Attending the Re:Generation premiere were artists you normally wouldn’t put in the same category, let alone sentence, but who recently collaborated for this documentary. The concept was to pair artists of opposing genres and see how these unexpected alliances push the boundaries of music. Matches included Skrillex and The Doors, LeAnn Rimes and Pretty Lights, Dj Premier and Nas, The Crystal Method and Martha Reeves,& Mark Ronson and Erykah Badu.
The film was directed by Amir Bar-Lev and produced in association with The Grammys, GreenLight Media & Marketing, and Hyundai. It premiered Grammy’s weekend at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. The venture set out to take five artists-DJ Premier, Skrillex, Mark Ronson, Pretty Lights and The Crystal Method- who represent different time periods and genres in music and assign them a genre (other than their own). These artists then had to create a new song to the best of their ability with the guidance of other music icons. As expected, each artist was to incorporate some of their own vibe to bridge any style gaps and create a cohesive song.
What resulted was Skrilex-a musical revolution himself and five-time Grammy nominee this weekend- bringing his dub-step style to the 60’s rock music of The Doors, The Crystal Method learning about funk with Martha Reeves, Mark Ronson examining jazz in New Orleans with Erykah Badu and the help of Mos Def, DJ Premiere conducting the Berklee Symphony Orchestra alongside Nas, and Pretty Lights giving country a try with LeAnn Rimes and Dr. Ralph Stanley. Pretty Lights (a.k.a Derek Smith) is perhaps the best example of why the term ‘DJ’ doesn’t quite suffice for a lot of artists today. He is a true innovator and while his style is difficult to pinpoint, it sure sounds like heaven to me! I was especially excited to see how he would take on this challenge.
All the finished songs can be found on the film’s soundtrack and the movie is definitely something to go out and experience. It will certainly change many musical conceptions. While the film recognizes the need for genres, it also shows that in today’s world it is not so easy to box music into just one category. It serves as a reminder of how collaborations can breathe new life into stale sounds and how crossovers continue to push the boundaries and blur the lines of music. It proves that our collective musical past is certainly influencing our musical future.
For more information on this film, please visit Re:Generation Project.
Check out our full photo gallery from the red carpet- it is an eclectic group of talented artists, to say the least!