News —

February 6, 2020 Marks the 15-Year Anniversary of HearDis!

When we hear of company anniversaries, one is always prone to wonder: How did it start? Stories behind the birth of enterprises are unique, entertaining and insightful to appreciate the people, passions and principles that went into forming a successful business, from idea to venture. So, what’s the HearDis! story?

In the late '90s Felix Haaksman (eventually, HearDis! co-Founder) was living in a small town in southwest Germany. As a diversion from the dullness of life in the countryside, he dived into music and began deejaying at clubs and private events with partner in crime Andreas Schoenrock (eventually, HearDis! musicologist). But in the rural district of the time it was a real challenge to access and come across new and different music. There was simply no chance to get a hold of records.

Luckily, Felix had heard of a record shop in Stuttgart and travelled the 50km distance curious to visit the store. That was when he discovered Freddys Records: run by Andreas Koulakiotis aka “Freddy” - DJ renowned across legendary clubs in south Germany (eventually, HearDis! music consultant) - the vinyl shop was a dream come true for music aficionados like Felix. Freddys Records was a gem for music genres such as acid jazz, trip hop, rocksteady, big beat, drum and bass, electronica and more.

Making it a regular stop for his restless dose of music thrill, Felix would avidly browse and listen to the vinyl collection, select the new weekly catches and most appreciate the limited records Freddy would hand-pick and put aside for him. Little did Felix know that just the same were doing Freddy Records’ fans and loyal customers Robin Hofmann (eventually, HearDis! co-Founder) and Rino Spadavecchia (eventually, HearDis! music consultant).

By then familiar around each other, DJ Benedikt - at the time part of Freddys Records’ crew - and DJ-partner C.A.T.Weazle, asked Felix and pal Andreas to run a weekly club night in Stuttgart. The two deejays keenly got on board and had the idea of further publicising the event by inviting international talent to bring a greater range of alternative tunes to the city. Freddy Records backed their enthusiasm and sponsored the promotional flyers.

One of these leaflets eventually caught the eye of Robin Hofmann. With passion for the same genres of music that only a minority in Stuttgart back then shared, Robin was eager to find out who the guys behind the flyer were. He showed up to the first date of the club night and introduced himself to Felix. The two right away hit it off, started hanging out and deejaying together while staying in touch throughout university years regardless of the distance that such implied.

When Robin, Rino and music collaborator Flo Pflüger later founded Pulver Records, they had Felix feature in the label’s first vinyl release - which revealed to be a huge success. After that, Felix (aka “Dutch Rhythm Combo”) joined Pulver Records' roster. Next additions to the team included music licensing rep Meike Frank (eventually, HearDis! Chief Operating Officer) and versatile intern Daniel Artur Schindler (eventually, HearDis! Sr Project Manager). In the coming years, the squad went on to release a bunch of music together, including Felix' first EP on the label, Go Dutch!.

While running Pulver Records, Robin was also engaged in consulting brands on ways to effectively implement music in marketing, often involving Felix to produce original songs for a variety of projects. At the same time, Felix was exploring the potential of audio content across industries in his graduate studies and as a music supervisor.

Experiencing the growing demand to empower retailers with smart decision-making around music and sound, Felix and Robin identified a novel business opportunity. But first things first, they needed a name for the company. Stunned by Jamaican sound system culture, the two entrepreneurs decided to commemorate the iconic catchphrase “hear this!” - pronounced with the Jamaican English nuance - that deejays would shout out loud to tell the crowd to pay close attention when something out of the ordinary was about to be heard.

On February 6th 2005, Felix and Robin are ready to formalise their mission of making brands audibly distinctive and memorable by establishing HearDis! GmbH.

To this date, the constellation of people that shared the same passion for music and sound and inspired each other along the way is still the beating heart of the enterprise: from vinyl record guru Freddy, musicology brainiac Andreas, music digger Rino, planning machine Daniel, operations perfectionist Meike to more special members that joined HearDis! over the years, each serving an instrumental part in the audio branding solutions the company tailors and delivers to its clientele.

After 15 years of thriving business with empowering retailers in their marketing efforts, HearDis! continues to strive to push boundaries for the next level brand experience. With the latest endeavours in the field of artificial intelligence, HearDis! has in store disruptive solutions to unleash even greater experiences that make people feel more connected with the brands they love. With such a premise, friends and business partners Felix and Robin are ecstatic about the next years to come!

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HearDis! Berlin HearDis! GmbH Christinenstraße 22 10119 Berlin Germany

T: +49 30 225 027 78 0
F: +49 30 225 027 78 99

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HearDis! Stuttgart HearDis! GmbH Christophstraße 6 70178 Stuttgart Germany

T: +49 711 518 92 98 0
F: +49 711 518 92 98 90

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