The patrons enjoying one recent evening at Berlin’s Hard Rock Cafe did a double-take when they saw Germany’s well-known TV moderator Cherno Jobatey suddenly jump up on the stage. It was a spontaneous concert with bunch of friends. His repertoire: his favorite song in a special mix of hip hop, rock and reggae.
“The audience was so intrigued that they quickly transformed the stage into a dance floor,” wrote the German magazine Guitar.
Music is hardly anything new for TV host Cherno Jobatey. His mother is a pianist and his first attempts to walk in the spotlight were related to music, not news. He was the guitarist in the band “Groove Gangster GmbH” and he met his audiences at a loud volume. He played on all kind of stages in his native Berlin, in backyards and at town festivals. The band played its way up the ranks in the music scene in Germany, even becoming the warm-up act of rock stars like the Leningrad Cowboys. Once, teenager Cherno was even rocking right before German stadium rocker Herbert Grönemeyer.
That was how the Berlin tabloid BZ reported on one of Cherno’s appearance at Berlin’s famous Bergmann Street fair. And the paper noted wryly that Cherno’s favorite song was a hip-hop version of AC/DC‘s “Back in Black”.
Cherno Jobatey is well known talking about politics in a suit and tie, usually in front of a TV camera. One can catch him on many stages rubbing elbows with the likes of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bill Gates, US-Secretary of State John Kerry even with Barack Obama.
Cherno didn’t dive into politics until after college and a period of studies abroad broke up his band and put an end to his career as a professional musician.
Yet Cherno can’t let go and indulges in his musical passion whenever an opportunity presents itself. The magazine “Gala” drew this parallel: “He is as quick on his guitar as he is asking questions in the TV studio.”
As an encore – when the mood is right – Cherno will celebrate a little “Black Mass” for the master: For Jimi Hendrix! That really happened once at Berlin’s legendary Waldbuehne outdoor bowl arena – he played a long guitar solo behind his neck.
Cherno Jobatey is often asked why he keeps playing his guitar and singing. His answer is always a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche: “Without music life would be a mistake.”