According to the dictionary a hype is an extravagant or intensive publicity or promotion, but it also often seems to be transcient. A hype is good for building an audience, it can even be good for making money, but before you know it, it can be gone again.
To me it feels unsafe to build a career on something as unreliable as hype, and that is one of the main reasons why I find Germany so interesting. In Germany I’ve met people who live from their music, even if they don’t have a hype going. It is possible to play 100 paid concerts per year only based on network and the fanbase they’ve build themselves, and they don’t have to lie awake at night worrying about the promotion results of their latest single. This structure also allows artists to experiment, develop and grow and it creates a music scene with a lot more diversity than the music scene I see in Denmark.
So why is it that the Germans apparently have more interest in different music genres and unknown artists? I’ve been asking a lot of the people I’ve met on tour, and the common respond is that they just love music and they love to hear it live. They are curious to discover new things, they like to have a feeling of authenticity, and they don’t spend hours going through reviews or ratings of a certain artist trying to decide if a concert is really worth 10€ - they see it as an experience, and if it looks interesting, they go.
I think the Danish music scene relies a lot on hype in these years, and I think we lose some of our music culture in the neverending hunt for the next big thing. We’ve forgotten that music also plays a role in our local communities, and that concerts serves different purposes - the musical experience, of course, but we are also coming together to share an experience. And as one of the germans said: “I can see the big stars on the big stages, and the small stars on the smaller stages. And by the way - I hate big stars!”