Back in 2009, A-Trak wrote himself into the dance music history books with his remix of Yeah Yeah Yeahs tune Heads Will Roll. That track is now regarded as one of the best edits of all time – but according to the man himself, remixes aren’t always an easy way to make bank.
In a new interview with Forbes, the Fool’s Gold head has opened up on why remixes are sometimes a shitty deal for producers. While A-Trak says “it’s by doing remixes” that he learnt to produce, the reality is that “deals for remixes are very antiquated and do not reflect the reality of remixing nowadays”.
He says that most remixers get paid a flat fee upfront and don’t get royalties on the sales – no matter how much the track blows up. “Remixers don’t make much money from their work, but the advantage is that remixes are a very efficient way for a producer to get heard,” he explains.
His personal approach is only to take on remixes that excite him. “I’m sure there are some producers/DJs who make good money off remixes if they take the ones that offer big money and they follow a formula to knock out a bunch in a row, but that’s not how I like to approach remixes,” he says. “When a major label comes and knocks on the door and says, ‘Hey do you want to remix this cookie cutter artist that we are not sure how to make cool?’ or, ‘We are not sure how to develop,’ and they’ll flash the big money, I’ll just say, ‘No, I’m busy.'”
The Forbes interview was timed to coincide with In The Loop: A Decade Of Remixes, a collection of A-Trak’s best-loved edits, which is due to be released on November 11. Revisit A-Trak’s classic Yeah Yeah Yeahs remix and check out the full In The Loop tracklist below.
1. Architecture In Helsinki – ‘Heart It Races’ (Trizzy’s Rusty Tin Can Mix)
2. Scanners – ‘Bombs’ (Trizzy’s Boom Bam Slam Mix)
3. Digitalism – ‘Idealistic’ (A-Trak Remix)
4. Boys Noize – ‘Oh!’ (A-Trak Remix)”
5. Sébastien Tellier – ‘Kilometer’ (A-Trak Remix)
6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Heads Will Roll’ (A-Trak Remix)
7. The Rapture – ‘How Deep Is Your Love?’ (A-Trak Remix)*
8. Martin Solveig – ‘The Night Out’ (A-Trak Remix)
9. Surkin – ‘Never Let Go’ (A-Trak Remix)
10. Phoenix – ‘Trying To Be Cool’ (A-Trak Remix)
11. Disclosure (featuring Lorde) – ‘Magnets’ (A-Trak Remix)
12. Bingo Players – ‘Cry (Just A Little)’ (A-Trak & Phantoms Remix)
13. Bob Moses – ‘Tearing Me Up’ (A-Trak Remix)