Badchieff: Riding the “New Wave” of German Music

Germany doesn’t only consist of shisha and chav rap. We are moving into an era where the sound we know has completely changed. One of these avant-gardists riding the “New Wave” is Badchieff. He decided to join us for an exclusive interview. I have known Shivan aka Badchieff personally for a long time, as he played in the most famous clubs in Munich at a young age. That’s how the connection came about, because in Munich you could count on one hand who was doing something creative.

But who is Badchieff? Who is this genius who signed Cro? In the conversation between the two of us, we try to crystallise Badchieff’s traits and show him far away from Instagram. We want to dig a few layers deeper.

Badchieff, how are you? Most people are aware of what you do. But please introduce yourself to the readers and tell them what you do.

First of all, I want to say that I am honoured that you asked me to do an interview with you. I know the hustle and dedication behind your work. I have the highest respect for you, my brother. My name is Shivan or Badchieff. I come from Gröbenzell and was born and raised here. I am an artist, DJ, producer, rapper and work in design. It’s a lot of things at once. To sum it up, I would simply say that I am an artist. That gives you the freedom to do what you want without being put in a box.

How did you start with music? I only know that you played in renowned clubs in Munich. That’s how you got into the music industry and met Cro. How did everything originally come about?

I produced early on, then quickly started DJing, and then I got in touch through Chelo to go on tour with Cro as a tour DJ. That was roughly the path I took. I’ve been making music for a long time. I think ultimately it made me more self-confident that I started releasing music. Today I don’t do much differently than I did then. Every day studio sessions and creating things.

What is the relationship between you and Cro? How do you relate to each other? Are you friends or does the music business come first?

With us, everything is based on friendship. The business part was never a thing with us. There were other contact persons in the team.

We have experienced a lot together in the last few years. He is definitely part of my family. He’s also been to my parents’ house for dinner from time to time, here in the studio, etc. Cro is a very good person and an artistic genius.

Your family – the Darouiche clan under whose wing you grew up – is known for its versatile creativity. How much has your creative environment influenced you?

One hundred per cent, I was lucky to grow up in a family where creativity and self-realisation come first. Doing what makes you happy, away from making money, is the number one goal. What also supports me is doing what I love.

Last year you released your first EP “1999”. What was it like working on the first EP? What was going through your mind when you were working on the project?

A lot has happened in the last year. I think my current EP has another thread. Everything fits together even better somehow. Thematically and also in terms of sound.  It’s been a lot of fun. I’m proud of what it is.

Your first official single that you released is called “Fast Forward”. Did you already release tracks before that?

Before that, I didn’t release any songs. I never had the feeling that I wanted to share my music with people. It wasn’t about making money with it. However, with this song it felt good. The moment was decided to go public with the music, but without any expectations.

You put Munich on the map. There is no artist from Munich who has made it as far as you have. How much do you stand by your hometown?

I think there are very many good artists from Munich, and the city has a lot of potential. I think Munich has influenced me a lot on my way. Especially in terms of DJing. I am very grateful for all that. I spent my childhood and the last few years primarily in my hometown of Gröbenzell, which is not directly part of Munich. Nevertheless, both places have a place in my heart. I’m always happy to see more people from here growing.

In the meantime you lived in Berlin. How was the time for you in the capital? 

I never really lived there. Just spent a lot of time there.

I enjoy being there every time because Berlin mostly means work and progress. A lot happens there. Lots of studio sessions, lots of shooting days etc. The mix of both is what makes it.

German rap is dominated by shisha bar rappers. You bring in new energy with your sound. You also have to say that it’s not easy for people of colour in the German rap scene. Do you think that it could have negative effects for you in the distant future? 

I think I generally do my best. I am aware that I don’t necessarily serve the mainstream. Both musically and visually. Still, I think what quality, heart and personality it will be able to work with continuity. I will continue and show people who doubt that it makes sense to go one’s own way and to stay true to oneself.

Last year you were nominated by PULS for the New Music Award 2020, as Newcomer of the Year. How does it feel to enjoy such success? Did you ever think you would make it this far in a short time?

It’s an honour to have been nominated and to see that people like my music and support me. Many things have happened in the last months and years that seemed very unbelievable. Enjoying every success feels like enjoying the first success. However, that is not my motivation.

You are always productive. Are there also days when you are unmotivated to make music? If so, how do you motivate yourself?

In principle, I think I do what I love, so I don’t have to motivate myself much. It comes naturally every morning, the demand to be the best version of myself and to do cool shit. If that’s not the case one morning, then that’s just part of it. Then I can’t do much either. I think there are always days or phases like that, but you would hear it in my music, I think. It doesn’t really make sense in a rush.

Would you like to give the youth any final closing words to take with them on their way?

You guys are dope. You only exist once out of more than 7 billion. So show the world what makes you tick and do what you love. Even if that means you have to do things first or go through little things that aren’t so fun. But it will be worth it for the bigger picture.