Remix Guru Dave Audé :: Audaciously Successful
There was a time, less than 20 years ago, when dance/club music was nowhere on the radio; never mind recognized at the Grammy Awards. Today, though, the format has its own category with those awards as remixed dance singles are integral to a pop song’s success.
This change in the pop music dynamic can be attributed to the re-emergence of the DJ/Remixer/Producer - a music industry title popular during disco’s heyday, but one that went underground after the collapse of that popular music form. One of today’s leading remix artists is Grammy-nominated music producer Dave Audé.
Since 1997, Audé has produced 89 Billboard Dance/Club Chart #1 chart-toppers, his latest being Ciara’s "Body Talk" dance remix which hit #1 on the chart July 27, 2013. With an average of nine number ones over the past three years, it is anticipated by the summer of 2014 Audé will have hit the top spot on Billboard’s Dance/Club Chart 100 times. The key to Audé’s success is that his remixes (described as strong lyrical vocal set to an infectious dance beat) fit the shorter radio format, something unheard of in the past.
In fact Audé’s-produced remixes (for such pop stars as Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Ke$ha, Beyonce, Madonna, and yes, even Cher) have been mistaken for the initial singles because fans favor these dance remixes over the originals. The success of this new format points to how crucial dance/club music is in determining how successful a full album will be. The more hit remixes, the bigger the album can be.
Audé’s DJ success and overwhelming remix requests led to the creation of his record label Audacious Records where artist such as Luciana (Chart Number One hits include "I’m Still Hot," "Something For The Weekend," "Figure It Out," and former Pussycat Dolls Jessica Sutta Number One hit "Show Me") care featured on Dave’s original tracks.
Also, his monthly Audacious Radio Podcast available on iTunes keeps fan up to date on not only Dave’s hottest remixes, but the mixes from some of the biggest music remix/producers in the business. "I’d like to see more young remixers/producers out there make it. I like to teach them because many of them lack the fundamentals of music background that so many DJs and producers of my era have," says Dave when he speaks about the future of dance/club music, and how the demand for it will always be around. "There will always be music made that can benefit from having a dance version."
From his music production studio and prior his highly anticipated DJ debut at San Francisco’s Nitey Awards Best Gay Club 2013 winner BeatBox for the Timmy Scott produced EVOLUTION party on Saturday, August 17, 2013.
I spoke with Billboard’s number one dance/club music hit-maker about his surprise in getting his 89th #1 with Ciara, his disappointment behind not being involved in upcoming Selena Gomez dance singles, his label’s upcoming single with Akon and Luciana, his anticipation in achieving his 100th chart topper, and what’s up for his future.
BeBe: You just recently celebrated a couple of back to back #1s on Billboard’s Dance Club Chart with Selena Gomez’s ’Come & Get It’ and Ciara’s ’Body Party,’ your #88 and #89 respectively. I love when you take a ballad or mid-tempo song as ’Body Party’ and turn it into a major dance hit. I don’t think the public’s ear hears a dance song potential when they hear a slow jam, but somehow you hear a dance beat. Do you normally hear that dance beat with a ballad song initially or is it a struggle to find it?
Dave Audé: I don’t hear anything until I do them to be honest with you. Obviously, I want to hear things, but I don’t always. ’Body Talk’ was a record I initially turned down (to remix). I rarely turn things down, but I didn’t think I could do anything with it because of its weird tempo. Crazy enough, once I started working with it, I went, ’Wow! This is going to be a lot better than I expected.’
BeBe: Yeah, Ciara’s whole album is a weird tempo. But, she’s been able to turn her singles into some remix gems. With ’Body Talk,’ I’m sure its reaching #1 was a pleasant surprise for you.
Dave Audé: Totally! Ciara’s definitely a big name, but she’s one of those artists that despite doing a lot of stuff, hasn’t had that huge hit. I don’t ’Body Talk’ is that huge hit, but I do think it is a really big song. I think Ciara needed something like this to get people to sort of pay attention to her. She took like three years off between albums, so this is good to see.
And Selena Gomez
BeBe: Now, Selena Gomez’s ’Come & Get It’ reaching #1 on the dance/club charts was I am sure no huge surprise because you have been successful with her remixed singles in the past. Her new album ’Stars Dance,’ which was recently released at the end of July, has many other potential dance hits. Will you be remixing other Selena Gomez singles of the album?
Dave Audé: That’s a great question. You know I’ve done all seven of her singles to date, and I’d love to keep working with her, but it’s up to the label (Hollywood Records). There’s new people at the label, and they don’t necessarily want to use Dave Audé for every single song. Her new single coming out (’Slow Down’) will be her first one I’m not working on. Not my choice, but I guess the new people involved with her deal decided that they didn’t like my six or seven Selena records that went Number One. (Said with some sarcasm).
BeBe: That’s going to be disappointing for Selena’s fans. I think they’ll be shocked to know there won’t be another Dave Audé mix to come from the ’Star Dance’ album.
Dave Audé: They’re not getting a Dave Audé mix, but I hear they dumped 13 remixes (by other remixers) to fill the gap. I’m sure they are going to get some good remixes. She’s got great songs. When you are mixing Selena Gomez (music) it’s not like you’re mixing tough songs. They are hit records. That’s why the people at the label figure ’we don’t really need Dave as much as he think we do’ because they are already great songs.
His original stuff
BeBe: And, what about your original stuff? You have something new on the horizon I hear with a song called ’Electricity & Drum’ with one my favorite music divas, Luciana, and Akon. When is that going to hit the market?
Dave Audé: I’m waiting on one more remix from my friends Sultan and Ned (Shepard), and then we’ll send to our friendly Djs to play. By the time September rolls around, I’m hoping it will have been played a lot.
BeBe: Will there be a music video to support the single?
Dave Audé: Not yet. We’re supposed to be shooting a video, but it’s really about nailing a schedule down. Luciana is recording with everybody, and has a lot of songs out there (in the pipeline). And, Akon is filming a new movie (’American Heist’ with Hayden Christensen).
BeBe: My girl Luciana is on fire right now, and doing some good stuff.
Dave Audé: I don’t know if it’s good or not that she has so many things coming out at the same time, but there is no right or wrong (way to do it). It’s just music. I love Luciana. I’m her biggest fan.
Reaching 100 #1 hits
BeBe: You and Luciana were together at the Orange County Gay Pride celebration early in August, and now you are returning to San Francisco to headline a very popular circuit-type party, ’Evolution,’ on August 17, which is produced by a young party promoter, Timmy Scott, at the San Francisco Nitey Award-winning gay club BeatBox. Then on September 14 you will be playing the same party as it travels to Los Angeles at the Rage nightclub. So there’s a lot of Audé happening over the next 30 days.
Dave Audé: I heard a lot of good things about the BeatBox venue up in San Francisco, so I got my agent to make a phone call to see how we could be involved there.
BeBe: Now, with 89 Number One dance/club chart toppers and counting, you are approaching the phenomenal 100 number. The way you have been banging out the hits you should reach the pinnacle point in the summer of 2014.
Dave Audé: As long as I keep doing this, it will be here someday. I love what I do. I am thankful that I get to produce music for a living.
BeBe: Is there an Audacious Centennial celebration planned for when you reach the milestone?
Dave Audé: I got to do something! I’ll probably put together a tour round it.
BeBe: This will not only be a milestone for you personally, Dave, but will also speak to where the music industry has gone. I remember not so long ago when people said dance/club music was not radio friendly and couldn’t be played on that music format. And now, we have hundreds of radio stations and programs dedicated to playing dance music. You have had a lot to do with driving that with the music you have produced. Your production of great vocal mixes combined with an amazing beat has helped make dance music radio friendly.
Dave Audé: The music industry is always changing, but people are always going to need to dance. People always ask me if things are going o ever stop for Dave Audé? There will always be music made that can benefit from having a dance version, so I don’t see that (dance remixing) going away.
BeBe: So as we continue toward that 100th Number One, what projects are you working on that may help you reach the number?
Dave Audé: I just finished working on a Pet Shop Boys mix. I’m getting ready to do a new single with Chris Brown. I’m working on Andy Bell’s (Erasure vocalist) solo album due out in the spring of 2014. I’m producing the whole album. And, I have a new single with a new artist on my label (Audacious Records) named Rochelle (’Bullet’). Her new single coming is called ’Far Away.’ I just finished a Luciana penned song for Arena called ’All Night Long.’
BeBe: I bet there is definitely 11 more Number Ones in that lot of songs. One artist that I would love to see you work with is Sia. After her being featured on hits ’Titanium’ with David Guetta and ’Wild Ones’ with Flo Rida, we’ve been waiting for another full set of dance music from her.
Dave Audé: She doesn’t want to tour or sing live. She just wants to write songs. The couple of songs that she has had come out she actually demoed for producers, and they wound up using her vocals on the final mix. I don’t if it was her choice to leave her vocals on the song, but the deal is she doesn’t want to sing live. That’s too bad. Hopefully she’s got something going.
Grammy-nominated Dave Audé will be spinning at the Timmy Scott Production party EVOLUTION in San Francisco on Saturday, August 17 at the award-winning gay club BeatBox. Www.facebook.com/sfevolution , www.BeatBoxsf.com
Audé will also headline with opening DJ Derek Montiero in West Hollywood on Saturday, September 18 at Rage. Www.theragenightclub.com
Follow Dave’s approach to the 100th Billboard Dance/Club Chart #1 on his official website at www.Dave Audé.com