Jan Delay Bookmark and Share


25 August 1976

Jan Phillip Eißfeldt was born in Hamburg and attended the bilingual Helene-Lange-Gymnasium from 1986 to 1995 where he developed an interest in music and especially hiphop. At school he joined the rap-collective Absolute Beginners in 1991. They started rapping in English and German with homemade beats, but later went over to rapping solely in German. During their first public appearance they met DJ Mad, who immediately joined the group. In 1992 they released their first track, K.E.I.N.E. on the Sampler ‘Kill the nation with a groove’. Their first proper album Flashnizm was released in 1996, to a fairly moderate commercial success. In 1997, Jan Delay founded his own record label Eimsbush together with partners from the Hamburg hip-hop scene. In 1998 the Beginners had a Top 10 hit with ‘Liebes Lied’ (can be translated as ‘Dear song’ as well as ‘Love song’) from the hit album ‘Bambule’.

In 1999 Delay released his first solo reggae single, a cover-version of Nena’s ‘Irgendwo, Irgendwie, Irgendwann.’ In 2001 he releases his first solo album ‘Searching for the Jan Soul rebels’. The album was recorded with former Eimsbush act ‘Sam Ragga Band’ and produced by Matthias Arfmann. It was highly acclaimed by critics and fans alike for taking up reggae and dub tunes and mixing them with Delay's well-known hip hop elements. After some controversy around the track ‘Stammheim’ which featured an rebuild text of the notorious RAF movement (Rote Armee Fraktion). In the end Delay toned down the text.

The Eimsbush label was shut down in 2003 due to financial reasons and as a result of the "naive idea of just believing in talent offside the mainstream" (MTV Germany, 2007). Therefore it took a while before his second album "Mercedes Dance" was released in 2006. The album moved away from reggae towards funk and jazz elements. The album was recorded with the help of Delay's new backing band Disko No.1. The lyrics still ranged from pure dancing tracks to sharp ironic takes on current political or social developments in Germany. In 2006 Delay also lends his voice to the character of Japeth der Ziege in the animated movie ‘Die Rotkäppchen-Verschwörung.’

From the his live tour a livealbum and DVD was released in 2007 alongside a dub-remix album of his 2001 debut. In 2007, Delay was the also opening act for all German dates of Christina Aguilera's Back To Basics Tour and he participated in the highly popular Bundesvision Song Contest. In juli 2007 Delay performs at the Live Earth concert. During the concert he gives criticisms to the development of a cole-powerplant in Moorburg. More controversy comes in 2008 when he delivers the track ‘www.hitler.de’ for the compilation ‘DRDZZ - Den Rechten die Zähne zeigen’. The album is an initiative by the Red Flavour group against the upcoming right extremism in Germany. In 2007 and 2008 he also works together with rock legend Udo Lindenberg for the single 'Im Arsch' and on his album ‘Stark wie zwei’. In 2009 his fourth album 'Wir kinder vom Bahnhof soul' was released. In 2011 he performs as the entreact during the ESC. Instead of cashing in on that succes Delay goes on an extensive tour in Germany only recording a new rock-infused album in 2014.

Next to ‘Jan Delay’ Eißfeldt uses several other pseudonyms like ‘Eizi Eiz’, ‘Spliff Richard’, ‘Curtis Icefield’ and ‘Hans Werner Votz ‘.

On the web:

- Jan's official website: http://www.jandelay.de/

If you like this, you probably like.. / european counterparts:

Macaco (Spain)

What do we think:

DB: Jan Delay's most significant trademark is his hat and a somewhat nasal voice. A trademark that maybe isn’t a plus for some people (like Paul Royal). He also frequently changes his artist name depending on his current music style, mood, and collaboration partners. This makes a somewhat difficult figure to follow but musically Delay has a knack in delivering a good tune where he plays with mixing German musical tradition and hiphop, reggae and funk. In this Delay is an original not simply copying American rap but doing something new and European.


♪♪♪ - Searching for the Jan Soul Rebels - 2001

♪♪♪ - Mercedes-Dance - 2006

? - Searching… – The Dubs – 2007

♪♪♪ - Wir kinder vom Bahnhof soul - 2009

♪♪♪- Hammer & Michel - 2014

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided


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