In Portrait: Shirin David

Shirin David is one of the most famous and successful German women in public life today, and it seems like everything she touches turns to gold. Started as a YouTuber, today she manages to assert herself in a male-dominated rap world and is a role model for many young women.

„Ass out Daisy Duck, keiner sagt mir was ich darf“ - A line from Shirin's single "Ich darf das". A line that probably couldn't be more apt when trying to describe Shirin and her life. A line that symbolizes Shirin's self-image. A self-image that gives young women the courage not to hide.

“Und übrigens: Barbies echter Name ist Barbara”

Born on April 11, 1995 in Hamburg and raised in Hamburg Bramfeld, Shirin, whose real name is Barbara Schirin Davidavičius, laid the foundation for her current career early on. She learned to play instruments as a child, including piano, violin and oboe. "On the side" she also dances ballet and joins the Hamburg Girls Choir. You'd think Shirin had her own career route precisely mapped out as a young child. "She has prepared her whole life for this now," her sister once said, confirming this thought. And not only did music play a role early on for the now 26-year-old, but her eye-catching style also began at a young age: The first high heels in the fifth grade, the first in the class to wear a bra, the first with glued-on nails and lipstick.
After her training in singing, acting and dancing at the "Youth Opera Academy" in Hamburg, Shirin started her own YouTube channel in 2014 at the age of 19. Between comedy videos, beauty tutorials and follow-me's, she quickly managed to build her own fanbase and community. Today, that community is 5.2 million strong on Instagram alone.

From YouTube to DSDS

The road to becoming the first gold female rapper after Sabrina Setlur began in 2015 with the single "Du liebst mich nicht," which she released with Ado Kojo. Ironically, it was a remake of a song by the very same Sabrina Setlur. After her first own music release and her ever-growing fame, Shirin became a member of the jury on DSDS in 2017. A time that she says hardened her a lot, "unspeakable Twitter comments" were the order of the day during that time, according to Shirin in an interview with Vogue.

"Supersize Me" hits the charts.

In 2019, Shirin's debut album "Supersize" hit the market. An album that sounded very different from her first chart success in 2015. Her single "Give him" set the first statements, of her own self-image. Lines like, "Some look funny, think that my dress is too short, I'm not half naked, am only half dressed!" Speak for themselves. And the streaming figures here also speak their own language: played over 60 million times on YouTube, almost 60 million times played on Spotify. Here, too, Shirin has arrived in her own league. She makes no secret of the fact that she doesn't just write her songs herself. Artists like Laas, Eko Fresh and Takt32 help her write, as she does on her song "Lieben wir" with the line "Mit wem ich Songs schreiben? (Bitch, do your research)" confirms. That she still has her own idea of music and her principles, despite the help with writing songs, is shown by cancellations of features or quarrels in the scene, such as with Shindy, due to the release of a song without her permission (in the meantime, the two have made up).

"We have been told how to behave for far too long".

Shirin polarizes and provokes with her music, her lyrics and her appearance She is open about her cosmetic surgery, she uses the stylistic devices in rap that usually only men use. "If men rap about women in a very sexual way, we are allowed to do the same about them. We've been told how to behave for far too long," Shirin once said in an interview with Vogue. In the process, Shirin also said something about her appearance. "But then, can't I wear my makeup the way I want without being criticized? Have surgery to look the way I want? Not be without makeup so I think I'm beautiful? I love my femininity. We are women, we are fertile, we are sensual, we are beautiful," says Shirin, who thus also offers attack surface, but ultimately it only describes and lives out her ideas. US female rappers like Lizzo are also one of her inspirations. Exactly this self-confidence and the openness to be oneself, no matter how this may look, makes Shirin a role model for a young generation of women. She is trying to break down outdated ways of thinking and ideas and is successfully asserting herself. A cooperation for Rihanna's underwear label "Savage x Fenty" shows that she is not only noticed throughout Germany.

Shirin is currently working on her second studio album, which had to be postponed due to work on her own iced tea. But if there's one thing we've learned about Shirin, it's that "Sie darf das".