Out with the old, in with the remix

Try to think of a completely original concept. Difficult, isn’t it?

If you couldn’t think of anything, perhaps you’ve realized ‘you’re not the first to think that everything has been thought before’. And no, I didn’t come up with that line myself, it’s from a song I heard years ago by Something For Kate. You see, original concepts have become an impossibility! Every thought, invention and/ or creative notion is sparked from something that already exists. We simply transform them and re-create them into a new interpretation of the old.

Have you noticed that when creators of music/ movies/ books etc are interviewed, they are always asked what their inspiration was? Such an interesting choice of word, ‘inspiration’. In other words, they’re asking what already existing material they’ve remixed as their own.

An example of this is the Florence + the Machine’s ‘You’ve Got The Love‘, which is a cover and remix of the 1986 song with the same name, by Candi Staton. But it didn’t end there. Florence then teamed up with Dizzee Rascal to create another rendition called ‘You’ve Got The Dirtee Love‘ and now The Biggest Loser (Australia) have a remix of it as their theme song (song starts from 1.04)

Remixes are so successful, they’re part of popular culture. There is just something about remixing an original idea in the entertainment industry that’s so alluring. We watch the same basic plotlines over and over again from Hollywood films, and make them blockbusters. We like original songs, and then we love their remixes that come out months later. Remixing keeps creations alive and thriving, as repackaged goods. Australian radio station, Triple J hosts an annual ‘Like A Version‘ (the name itself is a remix of Madonna’s ‘Like A Virgin’), which features different bands covering a song of their choice. As shown in the ‘Like A Version’ clip below, hip-hop band Illy have remixed a number of songs, using the riff from ‘Where Is My Mind’ by Pixies and a mash up of lyrics from several different songs.

The only thing holding back our remixing culture are the overbearing copyright laws I mentioned in a previous post. The current copyright laws fog the line between what is accepted as remixing or what is considered ripping off the original. Though our remixing culture is prosperous, it is being restricted more and more as copyright laws allow for ‘ideas’ to become legal property. We need to find a balance between creative advances and legal ties in order to continue with transforming something great, into something even greater.


Banksy’s “Show Me the Monet” is a clever appropriation of Claude Monet’s Bridge Over A Pool Of Water Lilies, 1899.


Banksy, NY, 2010

About intersectionalalien

Hi hello people of earth/space/cyberspace, intersectional alien here. I’m still trying to figure out my place on this earth. I like intersectional feminism, feminism in popular culture, LGBTQ+, refugee rights, veganism, mental health, nihilism, travelling, unlearning institutional conditioning, good tunes and consuming and creating stories.
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