German Pop Duo DieLochis Performs at Stuyvesant
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The Murray Kahn Theatre was buzzing with activity and anticipation. The seats were filled, and the stage was outfitted with platforms, on which stood a drum set, a keyboard, a DJ booth, and a guitar stand. On either side of the stage were banners promoting the Goethe-Institut, a non-profit German cultural association, and plastered on the back wall was a promotional poster for the German pop duo, DieLochis, that performed on Monday, December 4.
The duo is comprised of 18-year-old twin brothers Roman and Heiko Lochmann. For the past few weeks they had been touring schools around the United States with the Goethe-Institut as part of their “Schools: Partners for the Future (PASCH)” initiative.
The Goethe Institut promotes the education of German language and culture and presents contemporary German culture, such as DieLochis, to the world.
Roman and Heiko Lochmann have been amassing an enormous social media following since starting their YouTube channel six and a half years ago, at age 12. They have nearly 2.5 million YouTube subscribers, a combined total of 2.8 million Instagram followers, and their most popular video currently stands at 22 million views. “Music is and was a big passion our entire life. We [had] already [written] many songs, [played] a lot of music, and we [asked] our teacher if we [could] play at the school event so we [could] be on stage. So, it started very early [on] in our life,” Roman Lochmann said.
The duo is widely known in Germany: their album made number one on the German billboard charts and and they have a trending hashtag #zwilling, which means “#twin.” However, they admitted to having difficulties performing in the United States. “In Germany, most people know who we are. It’s another experience to play in a country, [where] no one knows who we are, no one knows our songs and stuff. It’s just crazy,” Roman Lochmann said.
The concert began with opening remarks from Principal Eric Contreras, a representative from the Goethe-Institut, and a representative from the German consulate in New York City. The brothers then ran on stage, spending the next few hours dancing, jumping, and interacting with their band. Throughout the concert they tried their best to pump up the crowd, encouraging people to put their phones away, stand up, dance, and have fun. Though they were not entirely successful, with some students staying seated, the brothers managed to get the majority of the audience moving.
While their music is in German, English is the twins’ second language, and so in between sets they professed their love for New York and explained the meanings of some of the songs, often talking about universal themes like friendship, heartbreak, and coming of age. “When you feel the music, you don’t have to understand the language to have fun,” Roman Lochmann said. “The main language of music [is] emotions,” Heiko Lochmann said.
In spite of language barriers, most students responded positively to the performance. “I expected the students to be sitting while two strangers sang at us, but it was actually much more interactive and amazing. It was what I expected an actual concert to be like instead of a showcase or performance,” junior Hanah Jun said.
The administration is hopeful that similar events can be scheduled soon. “We’re becoming a PASCH school. I think we will [also] be working closer with the Goethe-Institut in the future. They have a lot of interesting programs to offer,” German and French teacher Rebecca Lindemulder said.