One of Pitbull’s iconic hits of 2014 is being immortalized in a special way…
The 33-year-old Cuban American rap superstar’s collaboration with Ke$ha “Timber,” which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, is featured in DJ Earworm’s perennially dubbed the “United State of Pop,” a mash-up of the calendar year’s 25 biggest pop songs.
Annually, DJ Earworm takes the year’s massive hits and combines them into an incredibly popular, masterfully constructed mash-up.
Earworm, who has been analyzing the Billboard charts since he was a kid, has titled this year’s single-length mega-mix as “Do What You Wanna Do.”
“Personally, I’ve been obsessed with the Billboard charts since I was 11 or 12,” Earworm (real name: Jordan Roseman) tells Billboard about the tradition he started in 2007. “When I was a little boy, I used to tune in to Top 40 shows on the weekends, and I’ve always been fascinated by what makes popular tastes tick … It’s great to be able to come full-circle with Billboard.”
Over the past seven years, the California producer’s “United State of Pop” series has packaged the sounds of some of the world’s most popular musicians — including Rihanna, the Black Eyed Peas, Bruno Mars and many more — into kinetic dance singles that each earn millions of hits online; his breakout mash-up came in 2009, and that year’s video currently has 44 million YouTube views.
Although Earworm’s creations typically operate at high BPMs, the DJ tells Billboard that he has to respect the ebb and flow of popular music, which is why his 2014 mash-up is a bit more contemplative.
“The thing that has been most notable in the past two or three years is the decline of EDM,” says Earworm of the 25 songs he selected for this year’s song. “The ‘United State of Pop’ became this dance track from ’09 to ’12, and then starting last year, there just wasn’t enough in that genre to fully support it, so I went down-tempo. And this year, ‘Timber,’ which was popular in January, is the only popular dance track I’m dealing with. It’s definitely down-tempo, so you have to decide, how is this going to go? How am I going to maintain the energy levels while being true to the sound of the year?”
Earworm continues that 2014 was “dominated by these slow, ponderous songs like ‘Say Something’ and ‘All Of Me,’ and then swaggering hip-hop songs like ‘Turn Down For What,’ ‘Talk Dirty,’ and ‘Black Widow.’ Then you have totally uptempo songs like ‘Happy’ and ‘Shake It Off,’ too. It’s a little bit more diverse, and definitely softer than it’s been.”
Crafting a memorable mash-up out of R&B ballads like John Legend’s “All Of Me” and offbeat pop-rock tracks like Bastille’s “Pompeii” isn’t easy, and Earworm says that crafting the 2014 “United State of Pop” was a more challenging process than usual. He relied on the drums from Jessie J’s “Bang Bang,” the percussion of DJ Snake & Lil Jon’s “Turn Down For What,” the horns from Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” and the piano hooks from A Great Big World’s “Say Something,” featuring Christina Aguilera, to help create an instrumental bed that was “much more complex” than in previous years.
“I would love the whole thing to be perfectly blended each time, but it also has to be digestible,” Earworm explains. “Some years, it’s a pretty straightforward instrumental from one source, but this year is the most blended instrumental I’ve been able to achieve yet.”
Here’s a look at the 25 songs featured in DJ Earworm’s mash-up:
A Great Big World feat. Christina Aguilera – Say Something
Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea – Problem
Bastille – Pompeii
Dj Snake & Lil Jon – Turn Down For What
Hozier – Take Me to Church
Idina Menzel – Let It Go
Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX – Fancy
Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora – Black Widow
Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz – Talk Dirty
Jeremih feat. YG – Don’t Tell ‘Em
Jessie J feat. Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj – Bang Bang
John Legend – All Of Me
Katy Perry feat. Juicy J – Dark Horse
Lorde – Team
Magic! – Rude
Maroon 5 – Animals
Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass
Nico & Vinz – Am I Wrong
One Direction – Story of My Life
Passenger – Let Her Go
Pharrell Williams – Happy
Pitbull feat. Ke$ha – Timber
Sam Smith – Stay with Me
Taylor Swift – Shake It Off
Tove Lo – Habits