Micha MC Lücke is one of the most popular music journalists and radio presenter in Berlin/Germany. His first radio show started in 1987. Radio Eins is the fourth program in 25 years he works for, and it’s based in Berlin/Brandenburg. This is one of the most important German radio channels with a high quality music program.
How interesting is music from Brazil for the music journalists and German radio stations?
In general Brazilian music to us is as interesting as any other music from all over the world, apart from England and the USA, where most of the music we listen to and play on the radio-comes from. Pop was invented in England, Rock n Roll in the States – and both genres are big in Germany, and therefore to be heard on Radio Eins.
But a few years ago a program called “MultiKulti” ( stands for multi-cultural) was closed, quite a few of the staff, including the director, enriched our program, and so did their taste in music. The percentage of music from all over the World, including Brazil, has increased and all our listeners liked it. For a change. Especially in the summer. Yes, these are stereotypes, but most Germans, including us and our listeners associate Brazilian music with Bossa Nova, and although we know that the Bossa can be quite melancholic, it first and foremost stands for a light felling, lightness so to say.
Of course up to 2014, with the World Cup, there will be an increasing interest in Brazilian music, mainly but not only in traditional Brazilian music.
What can musicians from Brazil do to catch the interest of the German media?
They can be sexy, like CSS! Or they can be rockin´, like Sepultura!
What I mean by that is that in the end it is a question of quality to conquer Germany´s beloved music genres Pop and Rock.
CSS got it, they are “Cansei de Ser Sexy”, look at it: out of five band-members four are good looking girls, that can sing and perform, oh my God, I´ve seen them, and Live they are a sensation! These are qualities that impress people all over the world. CSS are of international quality, as were Sepultura in the hard rockin/metal-biz, and that is what it takes: sing in English, be good on your instruments, think of global topics while you`re songwriting and be international if you want international success! There will always be a niche for traditional Brazilian music,, but on a larger scale you have to think global to beat them on their own turf!
How important are digital media for promoting artists in Germany/Europe? Should people also use the traditional elements like CD‘s or print advertising?
Digital Media is extremely important on many different levels. It is cheap, quick and of course, the future. If a digital media picks you up, you don´t need a label nor a distributer. Digital media got an instant impact. Look at the success the “New York Times” had, although they charge money on the net, and everybody said that this is not going to work! Well, it did, also due to the nowadays ruling I-Pad. Or look at the important German news-magazine “Der Spiegel”, where the two former bosses split up, one taking care of the old print business, whereas the other is now in charge of everything online. So right now the two worlds, print and digital media, are at level, but not for much longer, I´m afraid. CDs we will still need for quite some years. Every year you can read articles about the CD dying, and although there has been a vinyl renaissance and a far more important download
increase in numbers, the CD-sales in Germany in 2010 are about 40 % of all music sold on the market. As for print advertising you might as well burn your money, I´m sorry to say! For big names it might still be working, because people will notice and maybe remember that Madonna is having a new record out, but for having new artists getting people´s attention it is a useless and not to forget expensive tool these days.
How would you recommend Brazilian artists or agents get started in Germany?
If I was a Brazilian artists or agent I would contact Christina Ruiz-Kellersmann, wife of the Classic&Jazz-Boss at Universal Music Germany. From what I know all strings are pulled and kept together by Christina. She is from Brazil, lives in Berlin, knows everybody from
Brazil living and working in town, and is also the one who takes care of artists from Brazil, up to the biggest names like Sergio Mendes, who she coordinated business and media encounters last July.
Apart from that I would recommend to contact radio stations directly. It doesn´t always fit, but I know from my experience that quite often acts, especially from more “exotic” places like Brazil, find their way into our program by luck, or better to say by a lack of big stars willing to make the effort to come to our station. Sad, but true, as Metallica would put it, there’s always a chance for young and hungry artists. In our daily program for example, between 7 and 9 p.m. We´re always looking for special acts, that perform that week in Berlin, and who we can support by giving them time on air. At night we´ve got a program called “Planet Fruit”, that is meant for music from all over the world. And for genres that are not typical Pop&Rock. If there is some money I would always recommend a showcase. It doesn´t happen too often these days, not like in the 90s, so journalists are more willing to go out and have a drink for
free…! No, but seriously, there great little bars in Berlin, where great deals can be made, like you have to play for free, but therefore you are allowed to invite your friend and the media, and you don´t have to pay anything else apart from the drinks you´re giving out.
When you think of Brazilian music, what artists come to mind? Do you have any musical favourites from Brazil?
I love Tom Jobim and Luiz Bonfa, especially for their work on “Orfeu Negro” and I love Joao Gilberto for his unique way to play the guitar. When it comes down to Rock my favorites are Los Hermanos and Roberto Carlos, Legiao Urbana were a great Punk-Band, and when it gets really bad I enjoy Sepultura/Soulfly and Krisiun. Mainly Max Cavaleras is a singer and performer, I admire. I know him quite well, because I interviewed him a few times. I also liked the Brazil Funk back in the day when DJ Marlboro invented the “Funk Brasil”. But above all are still my Bossa-heroes Gilberto Gil and Sergio Mendes.
Micha MC Lücke is available at firstname.lastname@example.org