Absolute Beginner was born as Jan Delay on 28th June 1976 in Hamburg, Germany. He is a German rapper, singer, songwriter and reggae artist who has made an exceptional impact on the German hip-hop and reggae scene.
Jan Delay was born to a musical family, which had a strong influence on his musical desire from a young age. His father played in a band named Sgt. Pepper's Band and often had young Jan on stage, providing him with his initial performance experience. At age twelve, he founded the hip-hop group "DSDS" with classmates Cora E. and Dean D. Together they put out mixtapes and spread the word of hip-hop through the city. After graduating from high school, Jan spent six years in Paris, where he polished his writing and performance skills and visited renowned universities in different world cultures.
At the turn of the millennium, his career hit high gear with the release of his debut album "Wave". The album addressed broad themes such as loneliness, freedom, and the captivating appearance of the great city of Hamburg. With this seminal record, Jan established himself as one of the most creative, pioneering, and exciting hip-hop and reggae artists in Germany, and positioned himself at the forefront of the emerging German hip-hop scene.
In 2004, Jan Delay released the groundbreaking album "Adjuva", essentially a new musical language that would influence an entire hip-hop generation. The albumâ€™s content dwelled deep in themes such as social injustice or technical advances, without ever forgetting the party intent. With this record, Jan established himself as one of the most respected and engaging recording artists in Germany, earning him the Middle German Cinema Award and the German Respected Music Award in 2005. Moreover, he founded the band D.E.P.P.E.N.D.E.N.T. that year in collaboration with other members of the hip-hop scene from Hamburg.
Jan Delayâ€™s international breakthrough came in 2006, with the game changing album, "Virus" which was almost unanimously hailed by critics as the "Hip-Hop Album of the Year". The album was an electro-soulful trip through social criticism, everyday life, and technology, and certainly a key work for any German rap fan. This was followed by the equally successful "Grundlos" album in 2007 and "44 Inertlich" in 2008.
On the back of his albums, Jan Delay has had numerous No 1. hits include Keep On Trying, So Long Goodbye, and An der Nordseekuste. His skillful use of the German language and his incredibly creative rhythms and rhymes have won him accolades for his music which has been downright chiselled in stone. On top of his impressive solo career, Jan was part of several side projects over the years, including collaborations with cult musicians such as The Wolfsheim, Pete Doherty, Lee Scratch Perry, and Michael Franti.
In recent years, Jan Delay has started to conquer the international market, with performances in Europe, UK, US, and Japan. He has made guest appearances on mainstream TV shows such as â€œJimmy Kimmel Liveâ€ and â€œThe Tonight Showâ€. He has also shown no sign of slowing down in 2017 with the release of the single â€œLight My Fireâ€, a jazzy, romantic duet between Jan and the singer Miriam Lugo.
Jan Delay is undoubtedly one of the most important and influential hip-hop and reggae artists of the 21st century. His passion for music, sound, intuition, and imagination have led him to become an iconic German artist with a well-deserved place in the annals of hip-hop histor. With his captivating live performances and ability to blend reggae, hip-hop, soul, and technological music advances into one electrifying music which has seen him reach higher heights.