If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You’ll no doubt have heard that phrase before. It applies just as much to the world of music.
Here’s an example. Take this message that I saw from Sterling Void two years ago. Back then, I’d just had my first release or two and yes, I admit I was incredibly naïve on how the music business worked. Nonetheless, I’m hoping someone out there learns from this cautionary tale.
Mr Void posted that he had a song forthcoming on Defected. Shortly afterwards, I was contacted by the man himself and asked if I wanted to remix it. A remix for one of the biggest house labels on the planet? I wasn’t turning that down.
The signs weren’t good from the offset. He sent me vocal stems for the song – but failed to provide the actual song. Not even a little snippet so I could get a sense of what the original song sounded like. As a result, I had no idea what the key of the song was, the BPM, whether the vocal stems were lined up correctly and so forth. This makes doing a remix nigh on impossible.
Nonetheless, I gave it a go. It was pretty bad, but given I had literally nothing to work with, it wasn’t ever going to turn out any better. I sent it off, and I heard nothing else – a depressingly predictable pattern in any interactions with Mr Void.
Anyway, a few weeks later, the release emerged on Traxsource. It turns out the track was called “So Beautiful” and had remixes from Maurice Joshua and Eric Kupper. Was it on Defected? In a word, no*.
The lesson of the day? If the remix request isn’t coming directly from the label, ask questions. If those questions don’t get answered, walk away. I just wonder what Simon Dunmore** would make of it all
The release is here, if you’re wondering. Just as well for the remixes…
** In case you don’t know, Simon Dunmore is the founder and owner of Defected.