Looking to score some YouTube hits for your music? Just make a genre mashup! Videos featuring a number of different musical sounds have been quite popular of late, with several viral hits featuring a varied collection of sonic styles. What is it that makes genre mashups so great?
Genre mashups have long had a place on YouTube. One of the site’s most viewed classics is ‘Evolution of Dance‘, where motivational speaker Judson Laipply gets down to a number of different historic dance styles. Laipply’s magnum opus has scored over 215 million views to date, with its sequel adding another 21 million.
Lately, several musicians have carried on Laipply’s tradition. Scott Bradlee scored a viral hit when he released a 1920s version of ‘Thrift Shop’, and in May, his multi-genre version of ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ also brought in a wave a views. In June, it was PV NOVA‘s turn, as the French musical comedian scored more than 3.4 million views with a genre mashup version of Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’. Later in June, it was Andrew Huang‘s turn, as he and his friend Dave created a song from 26 genres, one for each letter of the alphabet (embedded below). Most recently, the cdza ensemble played out a number of different musical puns such as “Flutacris” and “Bassoon 5”, each one on different instruments.
Genre mashups work well because they can please a wide variety of music fans. How many videos can be enjoyed by metalheads, jazz hepcats, and dubstep fans alike? Only one genre needs to click for a viewer to come away with an enjoyable experience worthy of a share. In addition, genre mashups demonstrate the talent of the artist. By displaying an intimate knowledge of music history and flexible composition skills, he makes a ringing endorsement for his own music.
Sure enough, genre mashup makers have seen noticeable subscriber jumps. PV NOVA and Huang both saw big spikes after they released their efforts, and Bradlee‘s subscribers jumped when his mashup was posted to Reddit. The signs are clear, musicians of the world: post a genre mashup, and you too can make it big on YouTube. I hear pornogrind is big with the kids these days.