Call Me Maybe, Sexy and I Know it, Some Nights, Anchorman, I’m in Miami B*tch, I Wish, Send Me on My way, What’s that sound.
In his song “Call me Mr. Burgundy” American mashup artist Czar Nicholas III (The Czar) remixes songs from over 8 different artists. This is standard as his songs go. Some include voice samples from speeches by Martin Luther King Junior, Neil Armstrong and JFK. Others mix originals from Michael Jackson with the likes of Snoop Dogg, RnB with rock, classics with hard core rap. By the likes of The Czar, these mixes are made into songs. And these songs, in turn, into a genre.
Mashup music. You wouldn’t have heard of it 20 years ago, but it exists today simply because it can.
As stated in a previous blog post The Game is Afoot, online music sharing began with Napster. But the trend spread like wildfire. Pirate Bay, Kickass Torrents, online MP3 Converters. All of these music sharing sites have meant that most any kid in a possession of a laptop with a program like Garage Band is able to remix away to their hearts content. With music so readily available and remixing programs so easily downloadable music sampling, remixes and mashups hold a widespread audience of everything from listeners to producers. Ever-growing, the stakes got higher, some artists surged ahead in talent and creativity. Albums were developed, fan bases established, recognition granted. And so, a genre was born.
Mashup music. A brand new genre and the quintessential participatory culture. Music made into music. Some argue that to merely remix songs does not equate producing an original record. However others, like The Czar, would disagree, saying that remix artists such as himself “can put as much of his feelings and emotions into making a song as John Mayer can.” And John Mayer has a Grammy.