Remix culture is something I love. Simple.
Growing up I loved to mess around on Windows Moviemaker and Garageband, making family videos and sound clips for fun. I got a kick out of chucking all of the bits I liked into one fun piece of music (or whatever the medium may be).
Popular culture played a huge role in I why I started to become interested in the art of remix. Growing up, I was a fan of artists like J-Lo and R-Kelly (I think initials were trending that year), who released remixes of their own songs after initially having limited success. Remember ‘Ain’t It Funny’ and ‘Ignition’? Both of these are remixes of original songs by their own artist!
More recently though, my favourite Rap artists remixed one of my favourite songs…do things get much better than that? In 2011, Kanye West collaborated with Jay-Z to create ‘Otis’, a song that was created upon the foundation of Otis Redding’s, ‘Try A Little Tenderness’. Currently the remixed version has over 42million YouTube views: an impressive feat for a song that is arguably unoriginal.
Otis Redding’s original track, “Try A Little Tenderness”
Kanye’s modern interpretation, “Otis”
It’s hard for artists to create completely original music; after all there are only a limited number of notes to choose from, so they turn to remix to create something interesting and better than before. It’s clear that ‘remix’, whilst many see it as cheating or stealing, is just a way of bringing art to new and wider audiences.