Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
Here on the Independent Spotlight, we spend every day of the week digging deep into original music throughout every genre. Often, we check out covers as well. In this evening’s edition, however, we’re going to be spending some time with a remix. The man is Viga, a producer that describes his sound as “tropical music from tropical Norway.” His latest release has blown up on SoundCloud with over 18,000 spins. His choice of tune to remix? CeeLo’s megahit, ‘Fuck You.’ (Sorry kids, I don’t censor the Spotlight.)
Right, so it’s time for some honesty - I don’t think I’ve heard ‘Fuck You’ since it dropped five years ago. That’s because I don’t frequent the radio stations CeeLo is played on, and to be honest, he’s sort of faded into obscurity in recent years. (Though I do remember being inundated with his Christmas album at Starbucks, and I hear he’s got a new record out.) I’m setting the stage, because I think it’s worth giving some background on CeeLo and ‘Fuck You.’ It does remain one of his most infectious, lovable songs.
Thus, Viga had a hell of a job cut out for him to remix the track. You don’t want to make it kitschy, nor do you want to only rely on nostalgia. Viga’s remix navigates this territory pretty well, focusing on isolating Green’s original vocals and setting them to an electronic soundscape that dynamically builds and falls around Green. This tune feels like a bit more than a remix, because there are huge instrumental sections of fresh composition on behalf of Viga.
That is the key element of a good remix. Nay, an excellent remix. It has to stand on its own two feet and be separate of the original work. Viga’s take on ‘Fuck You’ pulls that off, focusing on his prowess as an electronic producer and instrumentalist rather than banking on nostalgia for the song. More so, he doesn’t just rely on a catchy chorus to loop throughout. CeeLo sits backseat throughout this entire production - He drones in the backdrop, but in both a figurative and literal sense, he’s fairly absent from the song.
I dig hearing remixes like this, especially ballsy ones that take on a track so well known. It’s so easy to rely on the original weight of the song to propel it forward. Viga moves away from that, proving he can tackle new territory while using ‘Fuck You’ as a muse, not a crutch. Stream it below.