Whether it's Stranger Things sending Kate Bush to the top of the charts or TikTok reintroducing Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" to Gen-Z, classic tunes are continuing to find new audiences through the power of the internet.
One of the most unexpected instances of this trend occurred in Australia last year, when a brash, bouncy remix of Men At Work's 1981 hit "Down Under" blew up on TikTok. As is often the case these days, chart success and radio play soon followed, as producer Luude's remix skyrocketed to the top of charts across the globe, hitting the Top 10 in both the UK and Australia before spending a month at No 1 in New Zealand earlier this year.
Originally conceived in his spare room as a way to pass the time during lockdown, Luude's remix transforms one of the most iconic songs in Australia's musical history into a club-ready DnB roller. It's certainly an unexpected combination of styles, but it works like a charm, repackaging Colin Hay's earworm of a vocal hook in a contemporary context that's brimming with energy.
After bringing Luude, real name Christian Benson, overnight success, the track's racked up 150 million streams worldwide and prompted an international tour. He's since given The Verve's "Bittersweet Symphony" and Mattafix's "Big City Life" the same treatment, doubling down on his ability to rework classic melodies into radio-ready bangers.
We caught up with Luude in between shows for a quick chat to find out more, and he was kind enough to give us 5 quick tips for those hoping to craft their own viral remix.
Tell us the story of the Down Under remix. What gave you the idea to remix the track initially?
“To be honest, I was just bored during Covid so I started remixing random tunes, started off based on Brown Cardigan Aussie Meme stuff and people thought that was pretty funny, so I thought, what would be an Aussie tune to remix DnB? Then I came up with this.”
Did you ever expect it to blow up in the way that it did?
“Not a chance, I didn’t even think it was going to get released.”
How did you approach doing the remix?
“For that remix, I literally had the bones of it all done because I was messing around with the template to make different remix meme videos. When it actually went viral I had to build out the track.”
What kind of set-up do you work with? Are you more of a software-based producer or do you have any hardware synths/drum machines in your studio?
“All in the box on FL Studio - that’s how I started out and yeah it just works for what I need.”
What are three of your favourite plugins?
“Synplant is sick, and I love heaps of the vintage VSTs - the Juno. Wouldn’t say I’ve got a top three, just whatever works in the track.”
You’ve got a huge platform now thanks to the success of the Down Under remix. What’s up next for you now?
“Yeah it’s been pretty surreal to be honest, went from two Covid years sitting in my spare room writing tunes to being on tour around the world for months straight and every show is fun as - it’s fucking crazy really.”
“There’s a couple of tunes I can’t wait to release, but can’t talk about or my label and team will kill me. But yeah, just putting out more tunes and making the shows bigger and better is the goal.”
Luude's 5 remix tips
1. Try your mixes on different monitors
“Always reference your bounces on multiple speakers and play it against other tracks you like - it’s the best way to hear if your mix is working the right way.”
2. Use another track as a reference
“Chuck another song into your DAW and use it as an arrangement reference, when you are starting it’s hard to know how to structure a song, this is an easy way to get a feel for intro, verse, chorus.”
3. Get going straight away
“Start remixing songs straight away, it’s just another way to learn how to make your sounds work with other sources, especially if you can get decent stem parts.”
4. Nail down the structure first thing
“Always aim to finish the full structure of a song first - go back and finish the details later. This stops you getting stuck in making short loops forever, if you actually flesh out the whole song you’re more likely to actually finish it and that’s the best way to get better - you can’t release unfinished music.”
5. Learn through collaboration
“Collaborate with people as much as you can, everyone approaches things differently and you always learn great new tips from people when you work with them.”