Felix Jaehn is dancing with a message: be unapologetically yourself. Following a year of self-evaluation, mastering the art of meditation, and spending quality time with family and close friends at his countryside home in Germany, the internationally-renowned artist is ready to debut his newest album ‘Breathe’. With a handful of singles already out, one being his most recent release ‘I Got A Feeling’, ravers and those simply seeking the pitter-patter of pure elation can get a quick tease of the person behind the headlining name Felix Jaehn. Pack a bag, we’ll drive… together let’s journey through the beautifully-laced melodics that are streaming now!
I am so excited to talk to you. I’ve been trying to set up an interview since your release of ‘I Just Wanna’, so it’s been a bit of time but how have you been?
I’ve been super well. Surprisingly well considering the difficult times. For me personally, aside from the fact that I’ve sacrificed some shows and being able to travel, life has been good. I’ve been really happy with my family, my friends, and my partner. I’ve been busy with the new album so there’s been a lot going on. I’m excited for everything.
That makes me so happy to hear. Going off of the pandemic, how has your day-to-day changed? Before you were touring and performing. Are there things now that you’ve picked up? New hobbies or things that you’ve learned about yourself?
Well the first thing that really picked up in my life is private and family stuff. That was the nice little side effect of it all. Before I was traveling and so were my brothers, so this was the first time where we were all united together again. We lived as a family, cooked and have dinner. We live in the countryside so we could chill in the garden and have a fire going on. It was kind of nice. It felt like a fortification in a way. This was for the first couple of weeks during the first lockdown then it started to get a little more annoying haha. I was like… oh no. This is going on for a while now. I thought this was just going to be a small break!
I don’t think anyone knew that it was going to be this long!
I know, it’s crazy… and I was just lucky because the last weekend before the shutdown, I was in LA shooting a music video for ‘Sicko’ with GASHI. I also had two weeks of songwriting so I was able to go home with all the new songs and time in the studio to get the album together. It kind of worked out well. All of this time at home was nice in a way. Now, after all this time, I’m ready to go. I miss playing, I miss touring, I miss meeting everybody.
Well things are picking up a bit! Do you have any shows coming up?
I don’t have anything scheduled right now. It’s still a little more difficult in Germany than it is in the U.S. It’s like… I have a show planned in three weeks, I get an offer today, then it two weeks they have to cancel again. New regulations. There are some clubs opening up now. I might have some club shows in October which is exciting because I could have an album release party and some shows, but with all of the events picking up across Europe it’s still on and off. Obviously I can’t travel to the U.S still. I might be able to get in through Mexico but I’d have to quarantine for two weeks before going into the U.S. In an album phase, I feel like quarantining for two weeks in a hotel alone to play a few shows is too crazy. I’d rather wait for next year when it’s hopefully a bit easier.
You can listen to ‘So Close’ below:
I feel like this year has gone by quicker than last year, so hopefully 2022 comes, and you’re really able to get out there again. I know personally, I’m itching to see you live. I don’t when that will be, but hopefully relatively soon.
It’ll be next year, but the good news is that I have the time to prepare. I have so much new music. I’ve been DJing at home with 5-10 people. I’ve reconnected and found my passion, again. Originally, I started by DJing birthday parties where I could really party with the crowd. So through this, I kind of reconnected with the club party DJ vibe again. For years I was a headliner for big clubs and festivals which is amazing too, but a completely different vibe compared to play a club party DJ set.
It’s cool! That’s a nice change in pace. It seems like growth and progress, too. I was going to ask you… I’m familiar with a lot of your work, but for an example since one of your earlier projects like ‘Cheerleader’, how have you noticed yourself change as an artist?
After 2008 which was when I released my debut album that included ‘Ain’t Nobody’, ‘Cheerleader’, and all of those earlier records… since then my main focus has been songwriting which is pretty fun. I am actually in the sessions co-writing. ‘Breathe’ is a lot more personal. The songs are lyrically connected and they talk about my personal transformation. I open up a lot about things like my mental health struggle, bisexuality, and stuff like that. I was able to put a lot of that into my songs with a personal message and positive twist. This was a lot of fun for me because I was able to approach it differently than before. Before, I was focused on being a DJ, producer, and remixer, but now there’s even more Felix into those songs. In 2019, I’d say I was going into a deep phase where I started playing deep house and techno. I was going more dark and cool. When the pandemic happened and there became so much negativity out there, I reconnected with my melodic and positive side. I ended up saying to my team… you know those deep and dark songs that I was playing? Let’s drop all of that and make some happy tunes. We need some happy songs!
You going through all of that and transforming into someone who is so unapologetically yourself… that warms my heart. Hitting subjects like mental health, opening up, and just being your true authentic self, especially in this industry, is so hard to do. I know you initially projected yourself to be this artist and producer, you probably spent a lot of time trying to determine how to brand yourself best… but truthfully from a fan’s perspective having that glimpse of who you really are means the world. I feel like I can relate more now knowing who you are. Circling back to mental health, I understand that going from touring and traveling 24/7 to not so quickly can be really hard. How have you been able to cope with that level of change?
Being with my family definitely helped me through that time. We all helped each other and there were different phases like at some point someone was going a little crazy just because it is so weird to not see anyone for weeks and months, especially in the countryside. We were completely isolated. We didn’t see anyone except for our closest friends and family for months. But we learned that we can be happy within ourselves. Everything that comes in addition comes as a blessing. My gratitude for life has risen at least one-hundred times. Any time I go to a restaurant or see people I’m like… oh my gosh! This is so amazing haha. It used to be so normal, right? So I also mastered meditation. That is why my album is called ‘Breathe’ because breathing and meditation has really helped me through this time. I took all this time roaming the countryside. I took about three hours a day to meditate and exercise. Just be in nature and hike the forests. I was super grounded and connect to mother earth, so even having just a cup of tea made me so happy. Now I’m like this is so great, I have water to drink, food to eat, and electricity. All of those little things, I feel so blessed.
I am so impressed that you’ve learned how to meditate. I have genuinely tried, and maybe I still don’t put myself in the right environment, but I just can’t get a good grip of it. I get so easily distracted. I overthink all of the time. That is why I’m so obsessed with music. It’s hard for me mentally to take myself out of the real world, to breath… through music, it innately creates this oasis for me while still proceeding with my every day life. One day I hope I can be on your level. I do exercise though and feel somewhat connected to nature. I can hike! I live in Arizona so there’s plenty for hiking areas, but things like meditation I have to work on. I do want to dive into your newest song ‘ I Got A Feeling’. So this this is your second single with Georgia Ku?
Yes, it is. The first one was ‘So Close’.
Okay… so I have to say and relate to that song particularly. Many people had pandemic flings, I was one of those people. ‘So Close’ was the ultimate soundtrack to that phase in my life. The ultimate pandemic fling breakup. Not the sad part where I’m crying, but the phase where I’m like okay I’m fine. Screw you, screw this, we were so close but I’ll be okay. It’s your loss and I’ll move on haha. But following that collaboration, I was so happy to see that there was this second project with her. From ‘So Close’ to ‘I Got A Feeling’, how has the production process changed? How has your friendship grown?
The work process was actually exactly the same. We wrote it together with the Captain Cuts‘ boys in LA. ‘So Close’ was our first ever session and it worked out so well. We were like okay let’s have another one. Then in the second session we wrote ‘I Got A Feeling’ and THEN we had a third sessions where we wrote a song that is also on the album haha. It seems like we have a crazy connection. We had three days in the studio and now we have three songs on the album. This time with ‘I Got A Feeling’, we were able to get some promo together. Shot a music video. Last weekend on my birthday, we were able to perform the song in Germany on live TV. We could actually do the artist thing together and be on stage. It was so cool. I’m so happy for her because now she is starting to put more time into her own artist project. She is a great artist and a great writer with lots of hit songs that she’s made for others. Now she’s finally properly working on her artist project and I’m super happy for her.
I am a huge fan of hers, as well. Like you said she is a great artist and I’ve definitely acknowledged all of the amazing projects that she has executed. It’s so cool that you’ve found someone who you can seamlessly collaborate with. So you said there’s a third one…?!
Shhhh… it’s called ‘Old Me’. It’s about the phase where I was still holding back and when I had my doubts, but that was the old me. It’s about me reaching out and saying I was complicated, I had my doubts, but those were my own insecurities. I just wasn’t ready for you. Now, I’m here for it and let’s go all the way.
I am so excited to hear it on the album! This makes me want to see you live that much more haha. But you know what’s better than just seeing you perform live? Connecting on a personal level through conversation, even if it’s just ZOOM.
I’ve really enjoyed this conversation, as well, thank you.
I wish we had more time, but I know we have to wrap up. I am so excited to see that you’re doing well and to hear that you’re doing well. If there’s ever a time in the future where we can talk more, I would love to just dissect your brain further because you are such a talented person. I get such a great energy from you.
Thank you, thank you. I didn’t even ask you properly, how are you? Are you doing alright?