Mixing boy band sensibilities with hip-hop influences, Rapsoul have distinguished themselves as Germany's leading male vocal trio. The group's two original members, Jan-Markus Färger and Steven Neumann, grew up together in Frankfurt, drawn together by their mutual love of music. As their interests turned to urban music, Färger began writing rap lyrics and Neumann composed tracks. The pair formed an official duo, Dreckskind und Pechvogel (Färger taking the moniker Dreckskind and Neumann performing as Pechvogel), releasing their debut EP, LebensArt, in April of 2004. As the duo performed more regularly, they became more connected with musicians in the region. They soon met vocalist C.J. Taylor, who they invited to join their group. With the addition of Taylor, the group was renamed Rapsoul. The group caught a break in 2005 when its remix of the Glashaus single "Du" was put on heavy rotation on the popular German station Planet Radio. An offer for a record deal with Gun Records (Sony/BMG) was quickly followed by an invitation to open for the Backstreet Boys on their tour of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Though the band's debut single, "Verzweifelt," tanked, peaking at number 23 on German charts, Rapsoul's subsequent single, "Gott Schenk Ihr Flügel," hit charts at number two, as did their debut record, Unbeschreiblich. Enjoying international popularity thanks to their association with the Backstreet Boys and a successful debut record, Rapsoul headlined their own tour in September of 2006. The band's 2007 release, Achterbahn, experienced similar initial chart success, followed by the Rapsoul Clubtour, which took the group through important nightclubs all over Germany. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez

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