I would like to introduce myself. My name is Mike Crush and I have been making (Rap) music with my homie Efe for years. Now I am supposed to help him out with his biography. What do people say: an extern knows your life better than an extraterrestrial? No, that is not how the saying goes, but who cares … let´s go!
Who is Efe aka EFF? You have never heard of him? I doubt it, because even if Efe´s name has not been in the headlines of music magazines, I am sure everybody has heard Lumidee, No Doubt, Kool Savas and Sido in the music charts before, and exactly these artists have worked with Efe. He might only be 175 cm short, but in the business he mingles with the big ones!
But how did it all start?
Efe transformed his childhood room early into a music studio. The first “home production”- rap songs followed, which have been recorded partially on a multitrack tape recorder (yes, Efe is at least 2000 years old). Further equipment has been for instance the popular Amiga500, which was used as sampler, a Midi Keyboard and a Playmobil pirate ship – on which Efe defeated He-Man and Skeletor.
On his 18th birthday (about 300 a.C.) he formed the group Nu Style with his schoolmate Levent (Mr.L) and they got their first record deal with EMI, which rendered 15.000 Marks. With that money the music studio has been pimped, and the pimp went to study or rather went to make music … you know what I mean?
In retrospect one has to say they should have invested the 15.000 Marks in food, or have you ever heard of a group called Nu Style? I guess this falls into the category of “youthful follies” … but oh well. They bought a new soundcard amongst other things, which replaced the multitrack tape recorder. When Efe quit school in 11th grade (it is very important to Efe to emphasize “Gymnasium” right here, which is equivalent to secondary school) all hell broke loose at home. But Efe knew pretty early what he wanted: to make music.
After splitting up with EMI, Efe founded a production company with Daniel Lieberberg & Moritz Nord to produce, besides Nu Style, also JanMC who was 15 years young back then (today Yansolo, Ex-Rapsoul). The company had to be closed after 2 years because of a dispute between the parties (of course Efe was 100% right and all the others were guilty … a likely story!)
Well, enough of record companies and sent demo tapes. Efe started to establish FFM´s with Karim (Careem), a rapper friend who also lived in the Nordweststadt of Frankfurt. Other artist friends from Frankfurt have been invited to contribute songs and what followed was the best sold Rap Mixtape from Frankfurt. Ever! That is why it is written in bold letters … you know what I mean?
FFMC´s became a platform for Frankfurt artists from Frankfurt artists and took a significant stake in the Frankfurt Hip Hop wave. Several albums and mix tapes have been released and countless (sold out) jams have been arranged. The first jobs in labeling started with Karim – who would have known back then that 16 years later they would work together again, but later more on that.
Efe´s productions were noticeable and outstanding because of rather little samples in relation to regular Hip Hop beats, the He-Man and Skeletor figurines, many self-played synthesizer and sung hooks. Efe´s melodic beats were remarkable in Frankfurt. Since Efe did not want to limit himself artistically (official version) and besides that desperately needed those Benjamins (dough, bucks, cash man!) for food, there had been excursions into “pop music”.
Efe made remixes for Universal, for worldwide known artists like No Doubt and Grandmaster Flash and also Alina (German Top30 Act) amongst others. Simultaneously Efe was working with Chima (“Morgen… morgen…” – yeeeess, that Chima!) on his major debut album “Reine Glaubenssache” which was released under EMI. After that he went back to “take care” of his homeboy from school, Mr. L, and produced his album “Lebenswerk”.
Mr. L, Careem & Efe performed as FFMC`s all over Germany.
Efe proved his diversity (rapper, producer, pole jumper not) once again when he was in charge for the live-mix singles by Patrice and Joy Denalane as a sound engineer.
Efe launched the first official Hip Hop Label called Jordan Records with Careem, which was responsible for the management and productions of the artist Mike Crush, the best person in the world (due to legal reasons this has to be stated right here). During the following 2 years, 3 albums, over 80 songs and many performances across Germany have been carried out. Mike Crush was able to gain respect in the German rap-scene, but a major deal for his big break through failed to appear. Mike Crush allied with Skeletor and fights till this day against He-Man … on a Playmobil pirate ship.
Careem and Mr.L started to go other ways professionally, but Efe still hung on to his job as a producer. So stubborn!
Through a coincidence Efe got to know DJ Katch. The latter had a problem with his equipment and instead of calling a hotline, 911, or some other expert, he approached the perfectionist of studio-engineering with his rebelling Akai MPC3000. Efe was living in the same city and was only a couple of minutes away. Despite the loose contact they both had, the musical exchange worked instantly and the technical support turned into a spontaneous music session.
The beats which generated at this spontaneous encounter turned out to be so good that the collaborated products have been used instantly by artists like Kool Savas, Snaga & Pillath, Manuellsen, Franky Kubrick and many more. So it was of no surprise that this casual encounter evolved into a long-term cooperation. The Kingstrumentals have been born. The focus was to make beats and to place them with artists. Kool Savas, Sido, Chakuza, Snaga & Pillath, Rapsoul and also MV Bill in Brazil and Ras Kass from the USA have used their beats (now the penny just dropped, I told you you have heard Efe before!)
Efe, this talented motherbrother, probably unhappy with video-cutting and sound recording by third parties, and sure also not content with the prices, also figured this handcraft out. The outcomes were the ultimate Kingstrumentals Beat Making Of Videos, which have been specifically shot and cut by himself.
Despite of the successes in german Hip Hop, Efe realized more and more that it would be difficult to fill his fridge with Hip Hop, Efe´s first love. So he decided to produce Pop, Electro & Club Music as well. It was obvious, a world chartbreaker had to be made. But since German is not spoken all over the world, English songs followed, ja!
Along with DJ Katch English songs followed. Besides Urban Club Bangers, which have been released under DJ Katch as an artist, more pop-like songs have been produced for Lumidee feat. Beenie Man (Universal), Hwood (also Universal) and for Yahaira from Columbia.
I just googled Yahaira, damn, that is one hot Mamacita … I wonder if Efe f…
antasized about anal …
yzing the influence of her Columbian roots in her music? Hmmm…
Talking about Columbia. Efe produced “Marihuana” with Tim Crudu. Tim went to jail … and Efe pays him a visit every now and then. Bogus, of course not. In collaboration with Tim Crudu, Efe produced his first Dance Single “Vodka & Raki – Marihuana”. A song which convinces even me as a consistent Hip Hop fanatic.
Karim, his old FFMC´s homeboy & partner in crime, was once again on tenterhooks, since he liked Efe´s musical development. By handshake they found efe|music. A Label, a management, a new production company. From this day on Efe & Careem are full of beans and focused, just like in the early FFMC´s days. Karim takes over the booking and administration. Efe is responsible for the Label Management and the productions. The first signed artist is Rockster, a DJ and Producer from Frankfurt.
Their common goal is nothing less than taking over the world with their „electronic dance music“. Thanks to the Playmobil pirate ship no unrealistic goal!
But since Efe & Rockster don´t feel the typical “fun fair sound”, they agree on melancholic, songs, with strong club beats. Instead of the “same old same old” they produce songs with soul. The result of their work can be seen in the first two videos, for which efe|music is also in charge of the video production.
Despite the excursions to the Dance-World, Efe´s heart still beats for Hip Hop and that is why he can´t really take his fingers from the mic and raps one or another part, just like in the video with Sayfoudin, or works on Hip Hop and Trap Beats together with DJ Katch. By the way: Caser Nova´s “Cheers” E.P. has also been produced by Katch & Efe. The word on the streets is also that he has been making a couple of Euros with ghostwriting (Efe apologizes that it is taking so long with “Detox”).
Besides Rockster and DJ-Katch productions, Efe is currently working on Paul Cless´ album, the singer of Rockster´s first single.
This is now Efe´s third decade in the music industry, and it sure will not be the last one.
To be continued…