There are at least three very different artists that go by the name Günther. One is a highly-sexualized Swedish pop singer (pictured left), the second is a symphonic rock trio from Calgary whose "Rock digs deep into an abyss of tonal expanses and constructs an impenetrable wall of resonance and covetous frequencies" and finally Gunther from Lebanon who's an Electronic music DJ. The beginning of this article focuses on the former, and for more on the latter visit http://guntherrock.ca.
Günther (Mats Söderlund) born 1969 is a Swedish musician, club owner, and former model, best known under his stage name Günther. After retiring from modeling, he managed clubs in Malmö. In 2004 he started his musical career performing with the stage name Günther.
Söderlund's work is marked by upbeat, pop influenced rhythms done with deep sensuous vocals that can be classified as pop and dance. Most of Günther's single releases have been in a collaboration with a female duo known as Günther and the Sunshine Girls. They are most well known for their hit single "Ding Dong Song" which appeared in Sweden during the summer of 2004. Günther and the Sunshine Girls toured various dates in Northern Europe following that summer. The song and resulting video gained popularity in the United States via personal trading and humor sites such as YTMND.
As stated on his web page, gunthernet.com, Günther's goal is to show the world a more sexual life through his music. Somewhat jokingly, he lists the most important things in his life as "champagne, glamour, sex, and respect." The honesty of Günther's movement and music has been questioned and with little other media coverage it is difficult to know the truth.
Günther's style is notable for his mullet, moustache, large black sunglasses and facial expression.
Günther's first single, "The Ding Dong Song", was released on May 24, 2004 under Warner Music Sweden. At another point during 2004 the group released a full length compact disc entitled "Pleasureman." (A nickname of Günther's) The CD featured similar songs to "The Ding Dong Song" with heavy dance beats. In the month of October 2005 the group released their entire album on popular online music stores such as Apple's iTunes.
On March 11, 2006, Günther and the Sunshine Girls competed in the Swedish Melodifestivalen in Gothenburg, though they didn't receive the required number of votes to qualify for the finals and represent Sweden in the Eurovision song contest.
Günther's first performance in the US was on February 3, 2006, at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut; he performed "Tutti Frutti Summer Love" and "Ding Dong Song" as encores after enthusiastic shouting of "Gunther, Gunther" and "Ding Dong Song, Ding Dong Song" by Yale undergraduates. Günther closed out the performance saying, "I love Yale. Always remember: sex, love, champagne, and respect."
On May 7 he performed at the Tower Club, a Princeton University eating club. He performed a set of 5 songs from his Pleasureman album, two of which were encores ("Teeny Weeny String Bikini" and "Ding Dong Song"), to an enthusiastic crowd of Princeton undergraduates. Throughout the performance, security personnel had to forcibly remove a number of students from the stage to prevent their repeated attempts to interact with Günther and the Sunshine Girls.
Born in January 1977, in a family of music lovers, his quest into the music world was predestined. Since the age of 7 Gunther El Sabbagh ventured into music studies and took Piano lessons till the age of 15. Meanwhile at the age of 12 he started drifting into Hard rock and heavy metal music.
His music style drifted from rock and metal to electronic and dance music by the time he stopped playing Piano. His influence started by listening to Faithless and then a couple of years later northern exposure’s Digweed and Sasha, east cost 1997… During this period he began collecting progressive music and played it in private after hours. Following the music evolution from Lebanon till end 2000 with the Nubreed & Global Underground albums. From 2001 till end of 2004 he pursued his musik education while listening to DJ Gogo@ Club Q, Zurich Switzerland.
He graduated as an electronic music producer in May 2005 from SAE in Paris.
Gunther works in Lebanon since July 2005 with Stamina (Elias Merheb) under the project Gunther & Stamina. They were launched by a series of After-hours @ Orange Mechanic (OM), Beirut, Lebanon with Tag Events, DJs G! & Special K; where all four Djs rocked Beirut till 12:00 a.m every Saturday & Sunday of every week, writing history into Beirut’s underground nights and breaking a record in the middle east by performing 12 hours sets.
Gunther & Stamina are famous for their long sets (sometimes up to eight hours) every Saturday @b018, Beirut, Lebanon (www.b018.com) where they hold a residency every week Thursday, Friday & Saturday as main act.
His long sets among with his partner Stamina are blended with the latest underground musik from minimal, deep House, progressive, tribal, tech-house and techno. All sets are mixed harmonically. (www.harmonic-mixing.com)
They hold as well a week-end star residency on Mix fm the official number one station in the middle-east (www.mixfm.com.lb) every Friday from 20:00 till 21:00 (Underground sessions is the name of the show).
They performed with international artists, mainly during the Bacardi & Mix FM events.
Gunther warmed up Big Al, Anthony Pappa, Tall Paul and Maron, opened for Dean Coleman & Deep Dish.
Closed for Nick Warren, Big Al, Desyn Massiello, John Digweed, Jimmy Van M, Ali Ajami, Fred Numf, Hisham Samawi, Jan Carbon, Steve Lawler, Remy, Markus Schulz, Mattew Dekay, Gabriel & Dresden, Tall Paul, Maron, Armin Van Buuren, Anthony Pappa, Above & Beyond, Ferry Corsten and Carl Cox
Biggest event performed was with Stamina closing for Carl Cox at Biel, Lebanon, May 6th 2006. Around 5000 ppl attended the gig.
Further into the today’s time fruitful connection, is the great friendship tie with Big Al (www.readymixrecords.com) who supported & keeps on supporting G & S as well as the rest of the underground scene in the Middle East.