When you live paycheck to paycheck, an adverse event like sudden unemployment can quickly put you into financial ruin. I have an emergency fund (thank God), but my financial situation could definitely be better. This blog post, however, is not about money.
This is about the dread I feel every time I finish a mashup.
Don’t get me wrong. After spending many days (and nights) making sure that everything sounds perfect, I feel a tremendous sense of joy at being able to share another mashup with the world. For mashups like “E.T. Eats Peanuts” (as opposed to “Wild Wild Block“, which I’ve come to look upon with disdain), I feel like I’ve got something special on my hands. Fortunately, I was right in this case.
I also feel like the mashup I’ve just completed could be the last one I ever do.
It’s not that I’m hurting for ideas. I regularly think of potential mashup combinations, which I immediately jot down in my cellphone so that I can return to them and see if the necessary elements are available. Sometimes, I have to reject these ideas because I don’t already have the necessary material, nothing is available online or the quality of what is available is below standard. Case in point: yesterday, I tried to mash up Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” with Flanger’s “Galak.” I’m fortunate to have “Galak” on my copy of Flanger’s Outer Space/Inner Space album, but the acapella I found for “SexyBack” was a 192kbps MP3 which didn’t sound too good. (For the record, I’ve previously used 128kbps MP3s for acapellas, but anything below 256kbps for instrumentals is out of the question.) As much as I would have loved to have this combination come to fruition, there’s no way I can put out garbage, especially after seeing my Peanuts theme mashup catch fire at The Stix.
The period between “Ocean Diamonds” and “Funky Toes” was particularly challenging. I was getting ideas, but I rejected all of them due to the lack of usable sources. I’m not used to being in that situation for months on end. As much as I believed that I’d think of a doable idea, I was undeniably worried. Fortunately, after rejecting a mashup of Lights’ “Toes” with Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” one night, I got the idea to mash up the former song with “Da Funk” right before going to bed. Since then, I’ve had a pretty good run, doing seven mashups since that one. (Psst…I’m working on one as I speak.)
Sometimes, inspiration comes out of nowhere. Other times, I have to work at it a little bit. I prefer when ideas come out of nowhere (whether they cause me to giggle or not), but if a lightbulb moment happens as I listen to a song, I know better than to look gift horses in the mouth.