“The most valuable experience for me was
how music, as an universal language, is able to connect
people from different countries and cultures.
It inspired me to found the Initiative G-Culture.”
-„My son was convinced at the age of 20 that he will make an international hit record! I really don´t know how he gained that self-confidence at that time!" - Goar B's father
Chapter 1 – Goar B
Chapter 2a – Goar B und David Lubega
Within his music project „Balibu“, Goar supported, the young DJ Olé Wierk (better known as one of the two masterminds behind Groove Coverage) since 1996 and engaged the, at this time unknown rapper, called David Lubega (later known as Lou Bega) for a rap-part in the song “Let’s come together”. The Track was released in 1997 by East West Records/Warner Music
Goar B then had the new idea for a Latin project, a combination of old trumpet samples with modern beats. In particular, Goar B had the idea of a special novel melodic rap, which could also have better chanches for the radio airplay. He asked if David wanted to join the project. After that, David signed to Goar.
Chapter 2b – Goar B und Zippy
In 1997 Goar B also collaborated with a hip-hop formation called „Die 5 Freunde“ (i.e. The 5 Friends). „Zippy“ (Christian Königseder) was the group member, who expecially works with music programs on the computer.
After the rap group “The 5 Friends” split up, Zippy asked if Goar B could work with him und learn from Goar Bs long experience. So Goar B signed Zippy and coached him over nearly 2 years in songwriting.
Chapter 3 – Latin Music Project
In 1996 Goar B already produced in the genre of Hip Hop in Germany, but had to realize:
“At the time, the Hip Hop genre was not accapted on the German radio. I remember the sneaky argument of radio editors that rap is a narrative and not music. “
In order to have a chance on the radio, Goar B came up with the idea of a “melodic rap” and decided to give it a shot with David Lubega.
“At some point, David tried to sing around in the studio for fun, so I asked him if he wanted to write songs and sing. Then he laughed and said he was not a singer but a rapper and also played no instrument like me, with whom he could write songs and commented humorously, he could <only play the comb and the CD player>. “
Goar B brought his two contracted artists Lou Bega and Zippy together to work with them on his new Latin project.
“As a guitarist, I really liked Santana and thus found access to Latin.”
Chapter 4 – How Mambo No. 5 was created
In 1998, Goar B introduced his Latin-themed tracks to Warner Music and discovered they were searching for latin music for the movie „Das merkwürdige Verhalten geschlechtsreifer Großstädter zur Paarungszeit“. Goar B asked to offer more titles for this film.
“Marketing Manager Rita Flügge-Timm got a box of Latin CDs from Warner South America. She sent me this box to Munich for inspiration. While listening, I got stuck on a trumpet line in Perez Prado’s instrumental title. Within my Latin concept, I came up with the idea to write a new title with a sung verse and chorus from a sample of the instrumental. So I gave Zippy and David the task to write a new song with this sample. It was a new project with completely independent verse and chorus.
We named this new work as a tribute to Perez Prado and because we used an instrumental sample from his work “Mambo No 5 – A Little Bit of”
Chapter 5 – Record Labels
Mambo No.5 (A Little Bit Of) was not selected for the movie.
After over 40 A&R-Meetings in 8 months, my appointment with Peter Meisel at the Label Lautstark finally found commitment. Lautstark was a Sublabel of BMG Berlin. Peter Meisel, the A&R consultant of Lautstark, presented the song to the managing director Andy Selleneit, who recognised the hit potential and signed my track „Mambo No 5“ with me as the music producer and leading creative mind of the projekt. The artist Lou Bega was and remained under contract with me.
Andy believed in the song and in my vision. He supported my ideas in an exceptionally way, in terms of encouraging decisiveness as well as financial assistance. The first music video for „Mambo No 5“ was made by a BMG marketing manager, contrary to my suggestions. I’ll never forget the call from Andy after the first music video, in which he gave me a second high budget for filming my own video idea under my responsibility. This is the only version known by public until now. In addition, Andy paid me all flights BusinessClass abroad, so that I could get involved with the local managers of the BMG companies for optimal marketing in the respective countries.
After that, Goar B was looking for a studio that would continue to complete the pre-production in accordance with his specifications and ideas. Since Goar B had become financially tight due to the build-up phase, he was unable to pay studio rents and audio engineering fees. For this he found the music studio Syndicate, which immediately recognized the unique style of music and the hit potential, but unfortunately in the course of cooperation excessive demands for equity and loans. Due to the lack of time and financial hardship Goar B agreed.
Chapter 6 – Creation Of The Image
Goar B also developed a complete image concept in his own style for his artist with a white 50s suit, a Borsalino hat, escorted by Brazilian dancers. Furthermore, Goar B invented the artist name “Lou Bega” from the surname of David Lubega.
In addition, a small story was invented for the media that Lou Bega already had heard the instrumental title “Mambo No 5” by Perez Prado during a stay in Miami for the first time.
Chapter 7 – The First Release
The adoption of “Mambo No. 5 “in the German media was a bit cautious, until the title was played in a radio station.
“After that everything went viral. People called the radio and asked for the track. It went wild like crazy. At the time, I got a surprising offer from the music industry to exchange my artist for another, because the public did not know him visually yet. They made me a very good offer, but I did not hesitate to stand behind my artist. “
Mambo No. 5 was already 4 weeks No.1 in Germany as the very successful Backstreet Boys released their new single with a huge marketing campaign. But they were not able to dethrone us. The Backstreet Boys had to live with chart position 2. Mambo No. 5 stayed for 17 weeks at the top of the charts in Germany and sold 1.7 million singles.
“Mambo No 5” is the only title in the history of “Wetten dass”, a popular German entertainment show, which was played 2 times in a row due to the never ending public applause in the old bullring of Mallorca.
“I was backstage. The applause of the audience did not want to end. The people trampled with their feet. The stage was shaking. Pure goose bumps. There are actually no additions in “Wetten dass ..” What to do? The then ZDF entertainment director Viktor Worms finally gave the instruction behind the stage to play the title again. It was gigantic and remains unforgettable for me. “
Chapter 8 – Music Video
The first music video for Mambo No. 5. was filmed against the suggestions of Goar B by the marketing director of the record company. The managing director Andy Selleneit stopped the marketing short before the presentation to VIVA.
“My image concept for Lou Bega was not taken into account during the first video shoot. David was dressed in a kind of Michelin suit and made a crazy video, as usual for dance music at the time. I was deeply unhappy.
I can still remember the call from Andy. He had good news and bad news for me.
The bad, he had his TV promoter Karin Azua withdraw the video just before presentation at VIVA. And the good one: You get the same budget again and make a music video according to your concept but the deadline is in 3 days.
I worked the days without getting any sleep. Only this video with my concept is known by public until now. “
Goar B later personally invested in other music videos for other tracks from the album, which were released as singles only in certain countries.
Chapter 9 – International Releases
Goar B fought for a release in all countries. He was ready to commit extraordinary dedication and investment on his own, employing more than 10 people in his company to make the Lou Bega project internationally successful.
The – at this point managing director of BMG in Berlin – Andy Selleneit, recognized from the beginning his unbridled will to succeed from Goar B and support him by flying Goar B in all major countries to the local BMG sister companies.
After the release pledges Goar B continued to travel in the countries with his artist.
“I do not remember how many miles we’ve traveled, only that we eventually got a Lufthansa senator card for more than 150,000 miles per year. I accompanied Lou Bega to all important performances, interviews, award ceremonies, etc. His meteoric rise meant in a very short time a lot to deal with and to be well versed. “
Chapter 10 – Release In England
Although “Mambo No. 5 “was now # 1 on the charts in several European countries, England and US refused to release the track. In England, however, such a flood of imports came over from returning English foreign tourists that the BMG in London dropped their English attitude “We are different” and then finally published. She was overwhelmed with a pre-order of over 400,000 pieces from traders. Nevertheless, the sister company BMG / RCA in USA still did not want to publish.
“However, in the USA in particular I had seen my production and concept most of all. I articulated this in the music magazine MusikWoche and got calls from the industry, I should stay down to earth. Quite many people would have tried it in the US and would have failed miserably. “
Chapter 11 – Release In The USA
In the contract with BMG Goar B had a 3-month right relapse for countries that do not publish. He met shortly before the end with Jim Welch, an A & R manager of Sony Music from New York, who was coincidetally in Germany at that time. Goar B was able to convince him to publish the title after the 3 months in the US and told the BMG so. On the day of the expiry, Goar B received a surprise call from the Business Affairs Director of BMG, Rolf Gilbert, with the request to extend the deadline by one day.
“I accepted the request and the next day shortly before midnight I received a fax with the promise to release the song in the US. I was responsible for all desicions. Every day, my employees in the office got long faxes with inquiries. My mobile costs piled up to costs for of rent for a family home. I coached Lou Bega constantly for interviews, appearances and strengthened his back. His father had died shortly before his breakthrough and so I stood him in a special way as a friend-father by his side. We had many intense conversations about everything under the sun on our flights. “
Chapter 12 – Submanagement In The USA
Goar B left nothing to chance. He immediately hired a sub-management in Los Angeles.
“We had to pledge to the RCA that the artist was available for at least 9 months mainly for promotion in the US and got in L.A. apartment rooms in a hotel as a permanent accommodation. It was the most exciting time and my biggest challenge.
However, the first farewell from Germany was not without difficulties. The Booker, who was commissioned by me at that time, turned directly to my artist: My decision to go to the USA would be the biggest mistake because he loses considerable concert income in Europe as a result and we would have no real chance of success in the USA anyway. Nevertheless, David and I agreed that we wanted to try it anyways.
I still remember the first moment today when we landed in New York and were picked up by a stretch limousine. It was like a dream. “
Chapter 13 – Concerts & Successes
In the US, “Mambo No. 5 (A little Bit Of …) ” was the fastest climber to No. 1 in the US airplay charts of all time. The RCA sales chief told Goar B at the beginning of the 2000s, at a New York food show, that the album will have 800,000 sales units and perhaps even reach the platinum status of $ 1 million.
“He did not understand my restrained joy, and when he asked me about it, I told him I see in the album as a potential for over 2 million sales in the US. He had no words. My Response came from a gut feeling that I really had over there and not because of megalomania. “
Since the record company did not show any great ambitions to invest heavily in marketing after the first 800,000 units sold, Goar B strenghened his commitment with the sub-management. He managed to bring Lou Bega on stage as a special guest on the last Cher tour through 24 major cities in North America. He is responsible for the entire show of Lou Bega, casted and rehearsed with a 10-man band and 6 dancers in L.A. At the end of the tour, the album ranked No. 3 in the US sales charts with 3.5 million units sold and triple platinum status.
Goar B continued with the band a concert tour in South America. Other stations were Japan and India. Goar B succeeded with an unlikely dedication and commitment the worldwide success of the of his Latin music Project. He flew with his artist in the different countries and helped Lou Bega particular in his artistic personality development. He spared no work, commitment, investment and risk to create an extraordinary, international success from Germany.
“For me as a musician it was a lifelong dream to reach, touch and inspire people all over the world. I am richer and thankful for many experiences. Interestingly enough, there is a strong incongruity between the people who are making a name for themselves in their supposedly big contribution to our success, and those who really helped us.
We achieved multiple platinum recordings in many countries with the album “A Little Bit of Mambo”, and in time pretty much scored all the international music awards, including a Grammy nomination.
But the most valuable experience for me was how music connects people of different cultures and countries as a universal language. That inspired me to found the G-Culture << www.g-culture.com >> initiative. “
Research and Interview: