Sometimes a single word is enough to tell a story. The song titles of YOUNOTUS are such a case: “Lessons”, “Serenity”, “Hush”, “Pandora” – just on reading them, the cinema film starts in your head. When then the music of the Berlin DJ and producer duo comes along, finally a whole movie runs: thrusting club feeling meets high pop appeal, atmospheric melodies on lyrics rich in content, Berlin underground on the ability to play effortlessly on large festival stages.
For a good three years, Tobias and Gregor, who met while studying at the University of Popular Arts (hdpk) in Berlin, have made music together as YOUNOTUS. And that with outstanding success: already one year after their founding, they landed a mega hit with “Supergirl” at the side of Anna Naklab and Alle Farben, the newly crowned ECHO award winner: the song reached number 1 on the iTunes charts in 16 countries and was awarded several times with gold, platinum and diamond, the music video having almost 87 million views. 2016 continued seamlessly: “Please Tell Rosie”, a renewed collaboration with their good friend, Alle Farben, once again achieved gold and platinum status.
“Alle Farben are an important part of us, who have shaped us significantly and with whom we still work very closely,” confirms Gregor. This is evidenced by further joint projects such as the EP “Pretty Small” (2015) or the current album “Music Is My Best Friend” (2016) by Alle Farben, in whose whole production YOUNOTUS collaborated. In addition to numerous other collaborations (including Moguai, Fahrenhaidt, and Polina), YOUNOTUS are also constantly working on their own productions. So also on their summer 2017 released single “Lessons (featuring Nico Santos) “, which functioned as the official anthem for Germany’s largest electronic music festival, “Parookaville” – a song that once again impressively demonstrates how easily YOUNOTUS bridges the gap between electronic club and popular music.
One of the reasons may lie in the complexity of their songs – keyword “Cinema in the head”. “Not only the atmosphere of the song is important to us but also the message of the contents,” explains Tobi. “When we write a song, we think about: what topic concerns us? I keep a list of words that inspire me and about which I think: I could make that into a song.” Since YOUNOTUS regularly work with guest vocalists in their songs, there is often a classic songwriting situation at the beginning: all sit together in a circle, play tunes on the guitar and jam along to it. Little by little, YOUNOTUS expand the acoustic fragments into complex electronic instrumentals. “We like to actively help shape the song,” says Tobi, who emphasises: “We not only see ourselves as producers but also as songwriters.”
Last but not least, YOUNOTUS are also absolute masters of their expertise as DJs. In the 2017 festival summer, they inspired the crowds at renowned festivals such as Parookaville, Echelon or Docklands with their special hybrid set, a mix of DJ and live set, on which Tobi serves the decks and Gregor improvises with drums and effects – one of many situations in which YOUNOTUS play out their advantages as a duo. “Whether in the studio or on stage: when you’re a couple, you can stimulate and motivate each other. If one person sags a bit on one day, the other one will be there to move him along”, Gregor reports. “The chemistry between Tobi and me is amazing.”
Berlin is known for night lovers losing themselves in its clubs. Tobi and Gregor found each other right there. And, after that, it all looks as if their film was far from over.