Porter Robinson & Deadmau5 on turning down pop stars
You might think an offer to work with Katy Perry would be pretty hard to turn to down. After all, putting your hand to one of the pop princess’ Top 40 hits would bring about a hell of a lot of exposure, probably a decent wad of cash and quite possibly, offers of more work. You might think it’d prove especially enticing an offer for a 20-year old producer who’s only been in the game for a couple of years and is yet to release an album of their own. But for the fast-rising Porter Robinson, the offer held little in the way of appeal.
Speaking to UK rag The Daily Star, the Stereosonic-bound producer revealed he turned down the offer to produce for the chart troubler. “I’ve had offers from a bunch of triple-A pop acts like Katy Perry to work with them, but I’m not interested,” the “little known DJ” ( The Star ’s words) began. “It’s a surefire way of damaging your credibility and I just don’t think it’s inspiring. I want to make stuff that I enjoy so I won’t produce anyone else, for now.”
And if you were wondering who Porter’s taking his cues from, that’d be Deadmau5. “I admire him because he’s yet to release a song that sounds like he’s trying to fit into something,” the Language producer lauded. In typically-acerbic form, the mau5 himself also recently joked about his distaste for working with commercial names. “Dude, I’ve turned down some hilarious things lately. Let’s just say some of the biggest acts in the world,” he boasted on late night program Last Call With Carson Daly. “Dude, like, bigger than big. I can’t do it. It’s not something that I feel is going to help anyone, except for myself. With any fucking luck, creativity will prevail and new, original acts will become bigger and better.”
Then there are the dance acts who exercise the same caution when it comes to accepting big-name remixing jobs. “All this craziness over remixing is a little bit pointless, because in the studio we have never listened to a remix of a track we like,” Gaspard Augé of Justice stated last year. “We were asked to do a Johnny Cash remix but it doesn’t make any sense. When the song is already good, we can only make it worse.”
Though on the flip side, there’s the Chris Lake point of view: if you can do it, then why not? “You know, a lot of the time I have this attitude of like, I’ve never known how long I’ll be in this industry for,” he told inthemix. “If I get offered a remix for Kylie Minogue, I feel like I would always look back in 10-15 years and think I missed the opportunity to remix one of the biggest pop artists in the world. If I get offered the chance to remix someone I’m very interested to take it on and create something unique.
“But sometimes that’s not even possible. I’ve taken on remixes for some artists where the record is too bad to make something out of. I always try and take a record, tear it to pieces and find a new angle on it.” That too-bad track, if you were wondering, was his Lady Gaga Judas remix. “I completed it, but it was difficult.” But hey, you can’t say the pop hook-up didn’t work for Calvin Harris and Rihanna.