Cover/ Thumbnail Photo Credit : Drew Ressler /Rukes www.rukes.com
The remix contest, waste of time or fast track to the land of fame?
One of the most popular questions I get asked is simple
Let's get this out there, I love remix contests. I feel they are an awesome way to learn how other producers work.
However, I wasted a LOT of time and mental energy hoping I'd win certain contests, when If I'd just dug a little deeper I'd realize my genre/ style wasn't what that label would have ever wanted.
This was a great learning experience for sure , but looking back I wish I would have known these 5 things.
5 Things to Level The Remix Game
1. Do your homework
- If the winning track is going to be released, make sure you double check what that label typically releases. 90% of the time, the label will stick with tracks in their genre. You could make an amazing trap remix, but if that label has never put out a trap tune, they most likely won't pick you as a winner .
2. Promote the ORIGINAL
- For those unaware, the main reason artists host remix contests?
Two Words : Cheap : Promotion
They get a TON of promotion, for next to nothing. For the bigger contests, the winner gets a bunch of cool stuff , but often times its software that costs nothing. Some contests will have a release on that label which is awesome ( but again, remixes are often used to promote the original )
So why is this important ? If you have a fan base, and you actively promote both your remix AND their original, you stand a better chance to win. Remember the artists are just like you, they want to grow their name and fan base, so by you helping them, they can help you.
3. Be Careful on the Contest Type.
- People " cheat " there I said it.
Contests that the winner is a " popular vote " I tend to avoid, why? Because YOU CAN BUY VOTES. Ok I honestly don't know much about this, and I haven't goggled it ( someone else feel free to clue me in ) but it happens and it happens often.
I'm not sure if people do it on Beatport play , but I know other sites this is a problem. How can you tell. I've seen people have 2-3k votes on these sites, but have NO SOCIAL MEDIA,None. If you have 20 Facebook likes, 5 Twitter followers, no Youtube etc how do you gain so many votes.
I know on some sites you can vote for people/ leave feedback etc and they vote for you, but still there numbers are SO large, and the site I am directly talking about doesn't have this feature anyways.
So mainly just be aware that this happens, I honestly don't care what other people do, but I feel all artists should be aware of this problem.
4. Don't get crazy on the Remix
- For whatever reason, people tend to go over the top with remixes, they change EVERYTHING. From what I have heard over the years, typically just a few changes to the track/ melody, different drop or arrangement etc are the way to go.
When you rework the entire melody or chord structure, you loose the vibe of the original. Remember, remixes are meant to support the original not sound like a brand new production.
5. Contact the artist.
For artists that aren't " huge " you can often message them and ask them what they are looking for. Now of course this won't always work, but if they say " ohh we def want a trap banger " then you know that your genre (xyz) other then trap won't get picked.
Now I know some people are going to say " you shouldn't change your style" just to make people happy and I agree. However with the MASSIVE amount of remix contests going on at any time, a little homework can allow you to make the track YOU WANT and still have a chance to win.
I personally think remix contests are an AWESOME way to learn about production and how other artists work. If you put in a little time and dig a little deeper into the contest realm, you have a better chance to find the perfect contest for you to let your track shine.