Jan Delay is the reggae alias of Jan Ei+ƒfeldt, a founding member of the German hip-hop collective Beginner who first found fame with his signature lyrical wit and lisping, nasal voice. Born in Hamburg in 1976, Ei+ƒfeldt co-founded Absolute Beginners in 1991. After changing its name to Beginner, the group earned notoriety in 1992 when one of its earliest songs, "K.E.I.N.E.," appeared on the Kill the Nation with a Groove mix, followed one year later by the release of Beginner's first proper EP, Gotting. In the wake of 1996's breakthrough Flashnizm, Ei+ƒfeldt founded his own label, Eimsbush, which quickly emerged as one of the premier imprints in German rap.
With 1998's "Liebes Lied," Beginner scored its first German Top Ten hit and earned a coveted spot opening for the Beastie Boys on tour. Ei+ƒfeldt nevertheless confounded fans and critics alike when he issued the first Jan Delay single in 1999. A reggae cover of the Nena smash "Irgendwo, Irgendwie, Irgendwann," the record was nevertheless well received. A full-length LP, Searching for the Jan Soul Rebels, followed two years later. After reuniting with Beginner for 2003's chart-topping Blast Action Heroes, Ei+ƒfeldt resumed his solo pursuits, favoring a soulful, funky sound on 2006's Mercedes Dance. More Jan Delay albums followed, including a pair of live releases and a popular studio album, Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Soul. ~ Jason Ankeny
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