What are some songs worse than Friday
Seven:"The worst ever happened"
He has the most beautiful voice in Switzerland: Seven. The singer reveals which CD fundamentally changed his life, talks about his relationship with Nena and explains why he has recently started singing in German.
Half past two in the afternoon in the “Kaufleuten Lounge” in Zurich. The television broadcaster TV24 has invited to the media day for “Sing my song - the Swiss exchange concert”. 45 minutes of talk time are confirmed with soul singer Seven, the host of the show.
There is a lot of activity in the lounge. It is whispered. Francine Jordi is on the phone, suddenly she laughs out loud. Marc Storace and Ritschi give interviews to two radio stations. Together with Stefanie Heinzmann, Steff la Cheffe and Loco Escrito, who were not seen that afternoon, the three will reinterpret each other's songs.
The new TV show starts on February 21st. Well then, let's find out what your hosts Seven are.
Seven, we're making one todayQuestion and answer game: I will ask you as many questions as possible in the next 45 minutes and you will answer as quickly and spontaneously as possible.
If a question doesn't suit you, just say 'continue'.
Continue ... Continue ... that was now a test (laughs).
First I have to say, I think you have the most beautiful singing voice in Switzerland ...
... oh, merci.
Once, a few years ago, I heard a song from you on the radio one evening and thought for a moment that it was young Michael Jackson singing.
I pull my hat on with a big feather ... - but you probably just don't hear well(laughs).
Is it really true that when you were twelve you appeared at a wedding party as a Michael Jackson impersonator?
That's right - by the way, it was the first 50 francs I earned as a singer. Michael Jackson was my first musical idol, his record 'Off The Wall' opened doors for me. I loved music before, but this disc changed everything. Shortly afterwards I went to the carnival as Michael Jackson - with hat and gloves.
And you can feel it for the first time - the passion of the musician, his fire.
Did you blackfacing?
No, I was traveling as a white Jackson.
How much do you earn per gig today?
I hope it's more than 50 francs. But I also have significantly larger expenses than before. At that time, a boom box was enough to accompany me. Today I'm on stage with my band.
Who discovered your voice?
I sang from an early age, always and everywhere. But my first music teacher checked that I might be a little more talented than others. He said I had to sing along in the choir.
What happened next?
I was eight or nine when my 14-year-old brother's band was looking for a singer. I was allowed to go to the rehearsal, where a microphone was pressed into my hand. The other band members, all much older, said afterwards: 'You sing black.' That was also a decisive moment. Another great gift is: My brother is still in my band to this day. We have been making music together for over 30 years.
When you published your first album as Seven in 2002, you were announced as the first Swiss soul singer. In an interview you once said, 'for some it was like a turtle wanted to play basketball'. How was it for you
I haven't really thought about it. I never thought: Hey, I want to do something that no one has ever done in Switzerland. I just did - did what I can, what I love more than anything.
Seven is your stage name. What does the number seven mean to you?
Seven is my lucky number. I like to park in parking lot number seven ...
... and do you always book the seventh row on the plane?
Not always, but if it works somehow, then yes. I admit I'm a little superstitious. The number seven is at the same time very approachable for me and on the other hand a bit spooky. And, most importantly, my all-time favorite Prince song is called 'Seven'.
You grew up in a family of musicians - the mother a pianist, the father a tenor. Was it clear to you from an early age: I want to be a musician?
Music was always in my life. I think that's why there was never that one moment when I decided: I'm going to be a musician. You are a musician or you are not. Whether music will eventually become a profession and you can earn money with it is a completely different decision.
Have you never fought the music because you didn't feel like it anymore?
No. Perhaps that has to do with the fact that I never felt any pressure at home with my parents that I absolutely had to become a musician. As a young person I indulged in a wide variety of musical styles: I was the drummer in a rock band, sang in a funk band with my brother and was a member of an a cappella band.
In what ways is your family particularly weird?
In Switzerland it is rather unusual for the whole family to make music and earn money with it. And then we have Datwylers (Civil surname of Seven, editor's note) Another special hobby: We like to twist words. We find it easy to mix up letters. Who knows, maybe that has something to do with it, because our family comes from the same place as comedian Peach Weber. I think that in Wohlen in the canton of Aargau there is a bit of sucking lattism on every kitchen table (laughs uproariously).
Of course, Seven answers way too long to get all the questions down in 45 minutes. The interviewer is already under pressure, but of course he doesn't show anything.
Your great, unsatisfied longing as a 14-year-old teenager?
I wanted to be the friend of Sheila E., Prince's drummer.
Is music being promoted enough in Swiss schools?
No not at all. Creative subjects such as music and sports are mainly used as break elements between the supposedly important subjects. However, the fact is: A CEO of a major Swiss bank has to deal with new problems every day. And to be able to solve these, you need creativity. Creativity, which unfortunately is not promoted enough in our school system.
What songs do you sing when you're stuck in a traffic jam?
It all depends on my mood.
Do you also sing your own songs?
Certainly not - my motto in the car is: No blasphemy while I'm stuck in a traffic jam.
Where does your wife Zahra prefer to sing?
She sings everywhere. My wife sings almost more at home than I do - and always: jazz, jazz, jazz.
Is your wife a good singer?
A very good singer, in fact.
What part of your wife's body is so beautiful that you would like to sing a song about it?
Your soul - and there are already a lot of songs about it.
Which do you like best?
‹Still›, it's the second pre-release single of my new album ‹Brandneu›, which will be released at the end of February.
Your absolute favorite singer?
Whitney Houston - forever and ever.
Your absolute favorite singer?
A mix of Freddie Mercury and Prince.
So far: the warm-up program. And now: questions about the new TV show.
You are the host of the Swiss version of 'Sing my Song', which will be shown on TV 24 from February 21st. Did you decide on your own which singers are allowed to sing on the show?
Sole rule, kingdom me (laughs)- yes, it was my decision who could be part of the first season.
Which singers have you canceled?
The announcement for 'Sing my song' states that the most successful singers in Switzerland will be there. But then Luca Hänni should also be part of the party ...
You're right, of course, that there should be a lot of other musicians too. But for the first season Stefanie Heinzmann, Francine Jordi, Steff La Cheffe, Loco Escrito, Ritschi and Marc Storace were my dream choices. And I can tell you this much: My magic formula has proven itself.
How do you see your role as a host?
Giving passes, but not scoring goals.
At ‹Sing my song - the Swiss swap concert› is all about cover versions. How have you fared in the past when your songs have been covered?
It's always a great honor when someone covers a song of mine. What could be nicer than when someone invests their creativity, their passion in one of my songs. I feel totally upset every time.
To ‹Sing my song› also includes the criticism that the singers exercise among themselves. How well do you deal with criticism?
I am an extreme perfectionist. I can only handle criticism badly if it is correct.
What if it is wrong?
Then it bounces off me.
In the German format “Sing my Song” it is often very personal - in the Swiss version the same?
We'll see when the show goes on air. The Swiss are generally considered to be more cautious. In any case, I am super satisfied with the result.
Who criticized the nicest, who the hardest?
Those who take part in 'Sing my song' have internalized the following commandments: respect, reverence for the task and humility. Nobody fights with the sword during the broadcast, because nobody should be destroyed.
What song from another artist would you have liked to write yourself?
Wow, this list would be forever ... ‹Fields Of Gold› by Sting ... jesses god, there would be a thousand other songs, but this song by Sting is a very, very special track.
You have already participated in the German version of 'Sing my Song', selected the super hit '99 Luftballons' by Nena and hit the first line. Would you like to sink into the ground the moment you realized the mistake?
When I hit the line, I wanted to go home straight away. In retrospect, however, it became clear to me that it was the best thing that could have happened to me. A year earlier, Xavier Naidoo asked me if I would like to take part in the show. I agreed - after that the tension built up more month after month because I knew what a great platform it would be for me. But of course my fear increased that I might spank it ...
... and then spank it at the first possible moment.
Exactly, the worst that could happen happened. But at the same time all the nervousness fell away from me and from one moment to the next I was much, much more relaxed. Because I knew: it couldn't get any worse.
Is it really true that Nena herself did not notice that you sang a wrong line?
Is it also true that Nena didn't want a Nena song you sang to make it onto the 'Sing my song' album? The reason: She thought your version was too good.
A question that I can neither answer in the affirmative nor in the negative.
In that case, I assume the rumor is true.
I can neither affirm nor deny that either.
So is the rumor true? After the interview, the journalist can neither answer in the affirmative nor in the negative, even if he believes that there is a tendency.
What makes a good cover version?
Imitation doesn't work at all - I have to make the song my own.
Do you need a certain state of mind on stage?
Yes - well rested, awake, eaten well and totally alcohol-free.
Her facial derangements when singing are legendary - or as Annett Louisan once said: ‹Your whole body sings along!›
Or as TheBossHoss said: 'Face fair'. I found this description even better (laughs uproariously). I know when I sing it often looks like I'm really, really hurt.
Is your vote actually insured?
Good question - I have to make a phone right away. Can we take a break
Is there any music you hate?
I have to make a phone first now ... No, no, that was a joke now. Is there any music that I hate? I do not think so. Maybe I can't do much with the people who produce the tones. But the music can't help it, after all, music is just air that moves. Ultimately, the sender is always decisive. But if the artist really likes his music, it doesn't really matter if I like the music. I think authenticity legitimizes everything.
Do you always wear the same shoes to the concerts?
Jesse god, no, no, I have so many different shoes. It has also happened that I only wore a pair of shoes to a single concert, then put them back in the box and wrote the date of the concert on them.
Violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter wears sleeveless dresses to better feel her violin on the skin. Do you prefer to sing in a t-shirt or suit?
I belong to the group that thinks: clothes make music, and the concert venue makes the style of clothing. If I give an unplugged concert and the audience is seated, I like to wear a suit. At an open air, however, I prefer to appear in a T-shirt.
What is the point of music? Why do they even exist?
Music is the most universal language there is in the world. Music is the language in which everyone immediately feels something, regardless of where they come from or how old they are. Music shows you again and again how alike we all actually are.
A life without music would be for you ...
What is like a passion for music in your life?
Nothing. Music is my first love. Music is a feeling, an urge, an addiction, a need, an inability to deal with one another, a compulsion.
And what about your Nike sneakers collection?
This is my collector gene. I was nine or ten when I got my first Michael Jordan shoes. But I'm not as pissed off as I was a few years ago. I used to go to conventions to buy or trade shoes.
In 2012 you said in the 'Schweizer Illustrierte': ‹My wife and I have a common dressing room. But I have more shoes than her.
I definitely still have more shoes than my wife.
How many Nike sneakers are there right now?
311 or 312 pairs.
And including a receipt?
No, because that would look like I would like to exchange the shoes at some point. But I definitely don't want that. Many pairs are still unworn and in their original packaging. But I have to say: I've been supported by Nike for ten years, and before that I sold Nike shoes for two years at Jelmoli in Zurich. That means I was always at the source. During the teenage years, however, it was very different: I had to save for months for each model.
Training breaks make athletes better, and singers too?
Which addictions are you particularly prone to?
Do you have to crawl to write songs?
I don't have a recipe for writing songs - and that's a good thing. Otherwise it would be like painting by numbers. And that's definitely not what making music is for me. It can happen that I wake up in the morning and have to cancel all appointments immediately because I feel: Today I have to write a song.
Your new album will be released these days. It's called 'brand new'. If everything gets brand new, does that mean that Seven is totally reinventing herself as a musician?
I actually did that on each of my albums because I've never made a record that sounded similar to the one before. The new CD is special in that, at the age of 41, I released a recording for the first time on which I only sing in German. A change that has been a long, very long process behind it.
Are you new to singing in German because that means your chances of success in Germany are greater?
If someone wanted to assume that I was calculating, then I would have had to produce this album five years ago - right after my appearances in 'Sing my Song Germany'.
What is different for you when you sing in German instead of English?
It's a lot more direct. In the past year and a half, I've played the two pre-singles 'Soul' and 'Still' at over 150 concerts, without knowing whether they would ever appear on an album. Almost every concert there were emotional outbursts, tears ran, and there were often standing ovations for two songs that the audience had never actually known. I totally got it.
Unlike when I sing in English, people understand German songs immediately. I had to get used to this “being full of blood” first.
Which is more difficult: writing songs in German or English?
English sounds flat less quickly. ‹I miss you so much› sounds okay, but with a line like ‹I miss you so much› you have to be careful that it doesn't sound too much like Schlager.
In autumn you will go on tour in Switzerland and Germany. There are bands that have banned cell phones for their concerts - what do you think of that?
I can understand why bands do it that way. However, I'm a person who doesn't like being told what to do and what not to do - and that's why that's not an option for my concerts. Incidentally, it is also a reason why I founded my own record label for my new album and no longer have a major label behind me. I am a free spirit, I like to go my own way.
As a musician you have a large audience. Do you feel a responsibility to give your fans political food for thought?
Um ... - I feel a responsibility towards my audience in the sense that if I pay money for a concert, then I want to be able to go out afterwards and say: It was worth it. But of course, if something annoys me, I verbalize it on stage. That's why I recorded the song ‹The People Are We› together with Kool Savas and Nico Suave and found hard words against right-wing extremism. When something is bothering me, when something is upsetting me, I don't write it down in a diary, it becomes a song.
Oops, that was his first political statement.
Do you know rituals shortly before the concert?
I am someone who has to be very aware of what I want to do on stage. That's why I rehearse a lot before a tour. The backstage area is also very important to me. But because it looks different in every place, I always pack my suitcase exactly the same at home.
Are you falling into a deep slump after a concert?
That would mean that I would fall into a low a hundred times a year. That wouldn't be healthy. When a tour is over, I feel a relief that is also exhaustion. But inside I still remained such a child that I immediately have the next idea and want to keep running. No, I've never fallen into depression after touring.
Concerts usually take place in the evening - is that okay or would you rather sing in front of an audience in the morning?
Evenings are good - but I'm happy that I can usually play at 7 or 8 p.m. There are bands that have a different audience than we do and they don't play until midnight. That would definitely be too late for me.
About the author
“Bluewin” editor Bruno Bötschi speaks regularly to well-known personalities for the question-and-answer game “Bötschi asks”. Bötschi has a lot of experience with interviews. For years he was in charge of the series “Traumfänger” for the magazine “Schweizer Familie”. He asked over 200 personalities: As a child you have many dreams - do you remember? The book for the series “Traumfänger” has been published by Applaus Verlag, Zurich. It is available in bookshops.
What do you regret when you look back?
Anyone who is a table bomb like me and pursues each of his crazy ideas with full force and the broadest chest, better not regret anything in life. Of course, in retrospect I would approach some things differently, but I have no regrets about it.
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