Written by Valerie Reich
Imagine yourself as a music producer.
You have this great track that is selling like hotcakes, is played daily on the radio and can be heard bumpin’ at every party from New York to Los Angeles. You have this successful piece of music — but you don’t want the success to end or the cash to stop flowing. As we know music, especially singles, can lose their fame becoming “overplayed” almost as quickly as they can become celebrated.
What do you do?
Well if you’re Mike-Will-Made-It, T-Pain, Chris Brown, Kid Ink, Ty$, The Chainsmokers, Hippie Sabotage, Ellie Goulding, Calvin Harris or one of the many other artists who uses digital editing as a part of their music, you simply create a remix.
What is a remix exactly? According to Merriam-Webster, a remix is “a new or different version of a recorded song that is made by changing or adding to the original recording of the song.” But the essence of a remix goes far beyond the dictionary definition. A remix evokes feeling. It’s taking a song and changing it delicately and ever so slightly to something new to create a singularly unique representation of that song. They’re different from a cover. They’re different from an acoustic version of a track. Remixes are like a fresh breath of air being brought into a track.
Take, for example, the remix of Kid Ink’s 2013 hit “Show Me” featuring Chris Brown. The song was incredibly successful — boasting tens of millions of plays on YouTube for just the official video alone as well as a near million views on the clean version. It reached number 13 on the Billboard Top 100 Charts and was critically noted by XXL Magazine as part of 12 hip-hop albums that changed history in 2014. Yet its peak did not last long, and quickly after its release in September 2013 the numbers of plays, YouTube views and most importantly downloads dipped. Then came February 2014, when the remix was released featuring the original duo of Kid Ink and Chris Brown, but also new verses by Trey Songz, 2 Chainz and Juicy Jay.
The release of this updated version of the track, which added other artists and more infectious club-driven EDM beats, created a resurgence in the popularity of the track. There are now 105,213, 287 views on the YouTube official music video alone because of the new buzz about the song. The remix in and of itself generated a whole new excitement and draw to the song itself.
“Show Me” isn’t the only one remix that has had this success, though. Tov Lo, an artist from the UK, found immediate success when her original track “Habits (Stay High)" was picked up by EDM powerhouse duo The Chainsmokers and then remixed into a club hit. Opposite to “Show Me,” the Chainsmoker remix of “Habits (Stay High)” gained more notoriety than the original and transferred the song from the radio to the club scene.
The power of the remix works both ways. A remix can make an original track explode and can even create a whole cult following. A remix can make or break a DJ or engineer’s career, incite cash flow and keep a beloved song from becoming mundane and overplayed.
Now that we’ve taught you a little bit about what a remix is and why it is so important, we don’t want to leave you high and dry without any music to enjoy. So here it goes with a list of 10 cross-genre remixes, presented here for your enjoyment.
TOP 10 REMIXES YOU GOTTA' HEAR
1. “Shot Clock” by AER (Avicii Remix)
2. “Since U Been Gone” by Kelley Clarkson (Dance Vault Mixes by Jason Nevins Rock da Club Edit)
3. “Left Alone” by FLUME ft. Chet Faker (Ta-Ku Remix)
4. “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (DJ Fresh Direct Remix)
5. “Party and Bullshit” by Biggie Smalls and Miley Cyrus (check Remix made by)
6. “Starry Eyed” by Ellie Goulding (Jakwob Remix)
7. “Goodness Gracious” by Ellie Goulding (The Chainsmokers Remix)
8. “Loyal” by Chris Brown (West Coast Remix)
9. “Stay High” by Tov Lo (Hippie Sabotage Remix)
10. “No New Friends” by DJ Khaled ft. Drake, Rick Ross & Lil Wayne (SFTB Remix)
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