Do too many cooks spoil the broth? Or is it the more the merrier? For the Berlin-based reggae/hip hop dancehall band Seeed, the latter seems to be the preference. The group features ten musicians ranging from a horn section to a DJ and multiple vocalists. The resulting music is fun, brash, and involved. This is one music group you cannot accuse of being boring.
Seeed does mix their native German language with English and some Patois, but do not let that deter you. The band has more than enough music in German that listening to their music is definitely a language learning experience. So, without further ado, let’s learn German with the music of Seeed!
Get to Know Seeed
Seeed was formed in Berlin in 1998 as an eleven-member group. When it was founded, the group was comprised of singers Peter Fox, Demba Nabé (aka Boundzound), and Frank Dellé, percussionists Alfi Trowers and Based, saxophonist Mo Delgado, trombonist Tchamp Bugnon, keyboardist Dubmaster Reibold, guitarist Rudeboy Rudy, bass player Tobsen Cordes, plus DJ Illvibe.
Remarkably, since its founding more than two decades ago, the band’s line-up has had only minor changes. DJ Illvibe left and was replaced by DJ Luke. And, unfortunately, in 2018, Nabé died.
The group’s name took the “S” and the “D” from the music genres of “sub” and “dub,” respectively. Each of the three E’s in between the “S” and the “D” stood for one of the group’s three singers.
The group’s wide-ranging sound is a reflection of the backgrounds and influences of each of the members. This is a modern band, they look it and they sound it.
Music of Seeed
The group released their debut album, New Dubby Conquerors, in 2001. The record is full of samples as well as familiar rhythms and melodies that the band has reworked and put their stamp on. The blending of old and new songs is a technique that listeners can frequently hear in the group’s music. Also common is the usage of lyrics in both English and German.
New Dubby Conquerors put Seeed on the map. And each subsequent album from the group has only continued its momentum.
In 2003 they released Music Monks, which features half of the tracks in German. Their third album, Next!, followed in 2005. The record includes “Aufstehn!,” a collaboration with American musician Cee-Lo Green.
Seeed’s first number one album came with its 2012 self-titled release. In addition to their usual influences from reggae and hip hop, the album features a variety of musical styles, ranging from Big Band to rock.
Good things come to those who wait, or so they say. And the band’s fans have proven that they are patient. It took seven years before Seeed would release their fifth studio album, 2019’s Bam Bam. Part of the delay with releasing their fifth album was due to the untimely loss of Nabé. And, indeed, the album’s first track pays tribute to their late bandmate. German language learners will also want to take note of Bam Bam as it is also the group’s first album that is almost completely in German.
If you enjoy the band’s musical sounds, then you are in luck. There is plenty more for you to hear. Many of the group’s members have additional solo and side projects. If you enjoy what you have heard so far, then I recommend that you go check out those additional projects, too.
Looking for another Ohrwurm to help you learn German? Check out previously featured musicians and bands!
Photo by Erik Weiss, courtesy of All Artists Agency. This post contains affiliate links.