Clearly, there must be, as there claim to be practitioners of it.
The German comedian Jan Böhmermann once lampooned his country’s pop music scene by getting chimpanzees to choose banal lyrics pinned to pieces of fruit and releasing the results as a single.
It often seems as though Germany’s radio stations take a similarly dim view, with programming dominated by big names from the Anglosphere and interspersed with only the occasional home-grown hit.
Yet more than 100 German pop stars and bands are trying to win back a share of the airwaves with a campaign for a quota, under which DJs would dedicate at least 50 per cent of their playtime to local talent.
It’s possible to predict how this will work out. As the article mentions there’s been a French quota – in France naturally – for some decades now. What happens is that the Frog stuff gets played at 3 am when no one’s listening. The English language stuff goes on when there might actually be an audience.
So far so amusing. But it does also create a quite wondrous business opportunity. Get your set of skilled yet cheap session musicians into the studio. Lock them in. Then re-record everything that’s popular in English. Think like those old “Top of the Pops” records in the UK. Just translate the lyrics into German (or, in the Frog example, into Frog).
Issue to radio stations.
It’ll still get played at 3 am when no one’s listening. But it’s German produced music in German. The tune writers – the damned foreigners – get their royalties, but the lyrics, they’re now new and gain 50% of the radio payments.
The numbers do actually work here. There’s no expense of a band – session musos work cheap – nor tours nor costumes nor, well, something like a day per album might need to be paid for.
What Kanye might sound like in German I’ve no idea but it would indeed work. Might be better actually.