April Smith Puts A Speakeasy Spin On Trey Songz
What better way to celebrate the Feb. 14 return of our weekly Mashup Mondays video series, in which cool artists cover hot songs far outside their normal sound, than with a special preview mashup? April Smith and her band, the Great Picture show, came to Billboard's studios recently to put a jazzy, 1930s spin on Trey Songz' "Bottoms Up," complete with a violin solo.
Trust us, you've never heard Trey Songz sound like this.
The New Jersey bred Smith chose to cover the Songz song, she says, "because I thought it would be really cool with a swing to it... It sounded like a klezmer tune. It has that feel like you might almost hear [it] at a Bar Mitzvah and dance the Hora to it or something."
Smith's take is a far cry from the danceable R&B of the Nicki Minaj-assisted original, which Songz took all the way to No. 6 on the Hot 100 chart in November 2010. But her version, rife with accordian, fiddle, and stand-up bass does make a thematic link with Songz' lyrics: she says "Bottom's Up"'s lines about partying reminded her of Prohibition, hence the speakeasy-ready sound she came up with.
"I think [Trey] would be down with it," says Smith, whose latest album is "Songs For A Sinking Ship." "I hope he would like it. I guess we're going to find out."
Ready for more mashups? Check out all of our first season of Mashup Mondays here -- including Sara Bareilles doing Beyonce's "Single Ladies" and Matisyahu beatboxing Kings of Leon -- and come back to Billboard.com on Feb. 14 for the premiere of the first Mashup Monday of 2011.