Marco Buschmann swaps the file for the piano: the FDP politician is collecting money for children with heart problems with a self-composed song. The proceeds go to the foundation of ex-footballer Gerald Asamoah.
Wearing a blue double-breasted suit, the minister sits down at his electric piano in his office. “So, we need a nice piano sound,” says Marco Buschmann as he switches it on. Then he hits the keys. The melody of a song that he wrote and wrote himself plays through the Ministry of Justice in Berlin. And which was published on Friday.
“We will survive” is the name of the track. Created with two professional producers and the singer Hannah Jaha. The income generated through streams and purchases goes entirely to a good cause. Buschmann is the patron of the Foundation of the former national player Gerald Asamoah. The goal: to save children’s lives.
As a patron, Buschmann doesn’t just help with his name and his political contacts. “When I do something like that, I always want to make an active contribution,” said the minister. “Then we thought about it and that’s how the music project came about.”
Electric piano instead of a sofa bed
The Minister of Justice has been making music for years, starting at the age of twelve. “Music is a very emotional matter. Everyone has something with which they express their emotional side,” says Buschmann. His job in particular is very rational. Playing the piano is his way of adding a bit of color to the otherwise rather dry everyday life as Minister of Justice. His piano is in the small room next to his office, where there would be room for a bed for all-nighters.
Despite busy days, Buschmann makes time for social work: “Of course, you have to organize a bit, but we’ll manage it. And if you can also get involved, like now with the charity song, I feel that way too not as work.”
Work that pays for vital operations for children with heart disease. Like that of little Jayden from a Nairobi slum. When he is one year old, the foundation will fly him to Germany in 2022. Jayden was born with Down syndrome and two holes in his heart. Specialists operated on him at the German Heart Center in Berlin.
When we met in “his living room”, the Schalke 04 stadium, Asamoah grinned, as he always did. He has a congenital heart defect himself. His career was in jeopardy and doctors advised him to end his career. But the Ghana native decided to move on with his life. And accept the risk. His illness was the motivation to set up the foundation: “I decided I wanted to give something back,” says Asamoah. “There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a child laugh.”
It is no coincidence that the song appears during Advent. “I hope that people will think about it now, especially at Christmas time. That people will ask themselves where they can do something good,” said Asamoah.
A mutual friend established contact between the ex-professional and the Minister of Justice. “Schalke connects us. We got along straight away,” says Asamoah. “If you come from the Ruhr area, you know how quickly friendships are formed.”
As “MBSounds” on Soundcloud
Buschmann, the member of the Gelsenkirchen constituency and therefore the royal blue man in the Bundestag and the club legend Asamoah – that fits. “If you were born in Gelsenkirchen, you can’t ignore Schalke,” said Buschmann. He grew up in the shadow of the old Park Stadium. “My parents bought a small terraced house there when I was seven years old. And whenever there was a game, we used to hear the goal screams as they were broadcast on television.”
“In Gelsenkirchen, Schalke is religion,” says Buschmann. And if Schalke is the religion, then Asamoah is something like the prophet. He played for the club for twelve years, his farewell game taking place in the Schalke Arena. This was called his “final shift.” Even though the club has long been a multi-million dollar business, the old miner mentality is still maintained. “I felt understood here straight away. People simply accepted me,” beams Asamoah.
The charity track is not the minister’s first work. He uploads his finished songs to Soundcloud. The profile photo shows him with sunglasses and the account bears his name MB Sounds. One can only guess that this is a federal minister. For example the song “Train To Kyiv”. Anyone who visits Ukraine travels by train. For safety reasons.
“You can’t express that in words alone”
Buschmann did the same. “I couldn’t sleep on that night train. You were so shaken and it rattled all the time.” At some point, in his semi-delirious sleep, he began to hear rhythmic patterns in the chattering. “If you’re a little musically inclined, you start to automatically translate these into rhythmic structures.”
For Buschmann it is the way to process what he has experienced. In Kiev he stood with Mayor Vitali Klitschko in front of a destroyed residential building. “It was in rubble and ashes,” reports Buschmann. And while he was there listening to the mayor, suddenly there was an air raid alarm. His security people became very nervous, says the minister. “I said: Mr. Mayor, I have to go now. My people have service regulations for such situations.” Back in Germany, he sat down at the piano and composed music based on his experiences. “You can’t express that in words alone,” says Buschmann.
The charity song came about from this hobby. And despite the federal government’s enormous financial concerns, the money can also be used for its original purpose. When asked whether Finance Minister Christian Lindner had already knocked on the door and claimed the income for his budget deficit, Buschmann laughed and replied: “No, no one had the idea yet!”
But his ministerial colleagues have already announced that they will stream and buy the song diligently. So that a lot of money can be collected for further operations.