Cro – German emcee known for his pop-rap style and the signature panda mask
Born on January 31, 1990, he attended the Realschule Galgenberg in Aalen, Germany, and later Johannes-Gutenberg-Schule, a vocational school in Stuttgart, Germany. He began recording music at the age of 13. He learned to play the piano and the guitar. In 2009, he released his first mixtape Trash. On February 11, 2011, his second mixtape Meine Musik was released. It was available for free download. Cro produced the entire mixtape by himself. Through the mixtape German hip-hop musician Kaas took notice of Cro. Besides his musical career, Cro is also active as a designer. Since 2010, he has been designing under his clothing label Vio Vio. After receiving his Mittlere Reife, he completed an apprenticeship as a media designer and worked for the Stuttgarter Zeitung as a cartoonist.
Through Kaas, Cro met Sebastian Andrej Schweizer, founder of the independent-label, Chimperator Productions, and Kodimey Awokou. At the end of September 2011, a “Making of” video for a new artist was published by the label leading to speculations about which artist had been actually signed. In October 2011, Schweizer announced that he had signed Cro.
From October 30 until November 7, 2011, Cro was a supporting act for the Norwegian band Madcon during their Glow Tour 2011. During the concert and also for photos, Cro wore a panda-mask. Psaiko.Dino, producer at Chimperator Productions, adopted the role as a spokesperson for Cro, especially for the video-blogs.
In November 2011, the music video for Easy, which had been directed by Harris Hodovic and was announcing the upcoming mixtape, was released on tape.tv. A few days later, the video was released on YouTube, where it gained more than 500,000 views in the first two weeks. In the beginning of 2012, it had gained 12,000,000 views, mid-May, the views had risen to a number of more than 44,000,000. The American blog hypetrak.com also reported about the video and Cro. German hip hop and funk musician Jan Delay posted the video on his Facebook page and said, Cro was the “future of German rap. Besides “Easy”, “Hi Kids” and “Kein Benz” were also released prior to the release of the mixtape. On December 1, 2011, Cro was a guest on the show NeoParadise by the channel ZDFneo, where he performed snippets of three songs from his mixtapes Meine Musikand Easy. One day later, Chimperator Productions released the mixtape Easy which is available for free download on their website.
In the beginning of 2012, Cro signed an author’s contract with Universal Music Publishing Group. On January 27, 2012, Cro embarked on a concert tour named “Pandas Gone Wild!”, on which he was accompanied by Psaiko.Dino. In mid February 2012, the music video for “Easy” gained 1,000,000 views on YouTube. In mid May the number of the views rose to 3,000,000. On March 23, 2012, the song “Easy” was released as a single. Besides the Standard version, the Limited Edition version included the songs “Hi Kids,” “Lieblingssong,” as well as “Konfetti,” a collaboration with Ahzumjot and Rockstah. “Easy” entered the German Single-Charts on second place.
In June 2012, Cro’s single “Easy” was certified gold in Germany. The music video for the single gained 20,000,000 views on YouTube. From June 29 until July 1, Cro released on Single each day, “Du,” “King of Raop,” and “Meine Zeit.” Music videos were also filmed for every single. On July 6, Cro released his debut album, Raop. Mid-July, “Easy,” “Hi Kids,” “Du,” “King of Raop,” and “Meine Zeit,” all of his five released singles were placed in the Top 100 in the German Single-Charts.
On September 7, 2012 Cro released a free mixtape called Raop which included 16 remixes of songs from his album Raop. On September 28, Cro competed in the Bundesvision Song Contest with his and Die Orsons’ song “Horst & Monika” and took the fifth place. On October 19, 2012 Cro released the track “1 Millionen” through the iTunes and made it available for free download. He dedicated this track to having more than 1 million fans on Facebook. On October 21, he released a music video to accompany the track.
On October 27, 2012 Cro released the music video for his fifth single “Einmal um die Welt” which was released on November 2. In November, Cro’s debut album, Raop and single “Easy” reached platinum status in Germany whereas “Du” was certified gold. In Austria, Raop and “Easy” and in Switzerland, “Easy” were also certified gold. He also won the Bambi award in the category “Pop National”. On December 6, he won the 1LIVE Krone for “Beste Single” for his debut single, “Easy”. He was also named Newcomer of the Year 2012 by iTunes. His debut album, Raop was named “Album of the Year” by MTV.
In March 2013, Cro won a Swiss Music Award in the category “Best Album Urban – International” for his album Raop. Cro has cooperated with H&M and has designed a collection of clothes for men and women which was released on April 4, 2013. On March 11, H&M and Cro released additional behind the scenes images plus an interview.
Cro as Director
In 2016 Cro made his first movie named “Unsere Zeit ist jetzt”, where he was working together with the German actor Til Schweiger. The story of the film is, that Cro sent out an ideas contest for his movie and the realization of it with the three winners. The movie started at 6 October 2016 in German cinemas.
Behind Cro’s Panda mask
Cro wears a panda mask whenever he is on stage or doing something media related. His first mask was a cut version made out of latex. He once said that the main reason for his wearing it is to protect his privacy. In 2014, he wore an alternate mask made of cotton. Since the premiere of the video to “Unendlichkeit”, Cro now wears a more minimalistic mask that is made of plastic and is fully white.
Main article: Cro discography
Christopher Waibel Simon’s Tours
- Support for Madcon‘s Glow Tour (2011) (8 shows)
- Pandas Gone Wild! Tour (2012) (10 shows)
- Hip Teens Wear Tight Jeans 2012 Tour (with Rockstah and Ahzumjot, 2012) (17 shows)
- Road to Raop Festival Tour (2012) (20 shows)
- Raop Tour (2012–13) (44 shows)
- Cro Open Air Tour 2013 (2013) (14 shows)
- Mello Tour 2015
- stay tru. tour 2018
Carlo Christopher’s Awards
- 2012: Bambi: Pop National
- 2012: 1LIVE Krone: Best Single (Easy)
- 2013: Swiss Music Award: Best Album Urban International (Raop)
- 2013: ECHO: Hip Hop/Urban
- 2013: ECHO: Newcomer national
- 2014: 1LIVE Krone: Best Album (Melodie)
- 2014: 1LIVE Krone: Best Single (Traum)
- 2015: 1LIVE Krone: Best Album