This summer, the song of the season was undoubtedly "Cheerleader" by Omi. The track was EVERYWHERE. But did you know the mastermind behind a lot of its success is producer/DJ Felix Jaehn? It's true!
Omi's "Cheerleader" is originally a Reggae song, released in 2012, and originally produced by Omi, Clifton Dillion, Mark Bradford, and Ryan Dillion. After being sent the song by his label, Felix turned it into a chart-topping, earworm. If you didn't know this already, don't feel too bad, because Felix himself admits to iHeartRadio, "A lot of people don't know, unfortunately."
Well, knowing that you enjoyed "Cheerleader," you may even be loving his current single, "Ain't Nobody," featuring Jasmine Thompson. And there's a lot more to come from Felix, because he's working on an entire album.
Felix recently stopped by iHeartRadio HQ in New York City where he sat down for a one on one interview to chat about himself and his music. Now that we know all about Felix, we highly recommend you get to know him too.
Here is everything you need to know about Felix Jaehn in our exclusive interview:
1. He entered got into music at a young age and has a classical background.
"I got in to music, when I was five or six. I played the violin for seven years. So I [have] a classical background from that. And then I dropped the violin when I was 14, for soccer and tennis, and got back into music when I was 15/16 through DJing. Just started at some birthday parties, and small club shows, and then kept developing my skills, and moved to London for a year to study music production and business and everything."
2. He remixed Omi's original reggae song "Cheerleader" into a chart-topping hit by using just the acapella, and built a whole new song around it.
"They [Ultra Records] sent me this song in January 2014. That was the original reggae song, and they were like 'Can you maybe do something with it?' And I was just listening to it, and I was like 'Yeah, I like the vibes. That's a cool vocal.' So, I used only the vocal, which is the acapella, and then sped it up, and then built the new track around it, essentially. And that took me two weeks. And I just put it out. Sent it to them, they liked it, Omi liked it, and then we released it. Then [it] just kept growing suddenly."
FYI, you can listen to the original "Cheerleader" song by Omi below:
3. The first time he heard his remixed version on the radio was in Sweden last October, while in the car on the way to the club.
"I think that was actually in Sweden in October 2014, because that's the country where it first started growing. It went number one in Sweden, end of the year. I was over there for some DJ shows, and that's where I heard it first. I was in the car in Stockholm, on my way to the club I think. I was just really, really happy. I had a big smile on my face, I was like, 'Yes!'"
4. He has a new single called "Ain't Nobody," which is a remake of Chaka Khan. His version features 14-year-old Jasmine Thompson.
"I thought yeah, let's do a cover. Before that, I had just discovered Jasmine Thompson's voice on the internet, because she did a great cover of Passenger's 'Let Her Go,' just found it on some blog. And then I really wanted to work with her, and it just went by the internet as well, it's really strange. But by now I've met Jasmine at least, because we were at the video shoot together in Barcelona. We had some performances together. But at first, it was the same story, just went via the internet. And then I put it up online, and it went number one on HypeMachine which are the blog charts. And then, at some point, our managements and the label had yet yet to make it an official single. And we were both, of course, really excited, because she's even younger than me."
5. His musical influences include Avicii, Calvin Harris, Sia, and Ed Sheeran.
"Producer-wise, coming from a similar genre, Avicii and Calvin Harris, which I think are really great, just because they're not all about the bass and the drops and EDM, because they're really song-based. I like that approach to have good music, and melodies, and a nice song, and then you can build the house production around it. And songwriting wise, I really admire Sia and Ed Sheeran. They're my two favorite singers and songwriters. And luckily I could already do a remix for both of them."
6. He grew up listening to a wide range of genres including hip hop, rock, and dance.
"I had different phases. I went through hip hop. I listened to Eminem and 50 Cent for a while. I listened to Linkin Park for a while to different ones, really. Sunrise Avenue. Anything really, any genre, and then I got more and more into electronic music with David Guetta and Avicii when I was a teenager."
7. He likes to listen to everything -- including German music.
"Calvin Harris's 'How Deep is Your Love' is absolutely amazing, as well as Sia and Ed Sheeran. And then there are, of course, some German songs I like to listen to by Clueso. He's a German singer/songwriter. And from my genre, a lot of stuff like Robin Schulz, Lost Frequencies, all my colleagues from my genre."
8. If he could collaborate with anyone, it would be Ed Sheeran or Sia.
Speaking of which, check out his remix of Ed Sheeran's latest single "Photograph":
9. The first concert he ever went to was 50 Cent.
"I think it was 50 Cent, actually. I was 11/12. I was in Hamburg. And it was actually quite weird because it was supposed to be a 50,000 people show in a big stadium, and we had great tickets, and we got really excited. But then there was a soccer match, I think it was the World Cup at the same time, so then no one went to the concert, and they moved it to an open-air area. It was like three or four thousand people. So it was kind of a weird experience, but he still did a great show, and we had a lot of fun."
10. If he wasn't a musician, he would be hitting the books.
"I would study economics right now. I was enrolled three times for different courses. Economics, media management, different stuff. But then I moved it, year by year. You always need a backup plan. But luckily, in the mean time, my music got successful, and now I don't have to think about studying anymore. At least not for now."
11. He's currently working on a full length studio album, and already has a lot of material completed.
"I think I'm actually quite far. I have 20 demos I like. So that's already too much for one album. But, of course, I just want to keep working, and to have the best possible songs at the end. I was at studios all around Europe. I was writing around Stockholm, and Oslo, and Amsterdam, and London, and meeting great singers, and songwriter talents. Actually, I'm working with the singers, and that's better. With the remixes, I haven't even met them. And with my original songs, I can actually be in the studio with the musicians, so that's a great experience."
12. The first song that he ever produced is called "Sommer Am Meer" ("Summer by the Sea" in German).
"It was an original song called 'Sommer Am Meer,' which is 'Summer by the Sea' in German. If I listened to it today, I'm like, 'I could have done many things differently.' But I guess that's always the case when you keep working and practicing."
13. If he could live on one food for the rest of his life, it would be fruit!
"I was going to say something like sushi, but I can't imagine having sushi for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So, maybe it would be fruit. I think you feel better eating fruits all day. Like an apple or something. Because imagine having sushi three times a day, for a week. You'd be dying."
14. His guilty pleasure is snacking late-night in the studio. And he loves peanuts and chips.
"Snacks, like crisps or whatever. I love eating snacks at night time. When you're at the studio late, and you just eat, eat, eat."
15. Here are his favorite emojis:
The peace sign emoji, the hands in the air emoji, and the celebration emoji!
Photos: Rachel Kaplan for iHeartRadio