Swedish Bastard Pop artist Copycat has been mixing mashups for around five years. There are nearly forty tracks available to download at his website (and who knows how many more scattered elsewhere throughout the web). He's been featured on The Bootie Top Ten, The Toronto Star's Anti-hit list, Audio Porn Central's monthly chart, Popbytes Mashup of the week and numerous other weekly and yearly "best of" lists... The point: the word is getting out!
Check him out at his myspace page, as well as at Facebook and of course, his official website. There's lots to hear, see and read. Without further ado, here's the SAR Q&A with Copycat...
*Name: Copycat. Nothing else. Especially not Dj Copycat...
*Are there any additional names used to describe this project: I sometimes tag my stuff with A Copycat Mash or A Copycat Remix. There are quite a few copycats out there, not least in the music world, so I'm kinda struggling to make sure people get the right one.
*Do you use a pseudonym? Yes, I do. I'm a bit wary of the legal implications my production may have. Especially here in Sweden, where the prosecutors are keeping themselves quite busy at the mo. So I prefer to keep a low profile for another while.
*Members: Just the one. But I've been involved in a couple of joint bootleg ventures. Hope to do more of that in the future, in one way or another. Very rewarding. And fun!
*Tape manipulations, digital deconstructions or turntable creations: It's definitely "digital deconstructions.” I cut and slice and shake and dice whatever gets in my way. Most of it ends up in the bin, but every now and then I manage to get it somewhere near my original intentions - and "release" it. On the other hand, I took a tour down memory lane the other week, in an old school meets new school kinda way, trying Traktor's Scratch software. Very inspiring and tremendously fun! Quite a few new ideas were generated. And it was a definite encouragement to go back to playing around more with turntables.
*Another genre descriptor: Dunno really. I don't care that much, to be honest. "Mash up" is fine, as is the good old "bastard pop" tag. I'm still having a problem with "bootlegs" tho. Too vague, I think. When I started doing these things I just considered them as plain "remixes,” but I suppose that's a somewhat confusing term. Especially since I've ventured into some more traditional remixing stuff as well of late. I've considered nicking Coldcut's apt term "Beats and pieces.” Especially for some of the stuff I do.
*Why you use this descriptor: Some of my "mash-ups" consist of endless snippets, bits, beats and pieces I've sampled from all sorts of sources. Sure, it's still a mash-up, but not perhaps in the everyday sense of the word. Cut-up could be one way of describing it, but it probably implies something entirely different. "Beats and pieces" seems as an apt descriptor, don't you think?
*Location: I live with my wife and 15 months old son in the very south of Sweden - just opposite Copenhagen, with only the Øresund straits dividing Sweden and Denmark.
*Original Location: N/A
*What is your creative/artistic background: I bought my first singles back in ´76 or ´77 in my hometown's two local record shops. I was immediately taken under their wings as a mascot or something and spent most of my days in either shop and even ended up working in one of them for some 10 years later on in life. One of them was a bit more edgy, with a local DJ running it, a guy with connections and a master mixer selling highly acclaimed mixtapes. Sometimes, I sat in on these productions - with great awe - and listened to the DJ's every word. His stories of the big names, big venues and big artists he'd encountered along the way. He opened an entirely new world to me, introduced me to a few of his fellow DJs and sort of showed me the ropes. One thing led to another and I started to do some DJ-ing myself. Nowadays, I'm in advertising, working as a freelance creative in the south of Sweden. The idea is essentially the same. You pick up trends in current affairs, music, film, fashion or whatever and try to mash it into a single communicative idea or concept that makes people go "Hmm..." I jumped ship from one of the major agencies in Sweden five years back and started up my own business. That's also when I started to prioritize a bit differently as regards work. Work to live, instead of the opposite. Which sort of gave me some extra time. Time enough to cultivate what I'd been neglecting during my intensive career as an employee. So I picked up my old infatuation, music, again. Best thing I've ever done.
*History: The past five years, essentially. After my "come-back" as it were. Mainly remixes and mash-ups, but I've also done my own stuff. But it's not ready to fly just yet - even if I sold a track to advertising a couple of years back.
*Born: I was born in the seventies. 1970 to be precise.
*Motivations: I suppose I mainly do what I do for a laugh. I love music and have a far too large and eclectic record collection to let it go to waste. I'm also very keen on scouting new things, picking up whatever comes along. Music's my therapy after long hard days of creative advertising work and gives me a chance to unwind, calm down, breathe and recharge my batteries.
*Philosophy: I don't really think I have an outspoken philosophy. But I suppose an open mind helps. I try to avoid the most obvious creations. I'm not that into Hip-hop and R&B. Since my love for music took off in the mid-seventies and exploded during the eighties, I tend to go back to my (rather complex) roots quite a lot. I love punk - but I also love disco. The New Wave era was my dream come true, kinda combining both with added synthesizers and stuff. From disco a la Moroder and New wave, the step to electronica and synth pop, as championed by Depeche Mode, OMD and their contemporaries, wasn't that far. From there I got into all sorts of indie and alternative things. In the mid-nineties my eyes were further opened. I had the pleasure of spending a week at the BBC in London, with John Peel. Now, that gentleman knew a thing or two about music. And he didn't give a damn about genres or what people think. Since then I've developed an even more f***ed-up taste in music, I suppose... I hope and think this alloy leaves a mark in what I do.
*How would you like to be remembered: A caring, loving husband and father, top bloke - and a not entirely untalented bastard.
*Web address: http://djcopycat.blogspot.com