Simon Cowell and TikTok launch StemDrop, giving you the chance to remix a new song by Max Martin

Simon Cowell
(Image credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Having feasted on the dreams of aspiring singers for the past two decades, record industry impresario Simon Cowell has now set his sights on music producers. 

Working in collaboration with TikTok, Universal Music Group, Republic Records and Samsung, Cowell’s Syco Entertainment is teaming up with TikTok for the launch of StemDrop, a new platform that enables big-name musicians to “give a song to the world” so that aspiring producers can create their own version.

Kicking things off is the biggest of hitters - Max Martin. On 26 October he and fellow songwriters Savan Kotecha and Ali Payami will upload 60 seconds of a brand-new song, Red Lights, and ask the TikTok community to rework it using the new StemDrop Mixer.

Budding producers will be able to access the stems of the song through the StemDrop H5 page, which will enable them to “experiment with individual effects, harmonies and melodies”.

Precisely how this will work remains to be seen, but we suspect that the stems will be locked to this platform, so you won’t be able to download them and use them in your DAW. CORRECTION: We're assured that you will be able to download the stems from a dedicated micro-site, which is great news for those who want to use their own software to remix them.

New versions of each song submitted to StemDrop will be curated weekly by the songwriters, TikTok, Syco, Republic Records and Universal Music Group, so you’ll be able to hear what other producers have been up to.

Commenting on the launch of StemDrop, Simon Cowell said: “Hit songs are like diamonds and they can change an artist’s career overnight. With tens of thousands of songs uploaded every day this idea will give aspiring artists the opportunity to collaborate with some of the most successful songwriters in the world.

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“The premise was always very straightforward… ‘What would happen if the best songwriters in the world wrote a song for the world…….?’ We have no idea what’s going to happen. I do know there are so many incredibly talented people who are trying to stand out and I hope and believe this could make a big difference to their careers.

“It says everything about Max Martin, Savan and Ali that they have decided to give this song to the TikTok community to record and collaborate with them. And I want to thank them so much for believing in this idea.”

StemDrop will launch on TikTok on 26 October. 

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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