Written and media by Kelsey Neier.
It seems like everything we see or hear is a remix. Now more than ever before, the songs we listen to, the art we see and the videos we watch are not completely original. We tend to steal ideas and concepts from other people and change them just a little bit so we can consider them our own. Should remixing be allowed?
Personally I enjoy remixes. I think remixes can sometimes be better and funnier than the original piece. There are also some really clever celebrities who are good at borrowing other people’s music and creating a spin off as their own. Drake, Rihanna, John Mayer and Weird Al Yankovic are all people who have done a good job of remixing. Weird Al has been remixing some of the biggest hits for a long time. His quick wit and sense of humor has made him popular among audiences of all ages. An example of some of his remixes are “White and Nerdy” poking fun at “Ridin’ Dirty” and “Amish Paradise” as a parody for “Gangster Paradise“.
I really enjoyed this video (below) by Kirby Ferguson. He makes some good points about how nobody starts out original. We need to be able to copy in order to take an idea and create something new and different. Many of the people we look up to have become successful by learning and copying ideas from others. I liked how the video said that the most dramatic results can happen when ideas are combined. The Ford Model T did not create the assembly line, parts or even the automobile itself, but they combined all of these things to create the first car.
It is also interesting to think about how even the foods we eat are remakes. Some foods were created by accident, but we have taken food and remade it thousands of different ways. Americans love fast food, and you can even find recipes online about how to make your own favorite fast food cuisine. Think about potatoes! They are so delicious and there are so many different ways to make them!
I think remixes are perfectly fine. For example, I enjoy learning about photography, but in order to better myself I need to learn the do’s and don’ts. I have to understand the techniques and what makes a good photograph first. Then I can take the knowledge and skills that I have learned and use them to create my own visually unique pictures. You need to have a good understanding of the basics and different types of lenses so you do not start off taking bad photos. The same concept goes for music, videos, food, etc. The more you know about the subject the better you can built off of what you learned to create something unique.
Media is full or remixes, remakes and parodies. They are all over the internet. Some remixes are serious, and other are humorous. They have been around for a long time and will continue to be for an even longer time. I think it is important to give credit to the original source, otherwise you could definitely get into some legal trouble. We see artists getting sued all the time because their song sounds like another song that they did not ask permission to use. This can become a huge issue so it is best to play it safe and just ask permission first. You will save yourself some money and legal trouble in the long run. I learned to create boundaries, consume everything, digest research and move on if you’re burned out on ideas. Keep on being creative!