DJ Earworm: Pop Music Had 'More Energy' in 2010
For the fourth straight year, DJ Earworm has saluted a year's worth of pop music by synthesizing the top 25 songs on Billboard's year-end Hot 100 chart into one cohesive track. His "United State of Pop 2010" mash-up, which hit the web on Dec. 28, features a dazzling array of dance hooks pulled from Ke$ha's "TiK ToK," Katy Perry's "California Gurls," and 23 other chart hits.
DJ Earworm, whose real name is Jordan Roseman, tells Billboard.com that he wanted this year's mash-up to capture the "Nintendo-sounding synth-pop" sound perfected by producers Max Martin and Dr. Luke this year. He also hoped that his track would amplify the "central message" of pop music in 2010: having fun and not caring about tomorrow.
"Last year, there were all these messages about feeling down and picking yourself back up, so that ended up being the theme," says DJ Earworm, whose 2009 track showcased songs like Keri Hilson's "Knock You Down," Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody" and Lady Gaga's "Just Dance." "This year it's not consoling at all; it's more brash. You've got Usher saying, 'Let's dance like it's the last night of our lives,' and Katy Perry saying, 'Let's run away and don't ever look back.' So it doesn't have the same sensitivity and heart as last year's, but it has a lot more energy."
DJ Earworm issued his first "United State of Pop" in 2007, after mashing up tracks from various decades and deciding to create something that highlighted current music. The DJ finished his first year-end Hot 100 mash-up in four days, but says that he now starts messing around with what songs he thinks will top the final chart "a month or two before the list" is released.
"It takes much longer now, because I've tried to use more instrumentals and hooks," says Earworm, who works on the track in hotel rooms as well as his London flat. "There's also more expectation, since the 2009 [mash-up] blew up so big."
DJ Earworm will ring in 2011 by playing a club show tonight in the Bahamas, and he hopes that the coming year will yield a label deal. While he plans on exploring "a few projects that aren't just current radio pop" next year, fans of his "United State of Pop" work should expect to hear a 2011 version in 12 months' time.
"Now it's come to the point where I have to do it, or I would get the wrath of all my fans," he laughs. "I'm not abandoning pop music anytime soon."