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Charts Champions

Behind the Scenes of the Music Industry

ZDF, 2018, 45 minutes

How does a song become a number one hit, how are artists made into stars? For the ZDF documentary Chart Champions, filmmaker Katarina Schickling researched behind the scenes of the music industry. She accompanied producers and musicians on their search for the next super hit, exploring a world normally hidden to TV audiences and fans. With insights from Felix Jaehn and Wolfgang Niedecken, as well as various doers of the music scene, we get a look ”backstage” – in the true sense of the word.

Star DJ Felix Jaehn tells us how he creates his songs. Wolfgang Niedecken assures us: ”I’ve never gone looking for the super-hit. We just did the right thing at the right time.” And Michi Beck (Fanta 4) compares the current music scene with the way it was when his rap group started to make music. Newcomer Marie Bothmer fights her way into the business, with her new song. And Clueso flatly states: ”If you run after the crowds, they’ll eventually run away.” 

In an era when streaming platforms are making the entire human musical heritage available, at a single click, not only are the music industry structures changing, but also the songs themselves. This makes our questions more relevant than ever: How are hits made? What is the role still played by musicians, whose songs have to stand out on playlists? How do producers search for – or make – the next chart topper?