Johann Michael Söllner (born December 24, 1955), better known as Hans Söllner, is a German singer-songwriter, who sings in Bavarian-German. Throughout German-speaking countries, especially in Bavaria and Austria, he is famous for publicly criticizing the German government and political systems in general to a vast extent. His lyrics are like stories, as they mainly deal with being in conflict with the law and everyday life problems.
Born on December 24, 1955 in Bad Reichenhall, Bavaria, Germany, Johann Michael Söllner grew up Catholic, attended school in Marzoll, and, contrary to social norms, grew his hair long as a teenager. From 1970 to 1973, he studied to become a cook, but employment eluded him; a brief period of mandatory civil service in the military also didn't work out, and neither did an apprenticeship as an auto mechanic.
Essentially unemployed on and off for years in Munich, he took to music, teaching himself to play guitar and writing his own songs. In 1979 he had his first live appearance on a small stage in Munich. Three years later, after winning at a singing-competition, he was offered a recording contract with the independent label PPM (Powerplay Music Records) and made his debut in 1983 with Endlich eine Arbeit. In 1986 PPM released the album Für Marianne und Ludwig, followed in 1987 by Wos reimt se scho auf Nicki.
Söllner left PPM for the well-regarded independent label Trikont, based in Munich, on which he made his debut with Hey Staat! (1989). Considered by many to be his greatest album, Hey Staat! certainly established him not only as a protest singer but as an up-and-coming talent on the alternative music scene. In 1989 Söllner recorded the studio album Bayerman Vibration, which was released the next year and was an instant success. In 1991 Söllner and his band Bayerman Vibration released the live album Live! which has gone out of print with the years, and become a raritie. In 1992 Söllner released Der Charlie which is, along with Hey Staat!, one of his greatest and certainly his most controversial to date. Der Charlie includes a long narration of his 1986–1987 trip to Jamaica and its influence upon him, in terms of not only reggae music and marijuana use but also politics and religion.
In August 1993, Söllner announced that he was abandoning the Roman Catholic faith and converting to the Rastafari movement; plus, he declared himself a vegetarian and pacificist. In 1995 Söllner released the album Grea Göib Roud, a studio record dedicated to a friend who had died. In 1997 he released the album a jeda, also a studio record. In 1998 Trikont reissued his first three albums (Endlich eine Arbeit, Für Marianne und Ludwig, and Wos reimt se scho auf Nicki), which had gone out of print following the demise of PPM. During the late ´90s Söllner was fighting criminal charges of cannabis cultivation and insulting public officials. He argued that it was his religious right as a Rastafarian to smoke marijuana, but this wasn't a winning argument; in the end, he was fined heavily and faced enormous legal expenses.
In 2000, Söllner returned with 241255, a double album composed of various live recordings from the last years. A year later he released Babylon, another live album, this one featuring his new backing unit, the Austrian reggae band Bayaman'Sissdem. In 2004, he released Oiwei I, his first studio effort in seven years; like his other albums of this era, it features Bayaman'Sissdem. A live CD Im Regen, followed in 2005. In 2007, Söllner and Bayaman'Sissdem returned with a new studio album, Viet Nam. On November 18th, 2011, Söllner released the studio album Mei Zuastand which features re-recorded songs from his entire career. On October 26th, 2012 Söllner released SoSoSo, a studio record that contains all-new songs.
- 1983 – Endlich eine Arbeit
- 1986 – Für Marianne und Ludwig
- 1987 – Wos reimt se scho auf Nicki
- 1989 – Hey Staat!
- 1990 – Bayerman Vibration
- 1991 – Live!
- 1992 – Der Charlie
- 1992 – Ungehörtes und Unerhörtes
- 1993 – Fang ma do o wo ma neilich aufg'heat ham
- 1995 – Grea Göib Roud
- 1997 – a jeda
- 2000 – 241255
- 2001 – Babylon
- 2004 – Oiwei I
- 2005 – Im Regen
- 2007 – Viet Nam
- 2011 – Mei Zuastand
- 2012 – SoSoSo
- 2013 – Zuastand 2