A Conversation with Jan Metternich: German Pop Rap Pioneer
19-year-old Jan Metternich from Germany brought us some of the most innovative music to come out of 2020. This genre-blending music has taken him far in just a short period of time. His single “Wrong” put him on the map, hitting over 1 million streams on Spotify. Jan’s pop hip-hop sound presents emotional lyricism and vocals on top of bass-heavy hip-hop beats. He also mixes elements of rock and other genres within the production. Jan creates every aspect of his music, from the lyrics and vocals to the production and mastering.
His 11k followers on Instagram and almost 200k monthly listeners on Spotify prove the strength of the connection he’s creating with his listeners. Jan Metternich is one of the most exciting artists on the rise due to his ability to connect with listeners so strongly through his lyrics and raw emotional vocals.
Tell us a little about yourself and your musical background. What got you into music in the first place and what was the first instrument you learned?
I’m an artist from Germany. When I was 6-years-old I started to play the guitar. I always had a passion to make music. After a few years, I tried to sing and record many song covers. 2 years ago I released my first own single.
What music did you listen to growing up and which artists inspire you the most?
I used to play many Metallica songs on my guitar and they really inspired me. When I started singing, Ed Sheeran was my biggest inspiration. I literally learned to play every single song of him and went to a few concerts.
When you’re starting a new song, do you typically start with the beat or lyrics first and why?
Yes, I typically start with the beat. Usually with the instrumental melody. Sometimes I have a vocal melody in my head. Then I just record it and build the beat on top. The lyrics are always the last step I do. I just freestyle the melodies. Mostly the text makes no sense at this point. So I have to change it afterwards.
What DAW did you use when you first started producing and what DAW do you use now? What do you suggest for artists just starting out?
I first used Garage Band but switched to Logic Pro after a few weeks. I spent all the money I got from making street music. If you’re just starting I recommend to first use a free DAW because it’s not that bad. The stock plugins are quite trash, but you download a lot of free stuff even for Garage Band. Maybe I’ll switch to FL Studio in the future for my beats because it’s a bit easier.
What tips do you have for international artists that are looking to expand their fanbase to the US and other countries?
That’s really hard to tell but always engage a lot with your listeners. You can contact playlist curators from the country you want your music to get heard. You have to be really careful though because there are so many fake playlists and playlists that doesn’t fit your music. All that don’t help at all.
What form of promotion has been most successful for you?
TikTok helps your music a lot. To be honest I don’t really like that platform. I don’t really watch any videos but it’s really good to create music related content.
If you were reincarnated into any animal, which animal would you want it to be?
I’m not sure. Maybe an ant because I had to work a lot to reach my goals.