One of our favorite mashers, Mashup-Germany, just dropped new tracks! The latest one, “Got 2 luv lazy Michel Teló”, blends DMX, Bruno Mars, and Michel Teló. We recently caught up with the mad man himself and asked him about his work and the art of the mashup at large!!:
1) Tell us about yourself – where did you grow up, where are you now, and what got you into DJing?
I’m 27 years old half-American guy, who was born in Cologne, Germany and now lives and works in Frankfurt. I’ve got into “DJing” when I was 14 and the DJ on my sisters school party got sick. She asked me the same day the party was if I could do the job. Well, I sat down with my huge mid-1990s PC in the middle of the dance floor and played like the 50 mp3s I had (the mp3 format was released to public one year before). I guess I’ve played them in the right order, because the party was a blast and I was hooked since. I bought turntables eventually and started to really learn how to DJ. And you know what, these days I’m back to (my) roots: Digital-DJing..Traktor S4 + Maschine…sad enough… ;)
2) Do you write original mixes or remixes that aren’t mashups? Do you anticipate doing so?
I played in bands half of my life playing the drums and used to write a lot with my so much more talented brother, but lately it’s all about the mashups since I’m very busy touring, producing and working. There is not much time and energy left for composing your own stuff.
3) Which other mashup and non-mashup DJs do you admire?
Well, I guess DJ Schmolli and DJ Morgoth got me first hocked up with mashups. I’m also a big fan of more electronic mashup djs and producers like the DJs from Mars, Loo&Placido or Soulwax/2manyDJs.
4) In your opinion, what makes a mashup “work?”
First of all you have to have it musically right. If a source is out of key or out of beat, it will destroy the whole mashup. The structure of the song is also very important and often the most difficult part. It’s easy to mix 30 songs together. But to blend them in a way, that you come up with a new identity of the track, that’s when the magic happens.
It really helps to also combine the vocals to create a new lyrical context.
5) Along the same lines, what are some common pitfalls mashup artists make?
1. Not using their ears, but using bad software instead.
2. Too much pitching, bitch! You want your audience to actually enjoy the song, so please no Darth Vader and no Chipmunk voices.
3. Don’t use just two pop songs. Make it exciting! Combine different genres, change bpms and play with small samples, bits and pieces, but always keep in mind: it hast to make sense in the end!
6) What do you think about the proliferation of mashups in today’s music sphere?
Mashups are getting bigger and bigger again. In Germany it’s just blowing off. The media is very interested and it seems like it made it’s way into the mainstream clubs worldwide. We had this hype before , when “bastard pop” first came up, but this time it’s different. You have this whole young generation of digital natives, that want a different hook every 30 seconds. They get bored real quick on the dance floors these days and this is mainly because of the internet and all the media they are used to consume.
7) Best case scenario – where do you see yourself in two years?
I don’t know. If you had told me two years ago, that I would have played in Rio de Janeiro, Moskow, New York and 100 other cities worldwide and that I’ve played in front of 250.000 people by now, I would have LOLed.
So, I won’t make any prediction. You always have to know one thing in life. Success , just like anything else, doesn’t stay forever. You have to enjoy what you have and never just do it for the money!
8) Who are the easiest musicians to mash?
Actually any David Guetta, Pitbull, Rihanna or Katy Perry production.