Or Is remixing becoming the new X-Factor? Whatever you want to say about them, tv shows like the X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, America’s Got Talent, etc., are becoming the major way for kids to become pop stars. The temptation to audition for one of those shows is often too much for the budding singer, girl band, boy band, or guitarist, and when they finally reach the live shows, there’s the chance to get free publicitiy, exposure, critique of their style and ability. Even if they don’t make it all the way to the final, there’s always the chance of being signed by a record company, however well they can sing.
So, why do I think that remixing is becoming the new X-Factor? Well, compare the two: someone advertises a talent contest where you don’t need any industry form or prior performance experience. You just need your instrument (voice or digital audio workstation – Ableton Live, anyone?); the material to perform with, either a song or some audio stems; and you need some time to get your performance right, but not necessarily to a high level. There are so many talent shows out there – X-Factor contests run by pubs and bars, holiday hotels, local tv and radio stations, probably a new one every day somewhere in the world. There are so many remix contests out there too. There are even websites dedicated to advertising the latest contests. Somewhere in the world, someone will enter all of these contests, but usually budding remixers, who see it as a quick way to get signed by a record label, will enter one or two a month, hoping that this will be their big chance.
But, like the X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent, the really talented, dedicated, hardworking remixers will miss out, only to be beaten by the “popular vote”, in terms of the ones with the highest number of plays or likes will be shortlisted. Talent probably does come into it if they’re in a contest that is looking for particular techniques and it’s about ability rather than what sounds good to some people. However, like in the real world of becoming a popstar, it’s the approaching people in the industry and showing them what you can do, that gets you the opportunities. Ok, so some people who win remix contests may be famous and find a way in to the music business, but more often than not it’s the talent that is wanted and that’s what gets you the gig.
So, two things from all that. First of all, anyone can make a remix. It may not be good, but it may be what someone is looking for. Even my 8 year old can make a remix in Ableton Live. Secondly, I still enter remix contests, despite having done “official” remixes for some bands I know, and appearing on compilations etc. Why, because there’s a very tiny part of me that still sees them as a way to get famous, despite that fact that I always ridicule shows like the X-Factor! My latest remix below, is one I did in about 6 hours for the Ableton 24 hour remix contest “Beat the Clock”. I downloaded the parts for the track, most of which you could only open in Ableton Live and you had to make the remix with the same program. Having only used Live for a few days before, I probably proved my theory that anyone can make a remix, so here’s the result:
Listen in Soundcloud:
By the way, if you’re a Soundcloud user, and like the track, please favourite it,and share it, thereby making me win the popular vote! If Pudsey the dog can do it, so can I!
Another of my recent remixes….
Well, I’m certainly getting a lot of hits on here about kids using Facebook. Why’s that then? Dunno, really. Maybe a lot of kids go on it, and a lot of parents either want to monitor what they’re doing on it or don’t want them on it all. I like all this social networking thing. Don’t get me wrong. Think it’s great. Very useful, very now. Can’t see the world going back to a Facebook-less era. However, why are parents still letting their kids as young as six or seven going on Facebook? Why? What reason? Have they forgotten how to talk? Fine – if your relatives are halfway round the world. What about Skype. What about setting up your own family social network on blog thing. Anyway. The debate still goes on and it rankles with me that I still see all my kids’ friends on there. So what are the schools doing about it? Not a lot at the moment, but maybe it’s finally getting through to the schools that something should be done about it. Take this for example. Internet Safety for children. Maybe things will start changing.
So, why am I on Facebook if I’m not happy about young kids being on it? Well, I’ve been in touch with a few people from school, and I’m using it to plug my music. That’s it. That’s all. If you’re on Facebook and want to become a fan of my music, click here and “Become a Fan“. I’m also on Twitter.
The gratuitous plug.
I did a remix for dub band International Observer a while ago. The track is called “Popcorn Slavery (mistrust remix)” and is out on the band’s EP on Monday 22nd February. You can hear previews of it on my Soundcloud and Myspace pages, and it’s available to download from Monday on all major music sites, and the band’s own Bandcamp page. Spread the word.
Here’s the soundcloud player for it….