GINGER x MassiveMusic Opens In Berlin
Yep, the rumours are true. There’s a new spice in town (Berlin, to be precise) and it’s called GINGER x MassiveMusic.
But what does it mean, I hear you saying. Well, we took 2 music agencies, mixed them together and created the perfect blend. Like hot cocoa & marshmallows, Converse & high socks, Kool & the gang.
25th April 2019 marks the day GINGER x MassiveMusic was officially born. Joining forces with Berlin-based music agency GINGER enables us to offer the German market a more robust music service.
With this new adventure, we’d like to provide that unique, crafty touch that goes beyond the advertising industry’s current status quo, offering agencies and brands new ways to experience the musical side of their stories.
Who Is Behind It?
It all started with a chance meeting between MassiveMusic’s CEO Hans Brouwer and GINGER’s founders Shai Hirschson and Gordian Gleiß, which led to the discovery of incredible synergy between the two.
And we didn’t even have to use Tinder.
In Shai’s words: “It was one of those meant-to-be encounters. The day after we got off the first phone call with Hans Brouwer, we jumped on a plane and headed to MassiveMusic’s Amsterdam headquarters. It was love at first sight. GINGER as the boutique creative think tank to MassiveMusic’s international garrison: the combination was undeniably irresistible.”
Shai and Gordian will head the GINGER x MassiveMusic office in Berlin, with Aldana Pagani as Creative Producer. We interviewed them to find out more. Before letting them do the talk, let’s see what musical vibes they can bring to the table.
Shai Caleb Hirschson
A Capetonian turned Berliner. The love for music made its appearance as soon as he discovered his grandad’s drum kit. And what a grandad.
Shai’s grandparents were none other than Don Storer & Cherry Wainer, amazing musicians and good friends of Elton John and The Beatles. In Cape Town, he founded Dreamspace Studios which became one of the top 3 recording studios for commercials and recording artists.
Born and raised in Hamburg, Gordian started producing rap beats in his early teens inspired by American and French rap such as Wu-Tang Clan and La Brigade. In 2004, he had his first release with Ludacris followed by a few chart-topping and golden record releases for German rap artists.
He eventually went back to his motherland after moving to London to study commercial music and dropping three vinyl EPs.
How did you guys realise you were made for each other?
Shai: We began as a composer duo, almost forced together into a team, and had to immediately iron out a few issues between ourselves. Somehow, this heated exchange worked as the foundation for what is our relationship today. Straightforward, problem-solving and lateral-thinking oriented.
Gordian: When we both realised we were sharing the same ultimate goal, we found it hard not to spend hours together in the studio.
Three words to describe Gordian?
Shai: Inventive, Lateral, Unorthodox.
And how would you describe Shai?
Gordian: Legendary, Visionary, Thinker.
GINGER x MassiveMusic: when and how was it conceived?
Gordian: We were a bit tired of old structures, boundaries, and the same old approach used in the industry. This is not our practice. We want to develop the industry by pushing boundaries and disrupting the common. We started by founding our own company ‘ginger.berlin’, pledging in our concept papers to open new chapters in the stale market by creating fusions.
Shai: Within a short time, the extremely like-minded visionaries at MassiveMusic gave us a call – and here we are, welcoming GINGER x MassiveMusic to the world. It has been conceived with a ‘boutiquesque’ drive for new concepts, with dedicated people who understand the culture and industry of the German market.
Does this mean we can debunk the myth that redheads are going extinct?
Gordian: On the contrary, many redheads stop by our store on a daily basis, taking selfies under our ‘ginger’ signpost. The outcome is always a beautiful shot: the old GDR street architecture and the Berlin TV tower as the backdrop, with its reminiscence of a once divided Berlin.
Before the collaboration with MassiveMusic, you guys focused mainly on advertising. Which project do you take the most pride in?
Shai: We worked on a few projects, but if I have to choose I would pick the Rimowa 120 years campaign feat. Adwoa Aboah. Hands down. Working with director Jonas Lindstroem (Kendrick Lamar, Ivy Park, Yves Saint Laurent) was a breath of fresh air. The process was demanding but exhilarating. We composed various tracks, sketches, did mashups of those tracks, then experimented with sound design – a creator’s dream.
Gordian: Our work with Porsche – Black Forest Run was also a lot of fun. We created the music theme together with director Max Kempe.
Are German brands acknowledging the power of music more and more?
Gordian: Indeed. Brands are starting to become more and more aware of the impact of music and sound, but there is definitely room for improvement in this regard. In the digital age, the touchpoints are becoming more widespread, as well as the advancements in AR/VR.
So what does this mean for consumers and their need to identify with a specific brand?
Shai: This translates into music, and especially sonic branding, being the frontrunner. The conventional media are therefore surpassed, and will be even more so in the future. We’re in a transitional phase at the moment. Music reaches out to our emotions in an indescribable manner. Harnessing this power and making the most out of it for a brand or a campaign is, of course, the ultimate challenge.
Linking a music artist to a brand has been done before and, don’t get us wrong, it will continue to be successful going forward. Yet, the ultimate yardstick is fusing this with the creation of a sonic identity. The benefits are many, such as increasing brand recognition and emotional recall and positively altering perception. It’s a very strategic approach yet we still allow our creativity to run wild.
Klaus Wowereits once said: “Berlin is poor but sexy”. Do you agree with him?
Gordian: Everyone wants a piece of Berlin. The ‘poor but sexy’ places are slowly becoming fewer and fewer. The city is constantly one big construction site. There is however a strong backlash against raised rental prices, and fancy developments within the boroughs, therefore maintaining their charm and independence in a way by enforcing a strong sense of community.
Shai: It’s a city of unparalleled-parallels, you’ll see a business man on his way to work, walk by a kid riding his bike to school, all whilst passing someone on their way home from a club. All doing their thing, side by side.
How does this influence the music industry?
Shai: Berlin has still that sense of freedom, of bohemianism. A rebel without a cause, a poet with many flaws.
Gordian: It allows people to live their lives in their own way, with everyone accepting the other. This influences the society as a whole and makes for an amazing cross-cultural musical development. It gives artists and aspiring musicians a platform without judgement.
Sickest club in the city?
Gordian: Paloma Bar, Ohm, Berghain.
Pineapple on pizza?
Shai: No freaking way.
Thank God. You know, being Italian I had to test you. Ok now, back to the future, what does it hold for GINGER x MassiveMusic?
Gordian: Difficult to predict the future, we leave this up to Doc Brown and Marty McFly. All we can say is that, in a short amount of time, we have already managed to position ourselves in the German market as worthy contenders.
Shai: By joining forces with MassiveMusic whilst still preserving that boutiquesque look and feel, we hope to increase awareness on the power of music for brands. Music is a powerful tool with such a huge potential. To underestimate it? It would be an abomination. Like pineapple on pizza.