Mambo #5 Magic | Lou Bega Story Shares How He Created One of the World’s Most Listened to Pop Music Hits of All-Time

Show Notes

Lou Bega shares how he crafted one of the world’s most listened to pop songs of all-time and how to make money as a musician on the planet Earth.

Lou Bega. David Lubega (born 13 April 1975), better known by his stage name Lou Bega, is a German recording artist. His 1999 song “Mambo No. 5”, a remake of Pérez Prado’s 1949 instrumental piece, reached Number 1 in many European countries and was nominated for a Grammy Award.

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Audio Transcription

Why do you say, gentlemen, on today’s show, we discussed the magic of Mambo number five. Today’s guest Oop Vega shares with us. Holly created one of the world’s most listened to pop songs, which currently has 247 million views on YouTube. Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, this is Mambo number fives crater Lou Bega

Ladies and gentlemen on today’s show, we have a blast from the past. Uh, a guy who I have played his music over a thousand [email protected] before I sold it. Ladies and gentlemen, the man who wrote Mambo, number five, Lou Bega. Welcome to the thrive time show. How are you?

Hey ladies and gentlemen, I am so good. I’m feeling so good and uh, thank you for having me. And I am the best man. The wedding man is always there when two people are there to, to, to be bound by a covenant, which we call marriage. Right. I am there with my mumble. Definitely all over the world. That makes me so, yeah, proud is the wrong word. It makes me happy.

Well, let me ask you this, my friend w where do you live these days? Where, where do you, where do you call home?

Oh man. Home is really where my hat is at and I’m traveling a lot, but home these days I would say the countryside, Bavaria, Bavaria, you know. Yeah. Just imagine of Bavarian cows. Oktoberfest. But the country side of it, my wife and me, we ride horses. We’re out there. The barrier. Yeah.

It looks beautiful. The images I’m looking up right now. They look gorgeous.

Yeah. Thank you. I needed a peaceful place. You know, my life was kinda hectic. Yeah. 30 years or more and I needed a peaceful place. So whenever I’d come back from a gig, I, I just enjoy that peaceful habitation and loveliness and peace. And uh, that’s what it gives to me.

Can you see mountains right now? Where you’re at. Can you see mountains from out when you go outside? Can you see mountains all around you?

Definitely. Definitely. You’d be live by the mountain side. Email. Yeah, we live on a mountain. Oh, horses climbed the mountains. Yeah. It’s lovely. I love the mountains. I love to see, but the mountain somehow gives me, I don’t know. Definitely peace.

Well, we have one of our show sponsors with us today, a Josh with living water irrigation. And he’s going to have a couple of questions for you, but I have three big questions for you. Three, three big questions. So Lou, um, where were you when you had the idea for Mambo? Number five, where were you? Walk us through the process of, of when you have this epiphany that became a international sensation and it still, it still is an international sensation.

I was sitting in the English garden. It was garden is a fabulous park in Munich, Germany. Well, summer time, all these students and girls passed by on their bicycles. It was just a beautiful scenery. Right. And, uh, I already had down the melody, you know, that, that edit, edit at that, that at the end already had that. But I have to fill it with words. So I started thinking about my own past and names and faces that I met and then started sending them in. So I would say it started in the English park and was garden underneath a tree. I’m just hanging out watching the girls pass by. Yeah.

So when you, when you wrote this song, um, did you, were you married at the time? Were you a single guy at the time?

I was, I felt single. I think I did have a girlfriend at that time, but my um, understanding of having a girlfriend was kind of loose at that time. So I would say I was a single bachelor kind of guy that turned.

Okay. So you wrote this song, talk to me about how he go from the song that you wrote, the melody you had to the, the verses to the lyrics. How did it go? How does it go from there to being on the radio? What was that process like of getting the song? Cause you basically, you know, you sell air for a living, which can be hard for people to understand. So how do you go from the song you’d, the melody you crafted into a song that’s on the radio?

Well, in our case, my friend, his name is JP and me, we had a basement, a studio, very cheap instruments. And uh, we hung out there day and night at that time. Cause you had that vision. I wanted to become that guy, Lou Bega, right? So we, we started crafting, we started sampling it at, at the beginning we, we bought all these old old classic records from Paris. Bravo subject, forgot these were like a, the icons, the musicians of the forties and 50s that did Southstar mumbo with the great bands. So we started hearing it and we started understanding that this is a sound that the new generation totally misses out on. Right. And I found out that these songs were basically instrumentals all the time. So when I have to the words and the melody, we started recording and, uh, we started putting in a few modern touches so that people would understand that it’s a modern version of a song.

And, uh, we had a manager, of course that manage a Rancho, all the record companies that were available because when people heard the demo, they, they knew it was special, but of course, no one’s figured out how special in the tube to come. So he ran around to all these record companies and pitched the song, basically empty album, because we already have, I got a girl, which was like the second song of the album is two or three other pieces. I’m ready. So we tried to sell the whole package, right? This young guy, 23 years old, half gentleman D style and his music. But you know, 90% of the record companies declined it. They didn’t want anything to do with it. I remember the head of one of the biggest record company said, come on, get out with this old BS B S this is not something that young people want to hear.

And yeah, I kinda got it. But like it is my friend. There’s always like that one person can change your course. That person understood the whole vision behind it. She understood that it’s not only the mumble five it is a little universe of happiness. It’s an alternate universe that you can escape and when you hit the hole out from, and that’s when he understood. So he gave us a contract and the time to fill the album. I have six other sons with the missing and we didn’t have much time. I think it was like two or three weeks. So it was one of the speedy albums. But this is basically the process.

Yeah. Well you know, as a DJ, when I was growing DJ connection, I, you know, I played your song over a thousand times. I did buy multiple copies of your album, you know, for all the different DJs and stuff. But can you explain to us how, how as a musician you get paid, do you make like 10 cents per album, maybe a half a cent per time, it’s played on Spotify. How do you get paid?

Very simply. This changed a lot. This has changed a lot since I am in the music business. It has changed on that. Just to understand the first record, the first record we used to call it record, the first piece of music that I brought out happened in 90 91 Virgin records. I, my name wasn’t Lou Bega and that was the first time I made some money with my music for 15 year old cause I was 15 there was a lot of money. We speak about 5,000 bucks for a song that was not a real hit. It wasn’t a smash, it’s not a classic. It was just a good song. And it made a lot of money in the 90s because in the 90s, at the beginning of it, you could make a lot of money. We had CDs, people still bought directorates, you know, um, you, you would receive like five or seven or 8 cents per record and then that in the millions internationally, that’s a good count of money. Right. But that changed a lot. It did change a lot. I was one of the last guys in 1999 that made a little bit of a fortune with selling music. You know, now we are living in digital world. It’s about streaming. And uh, believe it or not, people do not really earn money through streaming. You can stream millions of times and you get general 0.0001 Stan first screaming. You can really say that way. You can have a hit, a streaming hit in one country and maybe you afford a bicycle. Yeah.

So are you, are you, are you, um, you just did today, do you have to make money performing? Is that kind of where the money’s at? Is merchandise and performing and that kind of thing?

No, I don’t have to, but I love to put, that’s where actually the artist survives and makes money and keeps the family by performing.

How many people have, how many people have listened? How many times has your album been streamed or, or played at this point?

I don’t know about the streaming. I know it is one of those um, albums and songs that are really the top list of streaming. Even the moon one, um, dead is out right now. Many people know about it. It’s called [inaudible] I mean scat and then it happened man, it’s out and it’s already streaming a lot. So I am one of these artists record companies. That’s why they want to buy it. You know the old us again because I’m one of those streaming artists they have told me, cause I’m internationally known, the music is open, wide open. So people from all ages, age groups and you know, listen to, um, they left the streaming. So I am a streaming artist. Do I make any money of it? I don’t know because we have to really race horses.

You like to perform but you have to perform. I get that. I have a question for you Lou Bega. Um, we’re, if you could, if you could imagine right now, just visualize, visualize. Maybe your wife can Google it later, but we are broadcasting right now from the thrive time show studios. Okay. So I’m in a glass box and there’s about a hundred people in the background and I’m going to have to make some noise for you real quick just so you can feel like you’re here. Real admin person. So team, but cheered for loop bang.


Hey. Are they love you and tall. Hello? There we go.

Greg from fast. He got married. Well, I’m thankful

they’ve got a standing ovation going right here for you buddy.

Boring. That’s married little get loud.

Awesome. Well Hey, yeah, no, they love it. They love it. I told the guys you’re going to be on the show. Josh is excited. I’m excited. Josh, you own an irrigation company or an entrepreneur, lose an entrepreneur. He’s out there. He makes his money monetizing music that he loves you. Make your money by installing irrigation systems. I’m sure you have a great question for, for Lou Bega. So Lou Bega, you mentioned a scat man in the hat, man, what you’re working on now, but just curious for our listeners out there, sir. So what you have going, so it’s a two part question. Uh, what have going on now and then, and then what’s coming up next for you, sir?

Oh, right now, you know, I, I only in Germany I brought out a tribute song to scap man John and a tribute song to my own career, which, um, came 20 years of age this year. So we, um, produced their song, which is called scat men and Hackman. It’s out there. Even the music put us out there. We just brought it out as a tribute. There was no fire power behind it, but it reached, um, many, many charts and uh, the European, uh, way. So now the major companies came, university said old new old racehorse, OSI baskets coming to our stable.

Well, let’s see.

Yeah. Oh, see this, the lieu received our new record company, the national league, and now they want me to produce an album until March.

Oh, this is cool.

I am ready to do, yeah. So it’s going to be an album and it’s going to be out in March. And right now the first piece of song which can hear is scamming Hartman on YouTube and in all the other streaming channels.

Lou, when are you, when do you come into Tulsa next? I know Tulsa tells us gotta be on your hit list. I mean, think about there’s Vegas. You think about LA to go Vegas, New York. You’ve got Tulsa. Oklahoma has gotta be the, the number one destination for traveling musicians. What are you coming to Tulsa next?

Oh, I would love to. I would definitely love to come to Tulsa, but I have no plans yet.

Okay, well I’ll give you a sod farm too. I will give you a sod farm tour and I’ll give you a tour of my office. If you come to Tulsa, you’ve, we’ve seriously be ever in the area. If you’re in Dallas or in the area, you should stop on by. These people love you out here man. It’s, it’s a a, you know, we have a lot of casinos near here. We got to get you a gig here in Tulsa. There’s a lot of, you know,

but you know that I, I’d rather earn money than burn money.

That’s true. That’s fair. That’s fair. Rather earned.

Tulsa is definitely should be on my plan. I would love to come back to the States with a new album cause I haven’t been doing this. You know the story of about my second album is this. I was in New York ready to go home to the second album and what happened at that time, 2001 September, the greatest show ever that 11 happens. I believe that the country of the whole world fell into a coma, into a shot. [inaudible] and I’ve been promoted. Anything happened to use it for the time being. And I went back to Europe and nine 11 changed the way of my career, which was good. Some level, but I always loved this in the United States and uh, I just wanted to come back with a good product and that product is coming guaranteed.

Lou, I appreciate your time. Um, more than I can. I really do. I appreciate your time. I know you could be doing anything right now in Bavaria, but I would like it if, if you could, you have the floor, you have the mic, you have about a half a million folks that are going to hear this. But what’s the message you want to share with the listeners or the ask or the action step you’d encourage them all to take? Sorry, one more time. What’s the action step that you’d like all of our listeners to take? Or what’s maybe the one thing you’d like to share with all of our listeners?

Well, Oh our love share with them that um, right. You know, just short. Everybody knows it, but we do not act accordingly. Right? I’m guilty of that as well and we should just live it not to the fullest in a stupid way. We just just wake up every morning, appreciate what we have is we are healthy and we have loved and they have a little bit of money on the side so that we can pull out for ourselves. You shall be happy on some level and just be thankful. You know, like I say to mama number five, first verse when I’m talking about need the boys hanging out. Remember, I love Angela [inaudible] Rita, right? I’m also saying I really bad you my Lord. You know, to, to, to be happy to do the right thing.

Well, Lou Bega, I’m looking at, I’m saying I’m looking at your headshots for the new song here, the scat man and that man, you’re looking good. You must be drinking a lot of Bavarian fish oil. You’re looking great.

Thank you. Thank you. As Photoshop. Maybe.

No, I mean this is good. I this apparently there’s no Photoshop here at all. This right here. I can tell this is natural right here. Lou, you’re looking good.

Thank you sir. Thank you sir. I just seen my buddies here that I can take without me.

Oh well Hey, I’ll let you get back to doing what you do, but thank you so much for your time, my friend.

Thank you. Thank you brother and thank you to so and uh, yeah, have a good time. Thank you for playing a thousand times.

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