Have you ever heard a song and said to yourself, “Almost.” That song was almost good. In fact, it might have become your favorite song. But it just didn’t make the cut. It’s a decent song, but it’s not great.
Conventional songwriting goes like this: Write. Refine. Record. But conventional songwriting creates conventional songs. Conventional songs don’t become favorites.
But I’ve found that the best songs – the ones that make it into my “favorites” roster – are written a bit differently. They’re done like this: Write. Refine. Record. Remix.
They take a good song, then they dissect it. They separate each element and keep only the best. They beef up the song where it lacks. Then they put it back together in a fresh way. A good remix can make even a lackluster song awesome.
But remixing requires taking a step back. It requires, after the recording is done, a complete re-evaluation of the work from a different perspective. Very few people have the artistic chops to step back from their own work and look at it from an outside perspective. It’s hard to separate yourself from your work. You’re emotionally invested. You’re your own worst critic.
But the best music, when done right, doesn’t need to be remixed. It’s already been perfected. It’s been tested and found true. You can try to remix the song again, but it never lives up to the original.
That’s what I mean about remixing.
I decided early on I’m applying that idea with my art. I have tons of ideas. I follow through on many of them. But then I take a step back. I look at it from an outside perspective…or I get someone else to whose opinion I respect. I have producers and remixers that I trust.
I dissect my idea. I separate each element and keep only the best. Then I beef up my idea where it lacks. Then I try to put it back together in a fresh way – before anyone has even seen it. Then I get some remixers and producers to do the same.
I want my ideas to be great – not just conventional. So I remix.
What do you have to remix?