Fragma - Fragma Grenade
3D’s Carlisle Rogers talks with Damae, frontwoman Of German outfit Fragma, playing Freedom Festival this week.
Fragma has been around as a production team comprising Duderstadt brothers Dirk and Marco, along with producer Ramon Zenker, since 1998. The outfit’s 2000 breakout mash-up single Toca’s Miracle, featuring vocals from Coco’s I Need a Miracle is probably why you’re scratching your head now saying, where do I know that name from-
Fast forward to 2008 and the Germans have a new single, Memory, and they are coming to Australia for a huge tour, headlining the Freedom Festival and bringing vocalist and songwriter Damae along for the live sets.
“The Freedom Festival is a live set for us,” Damae says, “so we will be playing all of the classic material alongside Toca’s Miracle 2008, You Are Alive, I will do the old Toca’s Miracle as well, Every Time You Need Me and Deeper. I’m singing all on my own on stage, and I’m singing all of our biggest hits live. We have the new Fragma single as well, which should be coming out very soon. The new single is called Memory.”
Damae says that everything about her performance rests on the fact that she absolutely loves the work. “I have to bring all of my passion and love for the music. I think the people in the crowd can feel if you are happy or unhappy, and whether you like what you’re doing,” she says. “And I absolutely love what I’m doing. It doesn’t matter if I’m tired or upset, I love to be on stage and I really enjoy what I’m doing and I think people can feel that. I think you have to be honest and like what you’re doing and you will always get a good reception back from the crowd.
“I try to interact with the audience as well. I’m not just standing there and singing. Sometimes I bring people on stage. The reception here in Australia was amazing last night. I was really overwhelmed. The people could even sing all of my old songs. For example, You Are Alive is from 2001 and it was awesome and overwhelming, listening to all of those people sing along. When I go to clubs, I keep getting older, but the people are getting younger and younger. Sometimes I think that the kids won’t remember a track from seven years ago, but they still do. Especially in Australia, and I just realised that last night.”
Damae joined Fragma in 2000 to work on the first album, so she’s been there since the beginning, lending her lilting voice to more than a few now classic tracks. “I met Ramon at a party and they were looking for a singer for Fragma. It was quite funny, we just talked the whole night and we really felt like we had known each other for years,” she says. “I went to the studio and recorded some stuff and he really liked my voice. Also, he liked my personality as well, which I think is really important when you’re working with someone creatively. We started recording the first album.
“Because I’m a songwriter as well, I do write for Fragma. I wrote two tracks for the last album. Most of the tracks were written by a guy who is absolutely fantastic at songwriting. His name is Joern Friese and he’s a proper musician – he knows me and my voice and he writes the lyrics. The Duderstadt brothers will start most of the time with an idea, and they play that to Ramon and Joern. Joern will start to write lyrics for it, and I’m involved in recording something. Of course, I have some input into how I am singing it as well. I get to make a few changes. Then Ramon says that we can work on getting my voice down, which is the most important thing on the track. It gives the track a soul. Ramon edits<