Four-year-old's nursery song a chartbuster
21 December 2004, COLOGNE - A nursery song by a four-year-old girl has soared to into the pop music charts in Germany, zooming ahead of Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue to land at third place. Little Joy Gruttmann from Cologne is the youngest recording artist in German history to make it to the Top 10 - with good prospects for making it all the way to the top of the pops during the holiday season. Her tinny-voiced rendition of "Schnappi - Das Kleine Krokodil" (Snappy - The Cute Crocodile) has put Joy ahea
21 December 2004
COLOGNE - A nursery song by a four-year-old girl has soared to into the pop music charts in Germany, zooming ahead of Robbie Williams and Kylie Minogue to land at third place.
Little Joy Gruttmann from Cologne is the youngest recording artist in German history to make it to the Top 10 - with good prospects for making it all the way to the top of the pops during the holiday season.
Her tinny-voiced rendition of "Schnappi - Das Kleine Krokodil" (Snappy - The Cute Crocodile) has put Joy ahead of Minogue's "I Believe In You" on its way to the top.
Joy now has her own official website, where Schnappi baseball caps and T-shirts can be bought along with the official Schnappi CD, the Schnappi video, Schnappi DVD and the Schnappi video game can be bought online.
"Schnappi" is being played on radio stations nationwide and the video is featured on MTV Germany. A throbbing dance remix version of Schnappi is being heard at the hottest clubs.
Nobody is as surprised as Joy herself, whose aunt Iris recorded her singing the song three years ago and posted it on the Internet as a kind of a family joke.
Aunt Iris has a catchy way with lyrics for children's songs, having composed a number of ditties for children's programming public television in Germany. But she insists "Schnappi" is all Joy's doing.
"She came up with the lyrics and the tune and the first time I heard her singing it I thought it was simply adorable," Gruttmann says.
"'Schnappi' is a charmingly delightful children's song," she adds. "It comes straight from the heart of a sweet little girl and I really think that's what the appeal is. It touches people's hearts and reminds them of happy childhood times."
Joy is meanwhile a 7-year-old, but she can still launch into a tinny pre-schooler's version of her song for the benefit of radio and TV microphones:
"Schni schna schnappi schnappi schnappi schnapp," she sings, belting out the story of a baby croc's teething attempts on his father's leathery leg and how proud mother crocodile is of him.
Now that elementary school is out for the Christmas holidays, Joy has time to appear on daytime TV talk shows.
"Singing comes naturally to me," she told RTL Television. "I didn't use any special technique and I have no special training. I suppose I was just born with this talent," explained the dark-haired young girl with the beaming smile and twinkly brown eyes.
A TV viewer might well mistake Joy for Kylie sitting there in the seat across from the talk-show host, talking about how her singing style has changed as she has matured over the years.
Kylie's feet touch the floor when she sits on an adult-size chair, while Joy's don't. Otherwise, the comments are much the same.
"I recorded the song when I was much younger, and I've learned a lot since then. After all, I was only four and a half years old then," Joy pointed out.
"I'm into different things now. I want to be an architect or maybe a fashion designer," she said. "But if the song does really well in the charts, well, maybe I'll just stick with being a rich and famous rock star."
And Joy was able to say all this while swinging her legs freely under the chair, which is something Kylie certainly cannot do.
Subject: German news