As good as they sound, and as much we all love to hear them, I have been wondering why are remix songs made? How do you know that making a certain song's remix will boost its popularity? What things are kept in mind when you remix songs?
Yes it does boost a song popularity most times, artist/record labels do to give their songs an appeal to a wider audience.
It became popular from the 80s, as major artist and record labels began to see value in commissioning remixes of their music.
According to an article from Computer Music, Oct 2017. It list 6 types of remix.
- Official remix
- The bootleg
- The mash-up
- The VIP remix
- The radio/club edit
- The re-edit
A typical example is from the list of mixes : Radio/club edit - usually for singles to appeal different markets and audiences.
The Daft Punk & Pharrell Williams smash Get Lucky is a great example - cutting down the full mix to a more focused four-minute radio edit distilled the very best sections of the song into a masterpiece that you couldn’t get away from back in 2013.
A few times remixing has also led to alienating a fan base, e.g Rapper Wale's last album, Shine, which had so many dance hall remixes that the sounds were not widely accepted.
Remixing is a way to drive additional sales, and gain a new audience for an already recorded song, usually by adding some element that is "missing" in the original. There are several different types of remixes, and they have different purposes and audiences.
Dance remix - These are some of the most common and popular remixes. Typically a pop artist will release a "club" mix that is longer and has a more typical dance club beat, so that their record will be played in dance clubs. These remixes won't typically be played on radio, or bought by casual fans, but they can be very popular among DJs. Madonna is an example of a pop star who maintains a large alternate audience with her frequent club remixes.
Forgotten songs - A remix can be a way to popularize an unknown song. For instance, Simon and Garfunkel only became famous after their producer remixed their first hit, "Sounds of Silence." Similarly, the song "Brimful of Asha" was only a hit after being remixed by Fatboy Slim. A remix can also bring an old song new relevance, as in the hit 1993 remix of the old Four Seasons' "Oh What a Night" or "A Little More Conversation." by Elvis vs JXL. Typically this kind of remix adds more current beats and production aspects. There are even entire albums released this way --Bob Marley are Nina Simone are some of the more notable figures whose estates have released posthumous remix albums.
New Artist or Genre - A remix sometimes adds a new artist or even changes the genre of a song to reach new audiences. Depacito and the Macarena were Spanish-language songs that became hits in the English-speaking world on the back of remixes with English-speaking artists, while Mariah Carey's Fantasy ft ODB gained the pop songstress a whole new audience, and launched an enduring crossover subgenre.
Just Having Fun - Some artists just like remixes, and offer their music up to be remixed in order to produce fun new versions of a song. The Gorillaz and the Shins have released entire alternate versions of their albums with all remixed versions. Remixes like this are also popular "bonus" items to drive the sales of singles. If you wanted to be cynical, you could call this a way to wring every possible bit of profit out of your original work.
If That Was My Song - Sometimes remixes are produced by unknown producers looking to make a name for themselves by creating their own versions of hit songs. This is especially common in hip-hop, where rappers will sometimes issue acapella versions of their songs, essentially as an open invitation to remixers. Superstar producer Danger Mouse initially became famous this way, remixing Jay-Z's Black Album using samples from the Beatles' White Album to produce the Grey Album.
But Wait, There's More - Sometimes an artist isn't done with a song or concept and will remix it himself or herself. R Kelly's "Remix to Ignition" was one of his biggest hits, far eclipsing the original song, while Wyclef Jean's "Cheated" single included "remixes" that were essentially completely new songs.