Producer Yasutaka Nakata’s musical influence has spread far and wide. The producer behind the electro-pop of Perfume and the kawaii-hop of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, among others, has become a favorite of many artists worldwide.
One person singing his praises in the past is EDM titan Zedd, who has told Tower Records' online site that he liked the Japanese trackmaker. Now, the connection is cemented, as Zedd has gotten Nakata to remix his latest single with Alessia Cara, “Stay.”
The original version is, like a lot of hugely popular Zedd songs, a slow dramatic build towards a big zig-zagging hook. Nakata’s rework follows a similar template, but adds a little skip to the uphill climb, making the vocals a touch faster and surrounding them by synths. The chorus, or drop if you’d rather look at it that way, isn’t quite as aggressive, opting instead for a bright assortment of synths and pitched-up bursts of Cara’s voice. It remains thumping, but rendered through the style Nakata has been using to great success over the last five years. Listen above. The song appears on a “Stay” remix EP released last Friday, featuring a few other reworkings from artists hailing from across the globe.
Although he is just starting to gain wider recognition abroad, this isn’t the first time Nakata has remixed a big Western artist. His first big chance came when he was called on to rework Kylie Minogue’s “Get Outta My Way,” adding a digital glow to her original take. Listen to that one below:
He’s transformed songs by the likes of Passion Pit into club bangers, while turning Korean outfit Clazziquia Project’s music into a neon-soaked pop shuffler. Yet the song before the Zedd rework - that hinted at the direction Nakata would be going in - came on a remix of another Nakata-fan, Madeon. The J-Pop whizz took the French producer’s “Pay No Mind” and turned it into a zippy pop number full of skittery beats and house-inspired bass lines. It skirts the border of EDM, but never gives into the cliche that aforementioned term tends to bring.
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