I met Vivien Eileen Bauernschmidt six months before her 14th birthday. The month was June and Manuel Herunter, who in 2005 was A&R for Sony Germany, called me. “David, I have a demo here on my desk that is interesting. The girl is very young, but I think she has something. She and her band recently won the Bravo Newcomer Competition (Germany’s number one teenie magazine), but she needs help. Would you listen to her?”
Manuel sent the demo over to me, and ten seconds after I heard the first sounds, I was on the phone. “Manuel, she’s wonderful. How soon can you get her to me, or me to her?”I knew immediately that I had heard a star. Vivien reminded me of one of my favorite rock singers, Pat Benatar; she even looked sort of like her in an uncanny sort of way.
Björn Teske, who at the time was Director of A&R for Sony Music Germany, brought Vivien to my home in Berlin to meet me. (Today Björn is the CEO of DEAG Music.) After our introductions. Björn went away for exactly one hour, leaving me and my young bright- eyed hopeful alone. She would later call it a “magische Stunde.” [In German, a “magical hour”.] When Björn returned, she sang for him. He signed her immediately, and within two weeks she was having her first song-writing sessions. Over the next two years she and I worked on her voice, performance, and musicianship. January 16, 2009, she released her first album, which ultimately went platinum. On May 29, 2009 the German music industry awarded her the Comet Award for Best New Comer!