How To Effectively Remix A Classic Song

Updated: Oct 16, 2019

One of the unique things with music is it's one of the few things that actually last forever. Add a charting classic song on top of that equals a song that will most likely be covered and remixed for many years which of course is an absolute treasure for a lifetime of royalties.

Many hits include songs like 'Higher Love' by Whitney Houston, Remixed numerous times and most recently and successfully by Kygo.

'Favourite Things' by Connie Fisher sampled by Ariana Grande in '7 Rings'.

'You Got The Love' originally written and released by Candi Staton, famously covered and re-released by Florence and The Machine as 'You've Got The Love'.

'What Is Love' by Haddaway remixed by Lost Frequences plus many other successful artists and DJ's.

The list could go on forever and these classics will do so too.

How Has Today's Songwriting Evolved?

New music and today's remixes / hits will always come down to the factor of asking why these songs are so successful in the first place and what made them what they are decades later. One strong song, or an amazing chorus or simply one vocal hook will always go a long way and will never get old.

All songwriters dream to have their songs covered and for them to become classics but if they don't know what the bar is in order for the songs to reach that level, then how will it become a legendary track? If the chorus is average, will artists want to cover and remix it? Probably not.

A song that is played for decades onwards have similar qualities of an incredible chorus, vocal hooks, lyrics and production hooks. Does a song always have to tick every one of these boxes every time to become a classic? Definitely not.

Surprisingly all classics have just have one or two great aspects, but they're incredibly well done. 'My Favourite Things' for instance ticks 2 boxes - vocal melody? Perfectly written. Lyrics? Genius!

Today's industry is tougher but still contains the checklist idea (Vocal Melody, Lyrics, Main Hook, Context, Production, Production Hook).

Let's take a look at '7 Rings' by Ariana Grande, sampled from Connie Fisher's 'My Favourite Things' which has almost hit an incredible 1 billion streams on Spotify.

Popular remixes and successful covers from big artists and DJ's always have to have an element of fresh and current to what is being released in that period.

With a classic song comes all the fantastic elements of vocal hooks, powerful choruses as well as the lyrics and context being on-point so some of the key factors are all there - with '7 Rings' for example, the popular vocal melody and only some of the lyrics are used but the context and vibe are completely re-written. This is re-vamping a famous track and bringing a current feel that every music lover in 2019 loves, taking it from being a great classic to a fresh hit sound that even though they may not know of the melody, the younger generation adore it.

Skye Antoniou,

A&R, Founder of Unsigned Bible

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