Last week, it was announced that teenage wunderkinds Lum!x and Pia Maria would be representing Austria in Turin with the song “Halo”. DJ and producer Lum!x was a long-rumored name, but vocalist Pia Maria is a newcomer to the music scene. Let’s find out a little bit more about the talented twosome.
Pia is a Makeup Master
Born in 2003 in Innsbruck, Austria, Pia grew up loving the performing arts. She attended a music middle school in Innsbruck and was active in musical theater. But performing on stage wasn’t her biggest passion at the time. She liked working behind the scenes.
Pia quickly realized that what she enjoyed most about the process of musical theater was … stage makeup! This passion shifted her focus and eventually led her to pursue it as a career. In 2019, at age 15, she was accepted into the newly created apprentice program at Tiroler Landestheater, a theater and opera hall in Innsbruck. There, she spent the next three years in vocational training, learning from professionals how to do beauty and special effect makeup for the stage. She began apprenticing in January of 2019 so, based on that timetable, she finished her training only one month ago.
In the below video, uploaded by German-language newspaper Tiroler Tageszeitung last year, you can see her at work.
While she was focused on her apprenticeship over the past three years, Pia continued writing music on the side, laying the groundwork for this new chapter of her career. Her former employers couldn’t be happier for her, wishing Pia good luck on social media once the news of her Eurovision gig was announced.
But who is the talented teen joining her in Turin …?
Lum!x was Discovered Online
Born Luca Michlmayr in Rohrbach, Austria, Lum!x‘s love of music started at an early age, and, by age 11, he began uploading remixes and original songs to YouTube and SoundCloud.
“When I was 11 years old, I came into contact with electronic music for the first time and immediately installed DJ software and a music program,” he said in a 2020 interview. “At the age of 13, I started producing music every day.”
Listen to some of his oldest available remixes below left:
His work eventually caught the attention of Bounce United, a then growing EDM music production company with an active community across YouTube and SoundCloud. His debut on the company’s social media platforms, the song “Waiting for Me“, was uploaded in August of 2017, and currently sits at just over 122k views.
Lum!x would go on to create many bootleg and dance tracks for Bounce United, including “Jägermeister” and “Underground“, but it was his collaboration with one particular icon of the dance and electronic scene that really put Lum!x on the map … and it was all thanks to two sisters from Utah.
He’s Blue, ‘Da ba dee da ba di’
Eiffel 65 was an Italian dance music group in the late ’90s and early ’00s, most remembered for the inescapable worldwide phenomenon “Blue (Da Ba Dee).” One of the founding members of Eiffel 65, Gabry Ponte, has had a long and storied career in the international music scene, and was introduced to Lum!x through his work for Bounce United.
In particular, he was a fan of a bootleg remix the Austrian teenager had created using the 2006 indie rock-pop song “Monster”. That song was originally recorded and released as a single by sisters Meg and Dia Frampton (or, as they were known, Meg & Dia) on their sophomore album. (Watch their original music video here.) Gabry Ponte and Lum!x collaborated on new, EDM-ified version of “Monster”, and, in April of 2019, released it as a single.
The response was immediate. The song was streamed over 100k in the first five days alone, and it became the soundtrack of a viral TikTok dance trend. There are currently over 2.2 million uses of the song on that social media platform alone (see highlights below), the official music video has over 73 million views, it remained on the German music charts for 80 weeks, and it was eventually certified 3x Platinum and 7x Gold. At 17, Lum!x became the youngest Austrian ever to be awarded a gold record.
The success of “Monster” opened up a whole new world of opportunities for Lum!x, allowing him to play gigs all over Europe and increasing his public profile. But how do you follow up a smash hit single?
His Career is in Full Swing
Following their success with “Monster”, Lum!x and Gabry Ponte collaborated on a number of other hit songs. They dreamed up a cover remix of Iggy Pop’s “The Passenger”. In Fall 2020, the pair teamed up with an American producer and vocalist Karra on the song “Scare Me”. And, in the duo’s most recent venture, they released the song “Thunder” in May 2021 (Video below.) Nine months later, that song is still receiving accolades and currently sits at #122 on the Spotify Global Chart.
But his work with Gabry Ponte has only been part of his continued success in the music industry. After moving to Italy in the summer of 2020, Lum!x began putting out a steady stream of new material:
- He teamed up with German DJ Hyperclap on a remixed update of Peter Schilling’s 1983 hit “Major Tom“.
- He collaborated with Dutch producer Orange INC and singer-songwriter Séb Mont (co-writer of Alfie Arcuri‘s 2019 Australia Decides entry) on “Champion“, the official anthem of the 2021 League of Legends LEC Summer Play Offs.
- In 2021, he released the singles “Secrets“, “Annie Are You OK“, and “Trick or Treat“, all made in collaboration with a number of European electronic and EDM artists.
All that, plus he achieved one of the greatest honors an internationally renowned DJ can hope to accomplish: He appeared as a guest performer on an episode of Love Island.
In a 2019 interview, he reacted to his meteoric success, saying, “I would not have believed that I would one day be so successful. It’s just incredible.”
Well, Lum!x … you’re headed to Eurovision. Believe it!
He’s Led a Double Life
It can be easy to forget the fact that, during the early years of Lum!x‘s music career, he was still essentially a kid. In fact, he only finished school shortly before his move to Italy, in June of 2020. While collaborating with big names artists and touring Europe, he was also getting involved in local athletics.
From 2010 to 2018, he was a member of the local football club Union Rohrbach/Berg, winning a number of championships along the way. Since 2014, he has been a member of Union Rohrbach/Berg’s tennis club, playing in both doubles and singles tournaments. And even a move to Italy and a busy music schedule hasn’t kept him away. He was part of the club team that competed at the Men’s Top Spin Wintercup less than a month ago.
With preparation for Eurovision in full swing, tennis might have to be put on hold for awhile. In a message posted to Facebook, the tennis club congratulated Lum!x but cheekily noted, “[it’s] not optimal during tennis season.”
Are #YOU excited to hear Austria’s entry this year? Are #YOU going to have “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” stuck in your head for the rest of the day? (Sorry.) Sound off in the comments below, in our forum, or on social media @ESCUnited.