Is the remix a new music trend?

As music-lovers, we here at Zimrii know you’re super sensitive to sound.

So, what do you think of the remix? Is it a perfect pastiche, or a down in the dumps bore? When you hear them, do you tap your feet? Or does your stomach turn?

Silhouetted DJ at mixing deck

A remix is defined as “a piece of media which has been altered from its original state by adding, removing and/or changing pieces of the item”. Basically, you can remix anything. Photos, food, clothes, art; but by far, the most commonly conjured meaning of remix is musical.

They’re so saturated in your modern-day culture that you don’t even know you’re listening to them. Think of the opening bars of the iconic ‘Brimful of Asha’. If it’s upbeat, you’re thinking of a remix.

Love them or hate them, the popularity of the remix increases with each year.

Now you’re wondering ‘why?’, right? Well we here at Zimrii have broken down some background, and some very good reasons, to want for the remix. See below!

The Birth of the Remix

Remixing then, began in Jamaica, and reaches back to around 1960.

Dj Lee “Scratch” Perry was looking for a way to make the mainstream music he loved more accessible to his Jamaican community. So far, all the records received from the Western world just didn’t fit with his Kingston counterculture. Inspired, he began to lift one track of its beats, one of its vocals, one of its effects – and apply them all to another, making them fit with laid-back, Kingston, life.

At 80+, Perry considers his remix work a spiritual calling; “I heard voices talking to me, telling me what to do and what to say. So I listened to what the voices told me, changed exactly what they told me to change, wrote what they told me to write and sang what they told me to sing. And it worked. Brilliantly.” (Interview with The Guardian).  It’s an understatement to say that what he did was well received.

Remixes travel the world

It was another kid from Kingston Jamaica, though, that would end up being known for bringing Perry’s will to the world. Dj Kool Herc lived in Kingston till he was 12, at which point his parents up-and-emigrated. Those twelve years were enough, and the influential style of Kingston’s Rasta-remixes were burnt irrevocably on his musical mind, and soul.

As Herc got older, he ran with a graffiti crew that gave him his chilly moniker; and his first chance to throw a huge party. The memory of the music in Kingston still hammered in his head, and to channel it Herc was able to develop a new technique. Called Merry-go-round, he would purchase two of the same records and isolate the break, swapping between one another – allowing him to extend the part of the song that made his crew go crazy. Slowly his parties became incredibly popular, more and more people started to turn up, and BAM – the remix was commercial.

Later, remix was to find its home in disco. The first track to chart was Patrick Cowley’s fifteen minute version of Donna Summers ‘I Feel Love’; often credited as the source of modern-day dance.

As the kids grew up, so did the tech. When computers landed in the houses of the humble, the remix, once a club experience to covet, came to the masses. House music was born!

There, indeed, is the crux of the remix popularity today. It’s an easy way for you to feel artistic, to appreciate other people’s art, and to bring your favourite lyrics in line with your mood.

But Why Should I Let People Remix My Song?

There are a number of reasons you should consider releasing your track to be remixed.

If your aim is to up engagement, look no further. When fans fall in love with a remix, they’ll often seek out the original band. You’ll still get the ‘by’ credit, allowing your new audience to chase the song right back to the start, and for them to invest in your band.

In terms of confidence, remixing is a way to pay tribute. That someone loves your track so much they feel the need to re-imagine it, is the ultimate compliment. It will also inform your work with an authority that comes directly from another person engaging and interpreting your output. You’ll see your work from a whole new perspective!

As Perry would tell you, another advantage of the remix is that you’ll be opening up your work to a whole new type of fan. Dance fans, for example, are unlikely to explore rock music as it’s just not for them. When your track fits into a different sub-genre, there are a number of new ears for it to explore, and bring back into the flock.

Who knows, your track might even get remixed so much you can add a special disc to your album!

Just remember, “good artists copy, great artists steal” (Pablo Picasso).


We Are Your Friends’ by Justice vs Simian; ‘Spin Spin Sugar’ (Armand’s Dark Garage Mix) by Sneaker Pimps; ‘Missing’ (Todd Terry Remix) by Everything But The Girl; ‘Brimful of Asha’ (The Norman Cook Remix) by Cornershop.

What’s your favourite remix? Why not post it below!? Then join Zimrii, the innovative music platform that allows you total control of your music business. Using BlockChain technology to assert your Copyright conditions, Zimrii uses Smart Contracts and integrated crowdfunding features to help you connect with your audience and earn direct to artist – cutting away the outdated middleman. It’s the twenty-first century music revolution!

Also published on Medium.