Thomas Godoj

Thomas Godoj and his band in September 2015 making the music video of “Vermisst du nicht irgendwas” in the “Vernetzungen” exhibition by Danuta Karsten (with Dirk Hupe), in the engine house of the former Scherlebeck colliery in Herten.
Thomas Godoj and his band in September 2015 making the music video of “Vermisst du nicht irgendwas” in the “Vernetzungen” exhibition by Danuta Karsten (with Dirk Hupe), in the engine house of the former Scherlebeck colliery in Herten.

Nonetheless Thomas Godoj takes a critical view of his time with DSDS and the commercial music business. In several interviews – including those with radioBerlin 88,8 on the 16th December 2014 and Scenario, the young people’s editorial department at the Recklinghäuser Zeitung on the 3rd September 2015 (both on youtube), he had some hard words to say about the not exactly gentle business attitudes of the television format and the few remaining global record companies where everybody earns good money – with the exception of the musicians who, when all’s said and done, scarcely earn enough to survive. This is why he decided to take responsibility for financing his fifth album with the title “V”, which appeared on the 24th October 2014, with the help of crowdfunding via the Internet platform startnext.com; and to launch it on the market under his own label Tomzilla. Within 24 hours he had reached his financial aim of 55.000 Euros, thereby breaking the European crowdfunding record for music. After nine weeks he had collected €158,000 from 784 supporters. This success also enabled Godoj to produce his first studio acoustic album “V’stärker aus”, in which his band played their instruments without amplification. It appeared on 25th September 2015. Crowdfunding for his sixth album began on 22 January 2016 and around €140,000 had been pledged by the end of February. The campaign ran until 26 March 2016. Thanks to crowdfunding and his own label Godoj has been able to make the music he wants to make without being subject to instructions from a record company and the pressures of the music industry. He will be going on tour with his new album.

Thomas Godoj, whose original Polish name is Tomasz Jacek Godoj, was born in the Silesian town of Rybnik in the south of Poland in 1978. In 1986 his parents moved to Germany with him and his sister, and two years later they settled in Recklinghausen. The family arrived in Germany after a conspiring a planned holiday in Yugoslavia on the Adriatic coast. In Belgrade they waited for a visa for a month. After arriving at the border reception centre in Friedland and a short stay in Unna-Massen the family finished up in Mettmann. Here they lived in a small emergency apartment for two years – after one year they had to share the apartment with another immigrant family – before moving to Recklinghausen in 1988. This is where Thomas Godoj says that he finally feels at home, for this is where his friends are. As a teenager he admits that he “hung around in rehearsal rooms“, bought his first drum kit and wrote his first song texts. Recklinghausen is well known for its rock ‚n’ roll scene, also for its heavy metal and hard-core bands, and these influenced him greatly in the 1980s and 90s. He won first prize in a Newcomer Festival in Recklinghausen with his own very first band Cure of Souls.

From 2003 to 2005 he was the lead singer with the Nu-Metal band Tonk! with whom he performed his own German-language texts. After training as an engineering draughtsman and eight semesters studying to be a building engineer he abandoned it all in favour of becoming a musician. Between 2005 and 2007 he was the singer with the band WiNK. In summer 2007 he applied to appear in the casting show Deutschland sucht den Superstar and reached the final with a selection of rock songs. In an interview with radioBerlin he said he was highly grateful for the opportunity given to him by DSDSbecause it enabled him not only to present himself on stage but also to get a foot in the door of the music industry. But in retrospect he didn’t like the way the producers treated the participants afterwards, nor the way “the business ticks”. The fact that the priority of commercial music companies is to balance the books has, in his opinion, nothing to do with making music and this “was a shocking and sobering experience”. For him music is “still a gut feeling“. He regards the way he was treated during the casting show and the way the PR machinery used his life and personal statements as “absurd”.