An alternative bio of one of the most in-demand DJs on the circuit
As the end of the 2017 approaches, it’s safe to say that this has been yet another year in which Solomun’s stock has continued to rise. He has been a constant presence at all the major dance music events across Europe, with his appearance on the main stage at Tomorrowland being one of the highlights. His two parties out on Ibiza, Solomun+1 and Solomun+Live, are still among the biggest draws on the island, and one of his two record labels, Diynamic, is now in its second decade, as ever, a home for exciting upcoming artists. He has also remained active in the studio and his remix of Age of Love was always guaranteed to become one of the tracks of the summer. But who exactly is Solomun and how much do you know about him? Here’s a guide to some of the things you might not have been aware of before.
1. He isn’t German
Although sometimes erroneously referred to as ‘the big German’, Solomun isn’t actually from Germany. Solomun moved to Germany with his parents as a young child and it was in his adopted hometown of Hamburg that he discovered electronic music, becoming involved in the scene from his teens. When he speaks English, he speaks with a German accent – but he was born in the town of Travnik, around 90km from Sarajevo, in present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina.
2. He was tapped up for the Germany under-16s football team
As a youngster, Solomun was a keen sportsman and gifted footballer – so much so that he was asked to play for the German national under-16s. He refused, however, because, despite having spent much of his life in Germany, he still felt a significant connection to his homeland and wasn’t comfortable playing for another country. Perhaps if he had chosen differently, we might never have known Kackvogel or his remix of Noir & Haze – but we might have seen him picking up a World Cup winners’ medal with the rest of the German team in Brazil 2014.
3. Just exactly how tall is he?
Perhaps it was partly his large frame that gave him the edge on the football pitch as a youngster but just how tall is the big man? Apparently, he measures in at an impressive 1.9m. Some less generous observers might venture to suggest that this considerable verticality may go some way towards explaining the common perception that he is, well…a terrible dancer.
He’s not the tallest DJ out there, though. As the name suggests, popular late 90s DJ, Tall Paul, towers over Solomun, reaching above the 2m mark.
4. A true man of many talents
We all know about Solomun’s prowess on the decks as well as his capabilities in the studio and we’ve already mentioned his footballing skills. However, he also dabbled in a couple of other areas before finding his true calling. His first job was on a building site when he followed his father into the construction industry – although he soon realised his destiny lay elsewhere. Before he discovered electronic music, his creative impulses also led him to found a film production company with some of his friends, and they went on to produce and direct a number of short films together. Solomun is still a big fan of movies and counts film making as a kind of hobby. His filmmaking abilities are showcased in the video for one of his biggest earliest successes, Kackvogel, to which he offered considerable artistic input.
He can’t do everything, though. We’ve already alluded to the fact that he’s known as a bit of a dodgy dancer. He’s nobody’s sartorial guru, either. Unless you’re into very, very plain clothes.
5. The track that started it all off was…
Solomun claims the track that inspired him to start playing and making electronic music was Bohannon by Antonelli, which he heard played out live by Antonelli at the first techno party he attended as a teenager in Hamburg. It’s true that, listening to this track again now, it’s easy to see the influence it had on Solomun’s future musical output.
6. His Boiler Room appearance is the stuff of legends
Uploaded in January 2015, Solomun’s Boiler Room set has garnered a huge cult following and is now the second most watched Boiler Room in history. The video is edging towards an incredible 30 million views and only trails Carl Cox’s legendary Boiler Room performance by around a million. It’s not just the music that makes it so compelling but also the action and intrigue in the background as Solomun imperturbably goes about the business of lining up the tunes, dressed from head to toe in his sombre uniform of all black and sporting a pair of dark shades. The near two-hour set is a true epic and watching the drama unfold behind him is somewhat akin to sitting through a full-length suspense-filled Hollywood thriller.
Moving towards the end of the year and into the next, Solomun will no doubt continue to find plenty of work to keep himself busy. He has two record labels to run as well as his nights out on the White Isle which will see him playing at Pacha long after most of the other clubs have shut down for the winter and the majority of punters have long since departed. Somewhere in his hectic schedule, he also manages to find time to make new music.
If there’s one thing you can say about Solomun, it’s that he has always been driven by true passion for the music – even if it’s not always immediately obvious when you see him in the DJ booth. If you’re a fan of his particular brand of deep house, then you will certainly have enjoyed 2017. We don’t yet know what Solomun has planned for 2018, but we can be sure that with his insatiable drive to create and his enduring love for electronic music, his ever-increasing army of admirers is extremely unlikely to find themselves disappointed.