I receive a fair amount of cool content every day but last week one in particular caught me eye; a South African remix had landed on the LA Times website and was making waves around the world, not only in SA.
So I did some digging and then, as fate would have it, was told by a friend over Skype that I know the guy who had produced the incredibly funny and catchy remix of JuJu’s (Julius Malema) massive mishaps. So I got in touch with the master of disaster remixes and wangled an interview pulling on the strings of historical association.
Being the fantastically smart viral marketer (or something like that) that he is, David Law did not say no to me and obliged by answering some questions that I posed. But before I get in to the interview have a listen to his rocking remix or the “Bastard, Agent” tune as I like to call it:
And now for the interview:
Well let’s face it, Malema’s little f%$# out was ridiculously absurd, even for him. After having seen the original clip I was both embarrassed for SA and strangely excited to parody the situation. His reveling in recent media attention leading up to that fateful press conference was obvious to see and his megalomaniac cockiness was unrelenting. That is until the pressure and negative media exposure caught up with him and he inevitably snapped. So I jumped at the opportunity to parody a clown as it were – how much more entertainment could you ask for and the fact that he mentioned that Luthuli house was a “Revolutionary house” meant that I was going use a ”house” track as the basis of the piece as well as the title. I have a background in radio and this is not the first of these tracks that I’ve produced and judging by the astounding response to “Revolutionary house”, it will not be the last (insert naughty laugh here).
What was the intention when you did the remix? What are you hoping for?
Right off the bat, I was only intending to make light of a classic situation, have a laugh and share it with close friends and family. After realizing it’s commercial appeal and witnessing it’s potential to go viral, it took on a whole new meaning. Looking back now, the track has everything; political satire, a good catchy beat\melody and I used samples that would both stand out and be a direct link to the infamous press conference.
What exactly is it that you do for a living?
I’m a studio sound engineer by profession and work at an ad agency. I have a musical background and I produce jingles for radio and T.V. ads as well – basically any audio (music, sfx and voice) you might hear in an ad needs to be edited and cleaned up according to the clients requirements, so that’s what I do. I have been producing music for about 8 years now. I used a combination of reason 4 (a MIDI based software platform) and protools (a wave editing software package – by digidesign). My ears are my livelihood.
What sort of response have you received? I know I’ve heard it on the radio a few times.
The response has been phenomenal, which was completely unexpected even to the point that it fronted an international newspaper namely the LA Times, blows my mind. I have had numerous requests by magazines as well as bloggers such as yourself and journalists in all spheres of media, most of the main radio stations have also played the track. In my opinion, a viral phenomenon, considering that it’s mainly topical to an SA audience. I think the fact that Jonah of British descent (the journalist on the receiving end of the outburst) is the reason that “Revolutionary house” has made such an impact globally on a viral format. I’ve been pretty swamped answering emails and phone calls, which I’m not really used to doing, but it’s a fantastic feeling being part of something of this scale.
You’ve now been picked up by the LA Times online, have you had more global exposure?
Well, as you know the internet and it’s many outlets is a tool which can be utilized to no end and in this case it’s really served it’s purpose. Besides the bigger blogs which are visited by all kinds of people around the world daily and their many comment postings on the subject of “Revolutionary house”, the response on Facebook as well as Youtube and Twitter, when you combine all views and hits, radio station playlistings etc. run into the millions. I can’t say for certain whether there is a global demand for the track in it’s local context but it has created a stir worldwide according to friends emailing me from Europe and the US, which is awesome.
How did you practically launch the song? Purely online or a combination?
I decided with the help of a friend to get it to the appropriate radio stations. Gareth Cliff digged it and agreed to play it after having run it by his publisher, then Fresh, then I spammed the inboxes of numerous other radio personalities. The next step was making a video for it (something I like to call a glitch edit) and posted it on Youtube (bloody agent.mpg if you’re interested), there were numerous others already up on Youtube, social media networks, FB and twitter and any other outlet we had available to us. With that kind of exposure, it started gathering momentum and lank cats new about it. Remaining anonymous initially was also a strategic move, making it seem a little more underground and mysterious and also because I didn’t want to deal with any ANCYL repercussions. I enjoy breathing.
Do you have any final words for the SA Rocks readers?
I hope I’ve shed some light and let you in to the world of political satire and more specifically the parody song because as long as we have politicians like Malema in this country the material will keep flowing. SA Rocks so let’s keep it that way and do all we can to stop deluded “bastard agents” with “rubbish in their trouser” from ruining our heritage, If you don’t like this stance “then you can jump”. Peace, love and rock ‘n roll.
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