Get to Know Jendrik: Spreading Love and Positivity With His Ukulele
Jendrik Sigwart, better known as Jendrik, is a 26-year-old musician based in Hamburg, Germany.
Jendrik's love of music and glass-half-full attitude have united to create a signature cheerful sound. In May, he performed his single "I Don't Feel Hate" at the celebrated Eurovision Song Contest.
"I Don't Feel Hate" is the ultimate optimist's anthem, with cheerful ukulele and vocal elements, an impactful (and dynamic) beat drop and hook, and even whistled melodies. The song is the epitome of happiness: If tap-dance break doesn't scream joy, I don't know what does. "I Don't Feel Hate" will have you singing and dancing along from start to finish, and takes the ukulele-pop combination to a whole new level.
The accompanying music video for "I Don't Feel Hate" is perhaps one of the most fun and original visualizers out there, complete with washing machines from all over Hamburg, a sparkly ukulele, and a dancing (and horn-playing) middle finger. Jendrik creates an entire world within his laundromat; he takes viewers to a poolside summer vacation, the club, and several other locations, all of which are sure to put a smile on your face. The music video for "I Don't Feel Hate" perfectly reflects Jendrik's fun-loving attitude and immaculate sense of humor.
We spoke with Jendrik about the ukulele, new music, black forest cake, and more. Read the full interview and listen to "I Don't Feel Hate" below:
Where are you based and what is the music scene like there?
I am based in Hamburg, and we have a great music scene. Every sixth song on the radio is from an artist based in Hamburg, which is so cool. I love getting to know all the music that comes from the city.
At what age did you start playing music?
I started learning the violin and the piano when I was five or six years old, and it just continued from there. I started doing musical theater in the 3rd grade and it was always part of my life. The first song I learned how to play was “The Rainbow Song” on violin.
How would you describe your sound?
I always try to put the emotions I’m feeling into the song. For example, the Eurovision song was about being happy, but the one I’m working on now is about just letting go and being free. I always try to see the positive in things-- even if I’m writing a sad song or a song about anxiety.
"I always try to see the positive in things-- even if I’m writing a sad song or a song about anxiety."
Why the ukulele?
It was actually a birthday gift for my sister from my parents, but I saw it under the birthday table and I just sort of… took it and never gave it back…? She never learned how to play the ukulele, but I annoyed my family for weeks because I was so amazed with playing it. It’s so delicate, and it really calms me down. You can play a lot of emotions with it; you can play happy songs, annoying songs, but also really emotional songs with a ukulele, and that’s what I love about it.
Who are your musical influences?
I am a big Taylor Swift fan, so I try to draw songwriting inspiration from her by putting personal things into my songs. I also really like Lighthouse Family.
Talk to me about your single “I Don’t Feel Hate.”
It’s the only song I’ve recorded so far, but I hope to record new songs in a few weeks. It was a lot of fun! It was inspired by a scenario where somebody did not like me or was disrespectful towards me. I really felt hate, but I said to myself, “that doesn’t do anything; you’ll just be grumpy and the other person won’t learn anything from it.” I took a step back and I tried to see the good side of the person, and it worked… they started treating me better. I think it’s an important message: if someone is hating on you, don’t do the same. I put all the things that made me happy into this song.
"I think it’s an important message: if someone is hating on you, don’t do the same."
What was the most challenging part of this project?
The quick lyrics. The bridge took me a while to get down because it’s so fast!
How did you come up with the concept for the music video?
I got the washing machines for the music video on something that is like eBay, but for free. We have this program in Germany where, for example, if you have a broken washing machine, but you don’t want to carry it yourself, you can just put it online. Anyone who wants it can take it for free and repair it. A lot of people in Hamburg have this, and I took all of the washing machines… I had to carry all of them with my brother. I looked for film studios, but they were all too expensive, so I made the video in the basement of a church, which I could use for free. My father and I built the washing machine part of the video, and my friends and I created all of the settings for the video. I wanted to incorporate the pride flag and tell six different stories, which was a lot for a three-minute song.
Tell me about your experience performing at the Eurovision Song Contest.
It was a dream come true. I always wanted to perform there. In the days prior to the event, I could really feel the impact of the Coronavirus. You couldn’t really talk and hang out as much as you wanted with the other artists because of the rules. That was a bummer, because it’s part of the Eurovision experience, but the event was amazing.
What is your favorite dessert food?
My favorite dessert is black forest cake; it’s chocolatey and fruity!
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you bring?
I don’t think I would take my ukulele because what would I do with a ukulele? I have to survive. My phone, a water bottle, and a satellite so I would have connection on my phone to contact someone. There’s no service on a desert island, so I have to bring my own.
What’s next for Jendrik?
I have three new goals that I’ve set: I want to release more of my music, I want to be in a series or in a movie one day, and I want to get a six-pack. I have not started on the third one yet. The music I want to record is stuff I’ve been working on for the past half-year. During the Eurovision Song Contest, I learned a lot about the music business, so there are a lot of new emotions and impressions that I’ve gotten. I see it as a new journey into unknown waters, so that’s the imagery I have for all of the songs.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you?
I am in the process of recording now, and each and every song is so different. I hope everyone enjoys my music!