I’ve never competed in a remix competition before. If you asked me 10 years ago if I’d be living in New York and have a chance to have Usher review my music, I would have thought you were crazy.
I got into producing through spinning records, way before it is how you see it today. In 2006, I started working as a DJ using two turntables and real vinyl I got from local record stores and radio stations. My first introduction to producing was in a basement in North Oakland, working in Fruity Loops. Many of my friends used to rap and produce and because I was DJing throughout the city, they wanted to involve me in what they were working on. I never got the opportunity to focus on my own productions until about a year ago when I was teaching music production in New Orleans.
I actually found about the No Limit Remix Competition on Indaba through an old roommate, OVER.AMPD. I heard his trap remix and at first I didn't think I would compete. It only occurred to me to participate after I starting planning for my shows in New Orleans. All of a sudden, it made sense and I was inspired to remix a track influenced and named after the New Orleans record label, No Limit Records. I worked for hours trying to figure out the original key and chord progression. I listened to a few other submissions to get an idea of what others were doing. I went through many of my own renditions from Trap to House, but nothing struck me as outstanding. It was only after I breathed in the southern humidity of New Orleans that I remembered the up-tempo remix of Birthday Sex that ended up more popular than the original slow jam.
I started working with the piano chords again and making sure that I let Usher's vocals take the lead. My goal was to create a dance version without changing the core structure. After long hours mixing it, checking it on different speakers, then mixing again, and rechecking, and so on, I am very proud of the final product.
Whether I win 1st place or not, it isn't as important to me as much as what I learned about my own sound by completing the remix and submitting it for others' criticism.
I look forward to hearing the results September 15th and what comes with that.
Play it cool,