schulz.”
I said, “Great!” “You’re meeting the guy
I’ve been listening to but haven’t yet spoken to in person. Fantastic! Make a deal. Make him an offer.”
He said, “That’ll be expensive. He plays a lot and has
tracks out on compilations. I’ll see.” I said, “Then let’s do it together.” We talked for a long time
and closed his first record deal that day. He already had the Lilly Wood
and The Prick track on SoundCloud, “Prayer”. It was a bootleg. An edit. Yes, “Prayer in C” was,
I personally think, the stronger track. It was the sound of the summer. You heard it everywhere.
Everyone was playing it. The track would start playing and…
everyone would be in high spirits. I’ve always searched around a lot.
I found that track on YouTube. Bam, I heard the guitar riff… It was just overpowering. I think
I ripped the song straight from YouTube. Everyone says, “But he hardly
did anything with Prayer in C.” But to just find
that indie song from five years ago… That track was a pure album song. And he loved the vocals. He found
the composition and voice perfect. And it was a completely unknown song. Everyone had the chance,
but Robin Schulz discovered it. The original was simply amazing. I thought, “A bit faster, a bit
more dancy, some drumming, a base line.” Then it was perfect for me. And for many others apparently too.
It was a global hit. I hadn’t expected that at all. Then we made a video in Berlin.
My first video shoot. I was so nervous. It started incredibly early. 4 a.m.,
as we wanted to film the sun rising. I rode in a Cadillac,
there was a huge dog, and I was holding this flag,
there were girls dancing. Whoa, it was really… The first video shoot.
It was cool, but… but it felt very strange. I didn’t know how to look and stuff,
you know? It was a music video. We were all happy that Warner Germany had signed that. Then the question was
how to approach the rest of the world. Then the international marketing started. And in the digital world, you release
simultaneously in all countries. “Waves” had been a big hit,
and now this, which outsold everything, and “Prayer in C” is the most successful
German-produced song abroad. That was amazing. That means
I’ve overtaken Nena’s “99 Red Balloons”. “Prayer in C” first took off
in France and Germany. Then it quickly was a hit
in Scandinavia, the Benelux, and the rest of Europe,
also Eastern Europe. From the very first release date,
for us it was all about managing colleagues abroad, interview requests, more radio airtime,
and it was a lot of fun and a big success. It went round the whole world. We saw the Shazam figures,
which are important. Then it went to the US and South America. Everyone knew it would be big. But for it to be number one on iTunes
in almost 50 countries, and to win, if I check my notes, over 50
Gold and Platinum certifications globally, nobody could have predicted that. He is now considered one of
Warner Music Group’s leading artists. He is really the most successful artist ever to emerge from Germany. It was inconceivable. It was just… You started out making music
on a Pentium III at home, and then suddenly you’ve won an award because you’ve sold hundreds
of thousands of records. And abracadabra, after we’d put some effort into it,
Robin Schulz became a star within six months
with two international number one hits. When it all took off it went so quickly,
you couldn’t really plan anything. We didn’t know what was happening.
Neither did he. Everyone was after him,
wanting him to play. From Portugal to America,
all countries in Europe. He had a lot to deal with, and
a lot of new experiences in a short time. He flew in a private jet
for the first time. I think the first time
I flew by private jet, I didn’t book it myself. The event organizer did. So there had to be a big photo shoot
first. I was as proud as punch. A private jet! What the hell? It’s a private jet!
Who gets to fly in a private jet? I had a lot of gigs in the USA last year. Then I was in Europe again. South Africa, all over… As I fly so often,
it feels like being in a car now. I’m no longer afraid.
Whatever the size. These are economic calculations.
It enables us to do two gigs more. You can’t do these things with
a network carrier. You need a private jet. It’s no longer a luxury,
but a means to an end. Traveling a lot is part of his job. Recently it’s been nice that I can
go along with him, travel with him a lot. It’s always very, very nice for me
when my girlfriend can come along. It’s great to have someone waiting
for me when I get back to my hotel room. It gives me strength.
When I’m on my own it can be tough. Give that to me… Come on. I’ll kill you… I think it’s very, very important to have someone with you who, well, really knows you. Someone who just looks at you
and knows how you feel. She met him long before it
all started going crazy for him. There’s actually a photo where I’m… six years old, and she’s four. We were at some party,
sitting on a porch swing together. Two kids had their hands up in the air.
That was us. I can’t remember that personally. Where we really met
was Hyde Park in Osnabrück. My parents met there too. Our
respective parents went there together. And then we met there. One thing led to another, and… We’ve been together
for over five years now. I know that every time I look at him,
I see only him. The young kid I met. She’s my calming influence
when I get home, or when I’m stressed. She’s always there, and calms me down. They’ve lived together for a long time,
shared a studio apartment in Osnabrück. Now they’re proudly moving into a house. They built it together,
of course mainly thanks to his music, but she always supported him. And she still does, and does it well. I think some girls are drunk. I understand that a record company
might say, “We have to do this and this, and tomorrow
we have to be here, then do a handstand, and then a backflip and whatever.” When you work at a major record
company, it’s normal that the artist has to be available more or less 24/7. That’s generally
the kind of artists we know. But that’s… I can’t do that, and I don’t want to. Maybe I’ll learn to like that one day, but right now… it’s not my thing. If we want to get a career going, we need to make him visible, so we
need him there, need interviews and IDs. Okay. Not “now”? Right? Can you say “now”? -One more, to make sure?
-One more. I said “waves” again? Heatwave! Right, that’s a wrap. Now here is an artist
who does exactly the opposite. He doesn’t feel comfortable
with microphones. So we have to learn to deal with that. I break out in a cold sweat.
Sitting here with a camera in front of me. It drives me up the wall. It makes me so nervous. It’s really bad. -Like this?
-Keep it down there if it helps. He doesn’t want to be the focus.
He wants the music to speak for itself. That’s how he started.
Anonymously, online. Just with his name. He’d prefer it to go on like that. -If possible, don’t be too fidgety, as…
-That’s the thing. It’s just his character. He’s reserved,
and you hear that in his music. To touch people with your heart, or to touch people’s hearts,
you have to… be someone whose waters run deep. I don’t have to go along with all of that.
I don’t want to. I can do it without all that. I’m done in.
I’ve nothing else to say, man. -Certainly not right after the show.
-Don’t decide now. Play it by ear later. Maybe she’s cool. As you wish. -I’m just passing on his question. I
said… -Ah, Gena! -No interviews, he said that!
-But it is an interview! But he said it won’t be formal.
Just, “How are you? How was it? Did you enjoy it?”
Really relaxed. It’s just one minute.
I you don’t want to, then no! We discussed it with him for a while. And with management,
with Stefan, as well as internally. At some point we said, “Okay, if that’s how it is and you’re
not comfortable, we’ll leave it for now. No interviews, and not much spoken word.” Just what’s necessary
and you’re okay with. If you look at electronic music
and dance producers, I don’t think there was ever anyone who became successful
due to press interviews. That’s our mission,
to inform the countries and tell them, “It’s not meant
to be arrogant or a rebuff. You’ll see better results with things like DJ sets, Meet & Greets, raffle things off that you can’t buy,
and build your campaign around that.” It was a bit of a fine line at the start,
as it was seen as arrogance, but we used transparency
and discussion. Then it wasn’t a problem. Everyone who
met Robin was very enthusiastic. “What a nice guy. So easy, down to earth
and super positive.” And then it was fine. Robin’s YouTube channel is one of
Germany’s biggest musician’s channels. If not the biggest. We always need new moving images,
new video material. Early on we started making
good international videos with top production standards. We invested in it, As music videos
always worked well for Robin. You can do this
without the artist having to talk, because he just has to make the music
and be on social media. You build a brand like that.
He just needs to keep making good music. He made a hit that was number one
in more than 50 countries, but he also delivered
very soon after that. Then we started talking to Robin
about putting together the next track. There was this song called “Sunset”. Seven minutes long, with a saxophone.
An instrumental hook, but no vocals. I called my colleague in England and said,
“I’m looking for an English topline for Robin’s track.” So a melody and lyrics
to put over the instrumental part. He had three different toplines written
and we listened to them and sent them to Robin. And Stefan. Then we decided. That’s “Sun Goes Down” now. As soon as she sang over
the first eight beats we just knew this would be our next hit. It went from “Waves” to “Prayer” to the third, fourth and fifth hit, and that’s unusually fast for an artist. So I’d finished two thirds of the album
and just had to… produce four or five tracks more to finish the first album. The album “Prayer”, one must add… is basically a compilation. Not all of the tracks are Robin’s. There are also tracks on there
by friends of his whose music he likes, who he played as a DJ at the time, which are like a snapshot of this genre. Really I was just mostly happy about
the fact that I could release an album. Even just that was great. The fact that
it then worked out well was perfect. It makes me so happy
that I could turn this into a profession. Many people want this or dream of this. I put all the energy I had into it,
and of course luck plays a part too. Now I’ll do my best
for it to stay that way. -Hi, Robin.
-Hello. -Hi, Alex.
-Morning. -Hi.
-Susanne. Pleasure. Of course it’s important that you position your artist well
in terms of brands nowadays. The collaboration with Robin came about
when we at “Q/S designed by” were thinking about who
the right brand ambassador could be. I was very surprised
that a fashion label approached us. My first thought was,
“Will I have to design it all myself?” Of course he’s not sitting
at a drawing board making sketches. But he’s working closely with the
designers, and the first things we’ve seen have turned out really cool. We’d like to go through
the first sketches. Q/S designed by Robin Schulz
is ultimately your collection. It’s what you like. You should
feel comfortable. So be honest here. But I am very sensitive, so… We found common ground. They had
some ideas and I put in my ideas. One thing led to another
and it worked perfectly. We’re not clean or tidy.
We don’t want to dress people up. We thought about what would suit you. We use a lot of what we call
“affected optics”, like dyed stuff. Even a logo t-shirt
should never be totally clean. Or bourgeois. -Even a parka…
-Is it a long t-shirt? -It’s a bit longer.
-You like that? -I’m wearing one.
-You like it longer. Not these very long, oversized ones,
but something in-between. Robin and his tour manager Gena
are into fashion, so it’s right for them. It’s not about who pays the most,
but about who suits us. Of course we want
to design a collection together with Robin where his stamp is on it. Where his personality shines through.
What he likes to wear. He’s a person who embodies that well. Are there any colors you don’t like?
Anything… -No colors, right?
-Right. -I really only wear black or white.
-We noticed. That’s why we hardly used colors here. -Yes.
-Maybe a little olive for a parka… But maybe you’ll say,
“I want all of this colorful.” -We’d have to start over.
-That would have surprised us. We did do some research. Robin sent us some pictures of what he
likes and we were able to work with that. That’s very important to us.
We don’t want to dress anyone up. We don’t want his name to be on something
that isn’t him. Some patterned trousers.
I don’t know if… That’s not really my kind of thing. Yes. That’s why we’re sitting here today. I prefer something more simple. We’ve received
quite a lot of input from him, as to what he likes more, or less. And what changes could be made. We’ll go through it with our teams. A lot of baseball caps don’t suit me.
Too high, or… This kind of style. Just… black is important. And perhaps a small logo. Something small, nothing in-your-face.
Simple, basically. He really exceeded my expectations. He embodies exactly what I hoped he would. He’s approachable,
though he’s a superstar. And so it was nice to do this with him. I was also fascinated
by the amount of emotion he put into the material. The way he touched it, commented on it. I think he has a very good fashion sense. And also knows what he wants to wear,
and what it can be combined with. -I like this a lot. You did a great job.
-Happy to hear that. I’m looking forward to the rest. -We’ll work on it.
-Happy to hear that. Anyone who meets Robin Schulz will not meet the star at first,
but a very likeable, relaxed guy. And he is. That’s his big strength. He doesn’t have any special wishes
or want special treatment He doesn’t need much backstage. Usually I play for 90 minutes in a club. But if the crowd is cool, I’ll play
two hours. Or two and a half, or three. It always depends.
It’s more about the fun. At big festivals,
things are very much planned. I have a playlist, my team knows that. So I start with “Headlights”,
then “Sun Goes Down” after that, etc. All the visuals and lights
are coordinated. But of course we have a plan B
in case the set doesn’t work. Then I play something harder. Then the guys react! They have to. It’s a great team. They do a great job. First they look at me, a bit perplexed,
like what’s going on? And I’m like,
“Hey, the crowd want something harder”, and they have to react fast. Sometimes I like
going off the rails a bit and I play more future house, a dirtier
sound. Not necessarily melodic stuff. People want to jump. It’s usually like that at big festivals. There might have been an IDM act
on before you, who hit the gas. If I then play my originals,
it doesn’t work so well. Then you play remixes of your originals
that are a little more energetic. Thanks! Every club’s like his living room.
The way he moves in it, his confidence… That’s his home. And handling fans is totally like being at home with friends for him. He’s the same boy
who would drink a beer with anyone who comes by and he’s nice to everyone,
which is annoying sometimes. You’d go into his hotel room and ask,
“Who are these people?” “I don’t know.” No! He’s a bit of a dreamer, sure, but it’s nothing malicious.
He just wants to enjoy the day, because he’s an out-an-out artist. The fact that we travel so much
makes it seem like a marriage at times, the way we need to adapt
and get used to each other… We sometimes seem like
an old married couple. It’s like that. We see each other
more often than our girlfriends. This is too much, dude! -Look.
-Please… No, wait… -I’m going to throw up.
-Your face on me is just sick. He looks like a psycho. Robin is someone who
likes to take his time. So I try…
It’s a question of manipulation. If the pick-up time is 10.30 a.m.,
I tell him it’s at 9.30. -Hey, what’s going on? Do we have to go?
-Yes. Gena is very, very important.
Not only in the day-to-day stuff. We’re good friends now. Of course, his job is to be tour manager. But that’s not all he does. He does a whole lot in the background
that I don’t even catch wind of. Gena plays a very, very important part in the business, and for me as a person. I think I played 230 shows last year, so we were on tour for around 260 days. He’s young. He wants this. He wants to be number one, I know he does. He always said so. My personal life does suffer,
and it’s punishing for the body, and the mind. It’s tough.
But I didn’t want it any other way. I didn’t imagine being this big, but I am and I love it.
I put all my energy and passion into it. It’s nice to see so much, but when you’re
in six different countries in six days, it wears you out. It’s 6 a.m. A beautiful sunrise.
We just left the club. That’s also an additional challenge
in the DJ world. The gigs start very, very late. Sometimes he doesn’t go on stage
till 3 or 4 a.m. and the next morning you have to
move again to set up for the next gig. Now we’re going from Brazil to…
Paraguay. I’m up for it. And I’m tired. The most important thing is that if
you travel so much, then travel well. If you’re never at home,
then sleep well. Let’s look upstairs first. Gena, I think we got somewhere nice. Cool! And otherwise that you do what you want
and what you enjoy. I believe if the body needs rest,
it will take it. I’m amazed they even know
where they are when they wake up. When I leave a festival or a club,
I have three or four hours or so. Then I go to the jet and kip there
and if there’s time in the hotel I sleep two hours there. So it’s
in spurts. You don’t feel really rested. Robin recently said
after we’d toured for a while, “If you have
five currencies in your wallet, you know it’s time to go home.” Not again, man! Not again! The first album was so successful that from being unknown,
he was catapulted to the top on a worldwide scale. So of course we had to think about
how to approach the second album. We started afresh with the second album. It was about getting 15 songs. It was to be expected that Robin
would be flying around the globe. And so we looked for support from a team of producers. The second album was
almost entirely produced while on tour. So I was very happy that I had some help, that the guys could go into the studio
with the singers and record it, because otherwise
it wouldn’t have worked time-wise. David Guetta doesn’t produce his releases
on his own. How could he? It’s impossible Nor do any of the others. I have to add that
we also have capable people in production, who he also knew from before, and who I knew would work well together. I knew they were up to it. That’s how the collaboration
with Junkx came about. So Dennis, Guido and Jürgen. -It’s different.
-It’s cool, right? It’s normal to get support in the studio. It’s not feasible otherwise, not doable with the amount time
the guys spend in the plane, the number of shows they play per year. It’s totally impossible
to do all the work on your own. Everything that’s released goes through his hands and ears,
and is played back and forth. We call it ping-pong,
as we play it via email and mp3. We send things back and forth,
or have phone conferences. Robin is a perfectionist. He works on the songs
until he gets it spot on. There was a common theme
going through the second album. You could recognize
it was Robin Schulz on every song. The marketing strategy for the second
album was to make more hits. Facebook and multimedia are important,
but the music is still most important. Radio is the key medium. Robin Schulz’s last six singles
all topped the airplay charts in Germany. So Robin is actually
the uncrowned king of German radio. If you have the radio stations
on your side to that extent, that’s the foundation for a hit basically. Many songs, like “Sugar”, say,
come about by chance. It was a massive hit ten years ago for Baby Bash.
It was an important track for us. Also the great video,
which won us a lot of awards. I can remember
how I was on my way to a gig and was sitting in the car and I heard the original on the radio. I thought,
“I could do something with it.” Make a new version, basically. And so I sat down and… “Sugar” was made. Robin has a sense for what people want to hear
on the dancefloor and the radio. A sense for the spirit that songs have, which you sometimes don’t expect, and needs to be tweaked,
but he’s spotted it. Then we sit there and say,
“He was right, again.” I just always did
what I felt like, you know? When I produce music,
I feel free, I feel good, I can relax. Robin can discover a hit. He says, “Great
track. We need to do this and this…” I think that’s his greatest talent.
Discovering those things. I need to get in the mood. This is now our third year in Ibiza. We’re taking over David Guetta’s “F*** Me
I’m Famous” party for the first time. That’s the greatest honor
you can receive, as it’s the island’s biggest night. David Guetta is number one in the world. And I was very happy that I was allowed
to make a remix for him. Two, in fact. The collaboration between David and Robin has grown over the last two years. I have to add
we have the same environment. We’re both
with the same record company, Warner. And… David and Robin are both
with the same booking agent. We had lunch together. Then went into the studio. His studio is in his home too, a bit hidden, under his garden. You go down these stairs,
two vault doors open. So it’s really a secret studio. And… that was our first meeting. We liked each other straight away, and found common musical ground. It was perfect. So basically we started out occasionally
being his support act two years go. For David, on various tours. That I can play at his parties,
that he lets me do “F*** Me I’m Famous”, that’s a great honor for me. “F*** Me I’m Famous” is David Guetta’s
flagship, the best night in Ibiza. It’s also the first time
in the party’s history that the same artist takes over
the party for him regularly. We had six number one hits in a row, we had 150 Gold and Platinum singles
in the last two years, and then of course
David Guetta saw that, and regardless of what he thinks
of Robin as a person or artist, he obviously sees a business opportunity. Ushuaïa, Pacha, David Guetta. These are names we dreamt of in the past. Robin Schulz, too. Now we work
with them closely, doing lots of stuff. It’s pretty crazy. I’m open to anything.
This time I’m open to anything. Just for you. Or else you’ll just have to
paint the silhouette. I forgot my thing again, man. -Tell me. We’ll do it again.
-Yes. Good evening. Today, I have the honor of presenting… See?
I forgot the category already. Good evening. Today, I have the honor
of presenting the Radio Echo category. The nominees are… All things that have to do with him
personally, where he has to communicate, where he has to pick up an award on stage,
are things he doesn’t like doing much. He doesn’t like being in the limelight. -What’s up?
-I’m nervous. -Why?
-Why do you think? -Nervous!
-Today’s an important day. I have to present something live. -You’ll manage.
-Yeah. It’s not that Robin
can’t be bothered, you know? But Robin is still extremely nervous
with things like this. He’s incredibly successful,
many people would be strutting about, but he hides a bit. I think that’s also a reason why
he’s happy he can wear sunglasses. They’ve become his trademark. Suddenly, bam! You’re a superstar. But I’m not a superstar. I’m just me.
I always was. For me all that’s changed is I get to travel about a lot, I get to
present my music to many people, not just Osnabrück. I know what he’s like. And when he has to do certain things, I can see in his eyes how much
he doesn’t want to do them. I asked Robin, “How can that be? You play
in front of 60,000 people in a stadium. You’re an entertainer, you’re a DJ,
an artist, you play concerts.” When you have this level of success, you sometimes have to go on the red carpet
and give soundbites and interviews. Oh, shit. He always goes to his fans first
and signs autographs and talks to everyone and so on. But as soon as the first TV camera
or microphone appears, he goes into a panic almost. Please welcome Robin Schulz! I’m not comfortable with it. I always just wanted to make music,
and I still want to, and that’s what
I’m comfortable with, not… When you get bigger, seemingly that’s
the deal. Not seemingly, it just is. You just have to… bite the bullet and do those things. I will blend in with the background
and let you talk. Okay. And the winner is… I had my own idea,
but then it was changed last-minute. I was very relieved.
I just had to say, “And the winner is…” Joris! That was it. Our next award winner is on the road so much
that his current album’s beats were programmed entirely on the plane. We’re talking about… Robin Schulz. It was a special award.
“Most Successful German Abroad.” We suspected we might win it. There’s no one else here
with that level of fame. Before he went on stage,
the Scorpions’ Klaus Meine came on and held a long speech
about Robin’s life on the road, from South America and wherever,
how many albums he’d sold and such. He was so nervous, he pulled me round
and said, “I don’t want to go up there.” I said, “You’ve got to go up there.
You’ve been awarded an Echo.” Thank you. Many thanks to Warner Music,
thanks to WePlay, thanks to my family, my team and my fans. Thank you very much. People often ask me,
“Is it arrogance? Who is this guy?
Is he above saying something here?” It has nothing to do with arrogance
or that he can’t be bothered. He’s happy. He’s glad to be there
and it’s a huge honor for him. And the winner… of the “Dance-National” category is… Robin Schulz! Whoa. I really don’t know what to say now. It’s incredible. I’ll just say thanks again. There are people
who are not made for that, who don’t always want to be
in the limelight, or walk on every red carpet
and be at every celebrity party. It’s not my thing. I’m normal
and want to stay normal. Hi, Mamushka, it’s your son speaking. Thank you, thanks. Did you watch it all? Yes, like… Mum says, “You looked great.
You looked like a sheikh!” Stefan’s laughing. I was so excited. Two things.
Yes, I didn’t know that would happen. I’m the representative of German music
abroad basically. It’s a great honor. I was really happy. We’re going back home tomorrow afternoon,
or tomorrow evening. Then I’ll need a day’s rest, and then
we can all meet and raise a toast. Okay. Me too. See you soon. Ciao. Ciao. Osnabrück is home for me. My family and friends live here. When I’m in the car on my way there, I’m always really looking forward to it. It’s my place of peace. It’s simply a pretty town. Strolling through the old town is lovely. You know every pub, every nightclub. It’s simply home. The nice thing is, not only do I like
Osnabrück, Osnabrück likes me too. And it’s special
that I now know the mayor personally, that I was allowed to
enter my name in the Golden Book. That’s a really great honor. -Shocked?
-Yes. I recognize my terrible handwriting. -Is it good for signing checks?
-Yes. -Really?
-Yes. My autograph looks different. You can have fun with him.
We’re on first name terms. We muck about a bit and stuff. He’s a very laid-back guy, our mayor. Not just anyone gets into the Golden Book. “Robin Schulz, DJ, producer
and label owner from Osnabrück. October 22, 2014.” Osnabrück is everything to me.
I live here and grew up here. And I’ll certainly stay here too. It’s a good question why Robin Schulz
is so attached to his hometown. Why Osnabrück? Quite honestly I’ve wondered too. It just shows a bit of his character. When you’re on the road
360 days a year, you’re happy to
spend five days at home with your mother or friends, and I think Robin knows that,
so he deliberately decided to build, or buy a home not just anywhere, but to do it all in Osnabrück. Robin knows where he’s from,
and that’s good. It’s lovely where he lives, but I’ll just say in jest the hare and the hedgehog
moved out, because it’s so quiet. I have so much hassle and stress
in my life that when I return home and hear nothing but the birds chirping,
it’s pure relaxation for me, because I grew up in the countryside. This is the real life for me.
Just to relax and reboot. He’s earned it and he deserves it
and I think it’s great. I searched the internet
for a year and a half. And funnily enough,
this was the first place we viewed live. -I fell in love.
-He could live anywhere. He could be in Ibiza all year, or move to Paris, London, LA. Considering the amount he earns, with record sales and gigs and all that, he actually still lives really modestly. This is the living room here. When I get back from a tour
I fall straight onto this and put on a film and chill out. When he gets back home,
he usually switches off his phone, checks his emails less,
which he rarely does anyway, but then he does it even less. He switches off from what I guess
you’d call the celebrity world. This is the dining room. I host my friends here. I love cooking. When he has the time for it, he’ll make a nice goulash,
real home cooking. He went shopping
with my dad recently, and there was a huge commotion
when he went in the store. He had to sign autographs. Since then, only I go shopping. But he writes me a list and then cooks. I love doing it, so it’s not a problem. I have some DJ equipment here.
I got bigger speakers recently, as I can be very loud here,
since we don’t have any neighbors. So it’s really great fun
to turn it up a bit. Home is where the family is,
and where your friends are. No other place can give me that. So… I mean, my family and friends
live in and around Osnabrück. That’s the most important thing. The guys from Q/S are very laid-back, very, very funny and relaxed people, sure. The collection hit the nail on the head, because I like wearing stuff
that looks worn out. So skinny jeans, t-shirts
with chlorine stains on them, etc. So it really hit the nail on the head, and I love wearing them.
I co-designed them. -He really touched all the materials.
-Mhm. He does, yes. Totally. As if he worked in the industry. The clothes should be high quality.
That’s really, really important. And so when I saw
the first designs, of course, I felt the material,
and looked at their initial designs. A classic photo print. This is more reduced.
More graphic, more modern. An iconic bomber jacket. With all these patches. We want to
make one for men and one for women. -He loved that. But not that.
-Right. I love the bomber jacket we designed. This is really cool, too. This is a slightly longer parka. It fits perfectly now. After going through the conceptual phase,
getting the prototypes, finding our patterns and starting
the trials in terms of quality and print, we have our finished collection here,
for men and for women. We’re extremely happy with the results. I don’t have the whole collection at home,
but I showed my friends the things I do have there,
and they were very enthusiastic. We don’t want an unnatural-looking shoot. Not many people have a feeling
for how to present a personality and how to bring it out best. Ellen von Unwerth
is a very famous photographer. She can do it perfectly, as she does lots of fashion photography, also with celebrities. She’s used to… taking photographs
of famous musicians, for example. She’s a character herself. She’s a fashion photographer and… It was a bit different.
I had to be active. She said, “Dance, jump about”, and I wasn’t used to that. No, no, no. Professional models know what to do. But with someone like Robin,
who’s a DJ and isn’t used to it, it’s harder to get something out of him. I’m not a model. There were various women
who are models, and did a great job,
and I was in the midst of that, and didn’t feel so comfortable,
as they knew exactly how to look. Get a good photo at the end,
and you have a stronger message. The photos that were selected
were very, very cool. There was some very, very cool stuff. Now we’ve reached the point
where we can say we’re done. It’s all exactly right
and we’re all happy with the collection. Now we’re entering
the production and order phase, so it can go to the shops
in the next few months. If you work with a great brand
and have a great end product, of course it
makes you bigger as an artist. I think I only played
ten shows here last year. This year I’m playing 22 And this year we’ve rented
a house here for three months. This is our second…
our home for this summer. How cool is this? Lovely. -Right?
-Boy, this is nice. -Let’s go! May I?
-Join in! While choosing, it was important
for Robin to have enough space and enough bedrooms
so he could invite friends. It couldn’t be too far
from Ushuaïa and Pacha, but not in the party zone either, so that we… so it’s a place of peace. There are incredibly good
restaurants here, and beaches. You can rent a boat and take it out.
Lots of options that we’ll check out, or sometimes just sleep all day, if you had a long night. Robin and his tour manager Gena
have a knack for doing some cool things, and just enjoying a lovely day. With people around you who do you good, or your friends,
then it’s relaxing and you can switch off. Of course you talk business now and then, when you’re on the boat
and having a drink together. That’s quite normal.
But we talk about other things too. I can really switch off,
and that does me a lot of good. I can come down a bit. This will escalate. The third album is important
in career planning, of course. I must say,
we’re very, very quick with everything. No other dance artist
releases so many albums so often. I always look forward. I set myself
new targets and am very, very ambitious. There’s always time
for changes and developments, as long as those changes
and developments are authentic. Of course, as a DJ Robin always has his feelers out
to sense where music is going, how it’s changing. The classic deep house
sound we had on “Prayer” is different now. That’s what Robin absorbs every day,
what he rehashes inside him every day, that we’re trying to intensify
and that we’ll pour into this album. So you’ll hear songs where you’ll go,
“Oh, is that by Robin Schulz or not?” Where you’ll go,
“I didn’t expect that from the boy.” And I wanna thank Robin Schulz. While I was away in the U.S., they told me that he killed it
in the month of September. And we should make a special announcement. I think this is the right opportunity, because here are only special people. Robin and I are going to make
a record together very soon. The new song “Shed A Light”
came about when we were in Brazil, at the Tomorrowland festival. I was standing around with Robin and Gena
and suddenly David came in really excited. Man, how are you? I was telling him,
I think I have something for us. I think I have a big song, really big. We listened to “Shed A Light”
on our phones together. The raw version of the song, which is
very different from what you’d imagine. There was nothing instrumental under it,
just a clap so you could hear the speed. He played it to me and said,
“Let’s make a track.” It starts and you know it’s a hit. Robin and David harmonize really well. So they sent the song back and forth, Robin made the first demo,
and David liked it. I received the vocals. I did the melody, sent him the melody, and let him continue on it. He built on that, sent me the stuff, and asked whether I agreed. So one thing led to another. What else do we have here?
We have the piano… That really gives it drive. That… brings the groove in. Yes, it really supports the groove. That sounds like the news. Yes! I think David had an idea. He took the first step
and then just gave me free rein. It’s good that it doesn’t lay
all the cards on the table right away. It builds up very, very slowly, with the vocals, with the strings,
and then the break comes. Then it really takes off. That’s the moment when,
if you’re playing at a club or festival, the crowd would go crazy. He’s holding us back, being a DJ.
“Don’t put all the cards on the table.” -Yes, it has to start slowly.
-Unwrap your presents slowly. -Yes.
-Yes! We’ve made a great track together.
I’m very satisfied. And so is David, of course. A producer collaboration came out of it,
a new single for Robin. It features Cheat Codes on vocals, an American electronic act. In the 70s you would’ve called it
a “super group” for house and deep house united on one single. Here it goes… For Robin, it’s a great honor,
an accolade, to have them working together so closely. We at Warner Music are of course proud to be able
to release this collaborative work. Most importantly “Shed A Light” is huge,
the production is great, and it’s a hit. The cherry on top is that David Guetta
and Robin Schulz’s names are on it. At the moment Tomorrowland is the biggest
electronic music festival worldwide. It’s interesting that two years ago,
this festival recognized where the trend was heading. Back to good music, where of course Robin Schulz is a leading
figure, along with two or three others. We had two fantastic years in a row, where Robin was one of the headliners. My best Tomorrowland experience was
in Brazil, where I played the main stage. My heart was racing of course. I don’t know how many people were
in front of the stage. 70,000 or so. That, of course, was…
I can’t describe it. Robin’s gig was bombastic. I’d say it was
the best gig I went to in 2016. In terms of atmosphere,
and people’s euphoria. The stage was huge, and that… It makes you feel like a puppet
when you’re on a huge stage like that. It’s incredible. I spoke to Robin recently and looked back on the three years
we’ve all been working together. Robin never dreamt that he would achieve what he has today. I’m not afraid of the future.
Of course I think about it. But I think if you
always, always work hard, keep yourself in the public eye
and do what you feel like doing and love doing musically, you can make it. I think we planned well,
and have a great team around us. Things can go faster,
further and higher still. I think this’ll be legendary. I just give 110%,
always, in everything. I wasn’t always like that. But I now know that with a lot of
strength, heart and of course a good team that really supports me,
I can move very big mountains. And this isn’t everything yet. This is just the beginning.

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