Making it in Germany: An Irish rock singer

Shannon Smith
Shannon Smith - [email protected]
Making it in Germany: An Irish rock singer

The Local's series "Making it in Germany" presents Rea Garvey, Irish expat and frontman for the rock band Reamonn.


Since coming to Germany 11 years ago, Garvey has recorded five albums with his band and developed a large following throughout Europe. Reamonn appeared at the German leg of Live Earth in Hamburg in 2007 and opened for then US presdential candidate Barack Obama's speech in Berlin in July 2008. He has also collaborated with popular trance DJ Paul van Dyk.


Rea Garvey



Where do you live now?

Berlin and Frankfurt. At the moment I live in a hotel in Portugal, but tomorrow that will change I guess!

Where are you from originally?


What did you do before coming to Germany?

I was a struggling musician in Ireland before I became a struggling musician in Germany.

What brought you here and when?

I moved to Germany in 1998, I had played a few shows with an Irish band in Germany and felt like it could be somewhere I would get the chance I was searching for. I was right!

What was your first job in Germany?

I played in Irish bars. I was a full-blooded musician when I moved to Germany and survived only from music.

How did you like it?

I have never regretted moving to Germany, and I feel at home in the country, but I do miss Ireland and travel home to recharge my Irish battery every now and then.

What has your professional life looked like since then?

When I moved to Germany, I knew what I wanted, and I was prepared to sacrifice a lot to achieve my dreams. That hasn’t changed much: since then I still am very hungry to live my dreams and sacrifice a lot to do exactly that!

Do you speak German?

It’s fluent, but not perfect.

What was the toughest part of coming to terms with German language and culture?

The language was difficult, but I talk a lot so it was necessary! The cultural differences were not really noticeable.

What was the easiest part?

The beer culture. I like a good cold beer and although Ireland makes the best stout, Germany makes the best beer!

What fascinates you most about German culture?

The oldest traditions are the best, the town festivals which are in place for many hundreds of years have a great history and are a part of the treasure to be found in German culture.

Do you feel the country has changed you?

The down side of the world being so networked is that the disasters in one country today become the disasters of another country tomorrow. Germany suffers a lot due to the sufferings of other countries, but the outlook of the Germans is always with a positive view to the future and the possibility of change. This is something I like the most about Germany: almost everything is possible if you put your mind to it. I learned that from the guys in the band.

What's your best advice for someone looking to 'make it' in Germany?

I think regardless of where you are in the world, if you believe in what you are doing more than 100 percent, then it is worth every sacrifice to fulfil that dream. If you are not convinced yourself, how do you expect to convince others?


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