Face To Face

Face To Face With German rapper Rote Mütze Raphi

Face To Face With German rapper Rote Mütze Raphi
Photo cover by: Leon Flore
Published Feb 08, 2024
8 min read

Young, gifted, German and almost always wearing a red cap, Rote Mütze Raphi is the new guest of Believe’s Face To Face interview series. The young rapper, signed to Groove Attack, sat down with us to discuss her early (but eventful) career, how she grew up as an artist and give us new insight on her second album. 

In German, “Rote Mütze” means simply “red hat”, so you’ll now understand why the red cap, or red beanie, is Raphi’s signature. But the young rapper, hailing from Koblenz, is way much more than this, and it’s definitely not the hat that made her noticed in the first place. No, it was her talent and perseverance.  

Though she admittedly started writing lyrics when she was 14, Rote Mütze Raphi's story really began in 2019, when she began consistently posting videos of herself rapping on social media. Her videos soon started appearing on social accounts dedicated to hip-hop, drawing the attention of Achtabahn, a team of young music producers who produced her first hit in 2020 “C’est la vie”.  

After several singles and a pandemic that only strengthened her determination, she kept growing on. In 2021 – she did her first live performances and won the Newcomer of the year prize at the New Music Award that year. In 2022, at only 20, she released her debut album Liebeskummerparty

While working on her second album, Raphi sat down with Kristof Jansen, Vice President of Believe brand Groove Attack, at of of Believe's offices in Cologne to discuss the highlights of her young career, how social media has shaped her reputation, and her relationship with Believe and Groove Attack. 

Kristof Jansen: Rote Mütze Raphi, it's nice that you're here with us at the Believe office in Cologne. We know you here, of course. For our international readers, could you please introduce yourself?

Rote Mütze Raphi: Yes of course, I'm Rote Mütze Raphi, I'm 21 years old and I'm a rapper, an artist and I’m signed to Groove Attack/Believe.

Kristof Jansen: That's right, you've been under contract with us for three years now. You were the first artist to sign an Artist Services contract with Groove Attack. How would you describe your artist development over the last three years?

Rote Mütze Raphi: Well, I didn't even know until just now that I was the first artist to ever get this kind of contract, and I have to say I'm very happy with all the help I've received. I can always turn to Kristof and Julia. We also have a very close relationship with each other. It doesn't feel like work at all when I talk to you, and I've also become a bit more reliable than before. So I'm slowly getting there too. Let's not get carried away now, but I’m kind of becoming a businesswoman this way.

Kristof Jansen: I can only confirm this.

Rote Mütze Raphi: Thank you! And apart from that, I also won the New Music Award. For those who don't know, it comes from all the German public radio stations, it's the most important prize for newcomers that you can win. That's why I was already very honored to just be nominated.

I also have to thank you, among others, for that. And yes, I won it unanimously.  I know some people didn't wish it for me - I won't mention any names - but I am truly very, very grateful for this incredible milestone and I wouldn't have achieved it without you.  I am very grateful for that. And you actually do everything else too, I have no idea whatsoever what you do, but you do it well!

Kristof Jansen:  We’re doing our best! We became aware of you through the Internet when you already had a small and genuinely viral hit. How important is the Internet to you in general, and how do you engage with it? How do you navigate through it yourself?

Rote Mütze Raphi: Well, social media has a very, very significant impact on my life. Without social media, Instagram, TikTok, I wouldn't be where I am now. I would never have met my producer, and probably not you either.

For people who want to make music now, it has become much easier to be discovered, than maybe a few years ago. I understood that relatively early. On Instagram, you see many people showcase their talents, and at that time, many German rappers also went viral with Insta videos, as here were such significant rap pages, which still exist. And my videos were also posted by these pages. Back then, it was more on Instagram, as TikTok wasn't such a big platform yet. It was always a significant platform, but not everyone used it because it was still Musical.ly.

Of course, you need luck, but I just kept at it. I posted something every week, and I believe it brought me something. If you consistently stick with it, then the Internet can really be a great opportunity.

Now I've also become a kind of part-time influencer. I vlog my life, I go live on TikTok every day. I have a great connection with my community, and it's just nice that I have this opportunity to build it with the internet. And yes, I wouldn't want to do without it.

Kristof Jansen:  So, would you say you've somewhat established yourself and Rote Mütze Raphi as a brand too?

Rote Mütze Raphi: Yes, I would say I've somewhat established myself as a brand. But I would also say that I'm still just myself. I don't go in front of the camera and pretend. I remain true to myself, even if the cap isn't always on. I don't wear it as much privately anymore as I used to, that's why you used to see it everywhere. And I just find it cool that I can express myself like this and be understood and accepted for who I am.

Kristof Jansen:  Speaking of that red hat; there's also what I think is a really interesting story that is worth sharing. You made a track with Seeed, one of the most successful German bands, and Peter Fox, Seeed’s frontman, spent about half an hour or so discussing your name with Matti, from the production team Achtabahn.

Rote Mütze Raphi: Yes, Peter Fox wasn't quite sure about the red cap and then just called Matti, who's part of Achtabahn, and asked him if that was really my name and if I really wanted to keep it. And he said “Yes, she wants to keep it that way”. I've also FaceTimed with Peter Fox. That really is a Flex.

Kristof Jansen: Yes, definitely. There was also one show here in Cologne at the Summerjam.

Rote Mütze Raphi:  Exactly. And that came about because I knew I had a performance on the same festival than Seeed. I talked with Nura backstage a few weeks before that. She also had a feature with Seeed before. And she said to me “If you ever see them, ask if you can perform with them.”

She kind of planted that idea in my head. And then I thought “you know what, you gather all your courage, go there and talk to them”. So I went backstage, like "Hey, how's it going?”.

I was shaking, honestly. But I just went there in a cool mood, chatted with them a bit, said something like, "I'm already here, let's perform our song together”. And then we discussed a little about it. And in the end, I was on stage with Seeed. And that was truly incredible.

I had never seen so many people in my life in front of me. I didn't even recognize them. So that was really a huge moment. After that, my blood flow collapsed because I think I was too excited. But it was very, very nice. And they also brought me on stage and introduced me very sweetly. So it was really awesome.

And I don't have a video of it. So if any of you have a video of it, so if you have one…

Kristof Jansen: I think I still have one, but it’s from when I went on stage with you. So you're on stage, I know I'm standing next to you.  But I think I have another video of that.

Rote Mütze Raphi: It was truly incredible. Especially since they initially didn't want to let me on stage because everything is so tightly controlled for them. The fact that I was allowed to be on stage with such legends, that's a moment I will never forget. I was, what, 20 years old? So, it really was a personal milestone for me as well.

Kristof Jansen: Yes. I'd like to take a step back to the beginning of our collaboration. Why did you choose Groove Attack and Believe back then?

Rote Mütze Raphi: Well, I talked to several majors and distributors over the phone, and I really thought about it with my team, about what is right for us and what feels right for us. I also decided based on gut feeling. And I also knew, of course, that Groove Attack already had many artists under contract or had success with them, artists I personally admired at the time.

So, I told myself “if someone like Xatar or Loredana is under contract with them, they must be doing their job well”. And in the end, we all decided together based on gut feeling. And it was clear to me after our conversation that I definitely wanted to be with you.

Kristof Jansen: Yes, very nice. Thankfully you're satisfied. At least that's what it sounds like. This is why we have freshly renewed our collaboration again! Now, can you tell us something about the plans for the near future?

Rote Mütze Raphi:  We're currently working on my second album and it's going well. My new single, the first one from the second album, was released on December 8th.

I am so excited about it. We've been negotiating, talking, doing, producing, writing, listening to promotional previews, and all sorts of things for a long time. I'm really happy that everything is slowly taking shape. Tomorrow I also have choreography for the music video. I'm just looking forward to 2024 because I believe my music has changed, our collaboration has become stronger, and we all believe in it even more than we already did.

I'm just super excited that it's starting now, and hopefully it will be nice

Kristof Jansen: Absolutely. We're also very happy and I think we all agree that it's going to be really good. Raphi, thank you very much for joining us here and giving us a few insights into your work and our collaboration. We are very much looking forward to the next album and to the future.

Rote Mütze Raphi:  I'm very happy too!

Rote Mütze Raphi new single "Chloé" is out and available on your favorite streaming platform. You can follow Röte Mutze Raphi on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube.