75 Years Fresh
The name ‘Budde’ has been synonymous with independent music publishing for 75 years.
Benjamin Budde, CEO of Budde Music, is the third generation and fourth in his family to preside over the Berlin-based music business and its international operations.
Early Creative Collaborations
Rolf Budde Senior and composer Gerhard Froboess founded the music publishing house in post-war Berlin in 1947 with the motto: “Quality not quantity will be the mark of our success”. A former radio music editor and jazz devotee, Rolf commits to “finding the hits of tomorrow”.
Pack die Badehose ein
Success came a few years later with a catchy folk song penned by Hans Bradtke and Gerhard Froboess for his’ 8 year old daughter, Connie. The hit, ’Pack die Badehose ein’ about carefree Summer days marked the start of Bradke’s illustrious career as a German lyricist. Other hits, among them ‘Kalkutta liegt am Ganges’ and ‘Die Zeiger der Uhr’ followed.
(The day before the recording session: Connie with her father Gerhard Froboess on the piano while Hans Bradtke checks the lyrics in the background.)
Capitalising on the emergence of rock’n roll and the pop music revolution, Rolf travels to the US and establishes early partnerships in New York, championing popular German melodies and Bradtke’s lyrics to music publishers there.
It proves extremely fruitful, with English versions becoming worldwide hits made famous by Nat King Cole’s 'Those Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer' and Frank Sinatra’s ‘Summer Wind’ delivering the publisher it's first big international hits.
During this same period, Rolf begins securing sub-publishing rights of catalogues from New York to Milan and London, among them Duke Ellington, Sergei Rachmaninoff and George Gershwin.
The publishing house establishes itself as a trusted partner for sub-publishing iconic repertoire and catalogues. This reputation leads to it representing The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Elton John, Abba and The Eagles over the ensuing decades.
Budde Music still proudly represents the works of icons like Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Dave Brubeck, Bill Withers and Roy Orbison as well as world famous hits across the decades, such as ‘Volare’, ‘The Message’, ’Live is Life’ and ‘Lose Somebody’.
Creating Music History
Rolf’s eldest son, Andreas Budde, himself a writer and arranger, works as a producer with others including the legendary composer and producer Giorgio Moroder.
A Recording Studio
is built at the new publishing offices in Berlin’s west. It is aptly named ‘Studio 54’ after the street number, where Budde Music is still based.
In 1970 Andreas starts working from there, for a new label Safari Records and Safari Music Productions he co-founded. When his father Rolf dies suddenly in 1975, he takes over the publishing business but continues to work as a producer, focussing on developing new talent.
When his father Rolf dies suddenly in 1975, he takes over the business but continues to work as a producer, focusing on developing new talent.
In the early 1980s, Andreas signs an unknown synth-wave trio from Muenster and invites them to record in the studios.
The band is Alphaville.
Singer and songwriter Marian Gold recalls how critical Andreas’ production skills were in finding the ultimate version that would become the ultimate international hit ‘Forever Young’.
Covered famously by Jay-Z, after nearly four decades it’s still being used by international artists like Becky Hill in 2020.
Budde Music remains proud of its long and successful partnership with Alphaville.
The Budde Brothers
Ahead of Alphaville’s ‘Big in Japan’ and ‘Forever Young’ 1984 hit releases, Andreas’ younger brother Rolf Budde Junior, a trained lawyer, joins the company and management. Andreas increasingly spends more time in the US and moves to Los Angeles to improve access to acquisitions there. A few years later, the brothers found a small publishing firm in the US, Budde Music Inc. and Budde Songs Inc. It’s the first big international expansion of the Berlin business.
In 1989 Budde Music opens its first international office in Paris with the acquisition of Editions Musical Claude Pascal and its catalogues including iconic songs like ‘Mamy Blue’ and ‘New World in the Morning’.
In 2020 Budde Music France is named Music Publisher of the Year.
Working with Good People
Rolf Budde sets a new motto for the publishing dynasty. “We like working with good people”. As well as overseeing the acquisition and administration of new catalogues and acquiring new titles in Germany and abroad, Rolf advocates on behalf of the emerging Berlin techno scene. He assists iconic electronic music artists like Richie Hawtin, Henrik Schwarz, Booka Shade and labels like Tresor, BPitch, Kompakt and Get Physical develop their businesses.
As CEO of Rolf Budde Musikverlag he is a highly respected supporter of writers and publishers in Germany and internationally. He is held in high esteem for his protection of the rights of international composers and lyricists. A Member of the IMPF, Rolf Budde was also President of the German Music Publishers Association (DMV). Like his brother Andreas, he was a board member of GEMA.
New Era of Talent Development
In the 2000s Budde Music starts to explore new and fresh exclusive signings. In 2004 it signs 18 year old talented hip-hop producer, Konstantin ‘Djorkaeff’ Scherer. Working with Helene Fischer, Capital Bra and Nico Santos, he is now one of Germany’s most in-demand producers and has a partnership with Budde Music nearing two decades.
In 2007 Andreas Budde dies after a short illness.
Soon after Rolf’s eldest son, Benjamin Budde joins the family business in Berlin.
After completing apprenticeships at esteemed independent music publishers in Hamburg and New York, he heads the Creative Department intent, like his father and uncle before him, on finding and developing new talent. In 2013, he joins Rolf in joint management of the firm.
In 2013 the publisher discovers and signs 17 year old Aurora, a singer-songwriter from Norway assisting her to become one of the biggest international alternative music stars.
In 2015, Benjamin starts working with Spanish singer-songwriter Alvaro Soler. Together with songwriters Ali Zuckowski and Simon Triebel they pen chart topping songs ‘Sofia’, ‘La Cintura’ and ‘El Mismo Sol’ turning Soler into a multi-platinum Latin superstar. During this period, Benjamin extends Budde Music’s services to include artist management.
Following a long illness, Rolf Budde passes away and Benjamin assumes full control of Budde Music.
New Ventures & Management
In 2018, Budde Talent Agency (BTA) launches in Berlin and Cologne to offer live bookings and management services to a wide array of acts and artists. In 2020, BTA expands to include a complete personal branding and PR service to music, TV and film professionals.
Expanding in the UK
Twelve years after establishing Budde Music UK, in 2020 it expands its operations in 2020, partnering with Phrased Differently, one of the UK’s biggest independent publishers with a growing roster of young and talented writers.
(Benjamin with Phrased Differently Founder and Managing Director, Hiten Bharadia)
Budde Music continues to innovate and has developed a dynamic app for its artists.
Buddemusic inside app provides its writers and artists with exclusive quick and easy access to monitor their royalties and successes on the charts, radio and TV.