worthwhile and precious to offer. This was a key experience for me.”
She first started working in the area of jazz. She performed alongside Joss Stone and Solomon Burke at the jazzopenfestival in Stuttgart, sang with Roger Cicero, performed at the German Citizens’ Award and Berlin Fashion Week, sang chansons at the French Embassy and was invited by JazzRadio in Berlin to appear in its ‘The Orange Room’ concert series. At the time, she went by the name of Susanne Gmelch or “Susann”. However, despite all this success, she never felt entirely at home in this scene. “I didn’t quite fit in – I was too young for the jazz world, wasn’t taken seriously and could never really do my own thing.” She had similar experiences with managers and A&R people, who promised her the world, but really only wanted to date her. “Eventually, I felt like quitting completely. I had so many ideas, but no longer had the energy for the never-ending struggle to be taken seriously. For a while, I thought I was the problem. I studied Media Management – but music always maintained its hold over me.”
In 2016, she moved from Stuttgart to Berlin and put everything she had into a new phase in her career. She released an album, and has been working with big names such as Steve van Velvet (Alexa Feser, Falco) and successfully writing songs for other singers. When collaborating with producer Kai Lindner, who works as a pianist for Johannes Oerding and as a pianist and musical director for Tom Gregory and Zoe Wees, things really came together in 2019: “Previously, I always worked with finished demos, but this time around we wanted to write songs together in a completely free manner. Kai had already worked out some beats and suddenly English lyrics started to flow out of me. I was a bit shocked when the first song was finished, because the sound was completely different than I had expected, but at the same time I was so happy – we had so much fun and knew instinctively that we were on the right path.”
And this is where we introduce SUSAN X: smart, radiant dance-pop with subtle, airy lyrics, born out of curiosity, resolve, joie de vivre and a boundless love for music. The first track in this new chapter of her career is BREATHING, a first taste of her debut EP, which will be released in autumn 2021. “I would like to pass on my experiences through my songs and to really touch people – perhaps by offering them a brief escape, by acting as a role model, by encouraging them and of course by playing live again. On stage is where I am at my very best, and the great thing about my new songs is that they work just as well in a large hall or open-air venue as they do in a small club. I am enjoying not being tied down in any way. Instead, I can simply go wherever the songs want to take me!” This is true in every way, as we are now in the year 2021 and thankfully there are no more rules for courageous, grown-up women like SUSAN X, apart from their own rules!
It doesn’t really matter whether we regard SUSAN X as an experienced, powerful singer or a fragile artist. In fact, she is both at the same time – and she often surprises herself too! SUSAN X is a strong character who has achieved a lot, despite sometimes being too critical of herself. She has shaped her own career and writes biographical songs about love, determination, doubt and starting over again. SUSAN X is a modern, multi-faceted musician who doesn’t need to be pigeon-holed by anyone...but that hasn’t stopped people from trying it anyway!
At the tender age of 13, she was offered a record contract that was supposedly a standard contract, but was actually quite exploitative. She decided herself not to sign this contract, but instead kept working away with a clear goal in mind: “From an early age, I wanted to take singing lessons and, when I was at secondary school, this was still my goal. What’s more, music helped me through difficult periods while I was a teenager. My father drove me to music lessons once a week, for six years! My teacher really brought out the best in me, introduced me to a range of different genres and made me feel like I had something