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Hand fixing volume on guitar

Hand fixing volume on guitar ()

While traveling across Germany, I try to stay out of my hotel room as much as possible; however, I must go to bed sometime. It is during this time that I find myself channel surfing and usually land on German MTV where I make great musical discoveries. Thanks to modern technology, many U.S. pop artists are very popular here: At the time of writing Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers” is one of the top hits in Germany. Nonetheless, Germany is filled with wonderful and talented artists of their own. Listening to German music has opened my mind to a variety of musical genres and currently helps me practice my German. Here are a few to add to your playlists.

1.    voXXclub (For fans of Backstreet Boys, NSYNC and One Direction): Many people don’t know that boy bands were huge in Germany before they were trendy in the 1990s and early 2000s in the U.S., and boy bands remain popular in Germany today. voXXclub began in a flash mob in Munich in 2013 and this lederhosen-wearing group combines folk, pop, rock and yodeling musicality to put out catchy hits such as “Kangaroo” and “I Mog di So.”

2.    Leony (For fans of Selena Gomez, Taylor Swift and Demi Lovato): If you want to ease into German music, Leony is a great choice. She sings in English and her music is very “poppy” and you will definitely find yourself “bee-bopping” along. I recommend her songs “Somewhere in Between” and “Remedy,” the 2023 German Kids’ Choice Award Winner for “Best Catchy Tune.”

3.    Tokio Hotel (For fans of Simple Plan, Boys Like Girls and Panic! at the Disco): I might age myself here (if my Backstreet Boys references didn’t already give me away) but I was in high school when pop punk really took off in the mid-to-late 2000s. During the craze, a German pop-punk band made its way to the hearts (and ears) of American teenagers, Tokio Hotel. Since they were attracting an American audience, they put out an entire English-language album, “Scream” in 2007. I recommend listening to that album or the German version, “Schrei.” Nowadays you can catch them on Kraftklub’s new song, “Fahr mit mich.”

4.    Namika (For fans of Ariana Grande, Sara Bareilles and Christina Perry): She has a sound similar to Leony but sings primarily in German. Even with the language barrier, I find myself enjoying “Liebe ist…” with Zaz and her 2015 hit, “Lieblingsmensch.” “Lieblingsmench” climbed to the number one spot after seven weeks on the radio waves and her music, overall, is a combination of hip-hop, jazz and pop.

5.    Scorpions (For fans of Poison, Warrant and Def Leppard): If the name sounds familiar, it should. They are the reason “Rock you like a Hurricane” gets stuck in your head. This rock band was a part of the 80s hair band craze in America and many people don’t know that they are German. In 2022, they released an album, “Rock Believer,” a mix of new and old tunes that still has that awesome 80s rock sound.

Honorable Mention: Of course, we cannot talk about German music without talking about the “the Hoff,” David Hasselhoff. Hasselhoff’s rock music career did not take off in America in the 80s. However, his album was number one in Austria and also topped the pop charts in Germany and Switzerland. In 1989, Hasselhoff donned a light-up jacket and cemented his icon status in Germany while performing, “Looking for Freedom” on the debris of the fallen Berlin Wall (a cover of a 1970s song, “Auf der Strasse Nach Süden”). You can watch the performance on YouTube here.

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Tamala Malerk is a writer and editor with Stars and Stripes Europe. She has been with SSE since April 2022 writing articles all about travel, lifestyle, community news, military life and more. In May 2022, she earned her Ph.D. in History and promises it is much more relevant to this job than one might think.

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