My Old Friend, Self-Doubt

I’ve been making mashups for a few years and moderating at Mashstix for almost one year. Despite my confidence in my abilities, every now and then, I deal with self-doubt.

Suppose I’m reviewing a mashup where the sources sound harmonious, but then I do my due diligence and find out that something is out of key. That should be the end of the matter, but then comes the internal wrestling.

“Is this acapella really out of key? It sounds like it works well with this instrumental.”
“Remember that one mashup where everything sounded harmonious? One acapella was out of key. Don’t make that same mistake again.”
“Yes, but what if I’m wrong this time?!”

If I can’t get past that hurdle, I simply won’t comment on the mashup. Fortunately, I sometimes overcome that challenge without even trying.

For example, after hearing Disclosure’s “Latch” while I was at a TV show taping, I recently took a second look at Mighty Mike’s “Viva Latchida”; I initially had difficulty figuring out the key of “Latch.” Fortunately, when Mike previously used that source and paired its instrumental with Lenny Kravitz’s “Believe In Me,” I correctly figured that the keys of these sources were compatible (A-flat major and F minor, which are relative keys). Using that previous experience, I concluded that Mikey wasn’t out of key when he paired the acapella from “Latch” with Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida,” which is in A-flat major.

Self-doubt doesn’t only affect me when I review mashups. To wit: a few months before I made “Broken Telephone,” I wrestled with the decision to make another “Call Me Maybe” mashup. The fact that I’ve already done two of them didn’t matter to me; I was much more concerned with being past the perceived expiry date for mashing up that song. Even with the shared theme of communication, it was not easy for me to let go of my concerns. Fortunately, the reaction to this mashup has thus far been positive, so I had nothing to worry about in the first place.


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