A chat with a talented Miami based remix producer!
“If you’re passionate then it won’t matter if one person listens to it or 10 listen to it. Your passion is what’s gonna be the driving force behind you continuing to create.” – Steve from @UrbanNoize
I caught up with hip hop remix super duo, Urban Noize, on the phone recently and wanted to share the GREAT chat we had. The quote above is one of the many things that came out of our amazing chat. Here it is:
For some background, Urban Noize combines the powers of Miami based twin brothers Steven and Steve. Wise beyond their years, I was lucky to have a chance to speak with Steve about:
- their ambitions and goals
- the state of the current music landscape
- their creative process
- special shout outs to their inspiration
- tips for upcoming producers and artists to gain a following
For those of you unaware of their work, I’ve conveniently attached them below. Those are my current favourites!
Drake – 2 On (Urban Noize Remix)
Ciara – Overdose (Urban Noize Remix)
Lykee Li – I Follow Water (Urban Noize Remix)
Also, my bad in promising a download to their last remix album as it’s been constantly being pulled down. : ( Remember to follow their latest Tumblr here:
Dreams, Goals and Ambitions
We asked Steve what the current status of Urban Noize is. Here’s what he said…
“I want to say right now, at this point, it’s not my full-time gig but I do dedicate myself fully to what I’m doing. Like my passion is still the same. I’ll just be listening to music looking for inspiration…”
Let’s hope we get them doing this full time!
The Music Industry Cracking Down On Remixes
Steve and I both shared the same sentiment about the music industry removing remix…things aren’t looking too good.
“…it’s a big disappointment when the copyright holders of the original songs wants to go ahead and partner up with what is supposed to be an indie-based stream website and just starts taking away these forms of expression from people that create them. I mean we had at least one of our SoundCloud pages eliminated.
At the time, that was one of the most successful SoundCloud pages that we had up unto that point. It was receiving so many plays a day. I think we have reached a two-million-play benchmark and we were just creeping on a three-million. We were getting so many responses from it. Anything we uploaded, we had an Internet reaction. It was such a good base, and to have that taken away from us was something that was very disappointing. Thankfully, we had another page which was the page we originally started with.”
And then we started talking about how this is bad for the music industry and that music labels are killing creativity.
“Yeah. You see that? I don’t see why they don’t see the beauty in people being passionate enough to want to take their existing work. People are so inspired by the original work that they feel they want to give their – they want to, like you said, instead of give a new life to it, they give their perspective on the song by saying, “Hey, I love the original so much and I think it would’ve been so cool if I put my own take on it. Not distorting the song, not taking…” People are being passionate enough to the point that they want to take the existing property and they want to do something special with it and then show it. That has to be the biggest compliment in the world. Like you pointed out, it’s putting more eyeballs on the singer. Then they have some people that are not even fans of that particular artist.”
Drake As An Inspiration
Looks like I wasn’t the only one who thinks Drake is killing it in the game…
“Let me tell you something. I would have not heard So Far Gone. I played that whole mixtape out for the entire year. And…yeah, man. Like Drake – that’s why you’d have to respect cats like Drake because he is really pushing the culture when it comes to terms of introducing new content. Like most of the remixes that he did or he inserted himself into, most of them were so unconventional. Little Bit was one of them. You…so be honest with you. Before Drake, you will have never heard someone remix a Lykke Li song. Rap is so traditional. Maybe and RnB, maybe. Maybe. Then you don’t hear it as much.”
The Creative Process
Urban Noize lights their creative fire by being open to other forms of music. They show know restrictions and accept all music. I must say they are a class act!
“I’m not sure if a lot of people would admit that but I’m not afraid to admit that. Sometimes my creative process begins with being inspired, to be honest. I hear existing songs from whoever it is, it might be a Kanye West song which Kanye, he’s like one of my many inspirations in terms of like just when it comes to not only sell music but diversity. Because Kanye’s another person that’s not afraid to diversify himself in terms of music. Because for him, at the end of the day, music is music. It’s kind of foolish that we, in a sense – I understand the whole identification thing and knowing what’s what but it’s kind of foolish that when we kind of bar ourselves from different genres… Like I was pointing out, music is music at the end of the day. Melody is – melody transcends genres.”
Urban Noize Sends Special Shout Outs
Steve gave some special shout outs to some key players that are killing it in the remix game.
1. Lido, a producer, songwriter and artist from Oslo, Norway – @Lidogotsongs
Flight Facilities – Two Bodies feat. Emma Louise (Lido Remix)
2. London, England based producer Snakhips – @snakehipsuk
The Weeknd – Wanderlust (Snakehips Remix)
3. Parisian based producer Stwo – @stwobeats
Trey Songz – Na Na (Stwo Remix)
4. And finally, San Diego native, Carlos Serrano – he’s awesome! – @serranocarlos
Kanye West ft The Xx – Touch The Sky (Carlos Serrano Mix)
Tips For Musicians, Producers and Artists
There is no doubt that Urban Noize has a strong following. With that success they have outlined a few tips to help others along the way.
The first is PASSION.
“…you want to make sure that you’re passionate about what you’re doing because if you’re doing it for the sake of because you want to be famous – there’s nothing wrong with that to an extent but if that’s all you’re about, then eventually what’s going to happen is that…you’re gonna find it difficult to get attention at first and then because your motivation is you want to be famous, eventually you’re just going to lose your interest in it and you’re going to move on to something else. For us, that’s what it’s been about. It’s just been about just the enjoyment we get out of creating the remixes and the enjoyment we get out of these creative ideas that we may come up with in our head and we may want to try out. Also, being able to share it with someone else and then have them hear that and then get a response like, “Wow. I never really heard it in that way.” or “Wow. This is better than the original.”
The second is having no fear and reaching out to bloggers through social media.
“Your passion is what’s gonna be the driving force behind you continuing to produce. Then after that, you will need to take the steps to try and reach out to different websites and different individuals who write blog on websites and just start sending your music to them via e-mail. I know the whole spamming thing on Twitter. People like to do that and that tends to be a little intrusive for individuals online because they don’t have a choice. It’s being tweeted towards them and it ends up in their Mentions as well. Like I said, in terms of getting heard, I think the best thing to do is to reach out to individuals on Twitter – reaching out to them, introducing yourself, informing them about what it is that you do, and asking them for their e-mail addresses. Hopefully, they’re not too stuck-up or too – because I know there’s that side to it too. There’s the side of when you’re trying to reach out to individuals and they make it difficult for you to want to get your music out there. Sometimes they might turn a blind eye to you. That can be discouraging but…yeah.”
Finally, always start off close to home and get your immediate friends and family involved and interested.
“Just reaching out to them and – maybe the people you would want to start with is your immediate circle. And then from there, from your immediate circle, you then start reaching out to different people online. If you’re not good with sending e-mails and doing this, you can probably talk to someone and say…someone that’s more skilled in that work where they will represent you more. Then go to them and say, “Hey, if you don’t mind, can you be my representative online and can you send out e-mails and (yada yada)? (Yada) on my behalf to these particular people?”
Wrapping Things Up
It was an amazing chat with Steve. The passion that these brother’s have for music blows my mind and further motivates me to help the creative community in any way I can.
For everything Urban Noize:
Following them on Twitter – @UrbanNoize
Check them out on SoundCloudAnd finally, their NEW Tumblr is: http://urbannoizeremixes.tumblr.com/