What’s the first radio station you go to when you want to listen to music? What kind of music do they play? Do they play classical music by Bach and Mozart or would you rather listen to the poetic, lyrical styling found within rap songs? Or perhaps you enjoy the contemporary pop music played constantly, and sung by pretty much every single kid under the age of eighteen who has access to a radio?
Like many others (including myself), consider pop music to be bad. Scott Bradlee believed in the same thing, growing up as an aspiring jazz pianist and disliking any music that he considered less than average. Still believing pop music to be bad, he started to post himself playing piano on Youtube. From there, the Youtube community wholeheartedly acknowledged Scott Bradlee as a very talented jazz and ragtime pianist.
However, multiple users demanded that he play more pop music, the type of music that defined the young generation. The comments soon got to him, forcing him to take a new look on the music of today. At that time, an idea spawned within his mind, the idea of an alternate universe of contemporary pop. When Scott Bradlee was interviewed on NPR Music about Postmodern Jukebox, he had this to say.
“It’s kind of imagine an alternate universe where the songs that we hear today are somehow, you know, stuck in a time machine and come out, in the 1930s or the 1940s or the ’50s. Kind of like a, you know, for ‘Seinfeld’ fans, a Bizarro world of music.”
Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox perform a 1940s Swing cover of Justin Bieber’s “Beauty and a Beat”.
Their first viral hit was their Motown tribute to Nickelback, where Scott Bradlee formed a collective band of musicians to play contemporary pop music crossed with vintage genres. As the band’s creative phenomenon streamed onto the internet, the band exploded into popularity as people found their doo-wop version of Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop”. Landing huge roles on sites like npr.org and cosmopolitan.com, the band only got more popular as their videos were spread through social media.
What I like the most about Postmodern Jukebox is their remixes are not only creative and clever, but resonate with a younger audience that may have not experienced such styles like ragtime before. Many have fallen in love with such styles, and now post their own old school covers of pop songs. By simply fusing an old school genre with modern popular music, Postmodern Jukebox has started a phenomenon throughout the internet.
Currently, Scott’s Youtube channel now holds such genre-flipped gems ranging from a “Gatsby” inspired version of Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” to a vintage Klezmer version of Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty” to even a smooth jazz version of the “Game of Thrones” theme song. They are currently planning to start their first ever tour, starting their international tour in Toronto.
You can find out more about Postmodern Jukebox’s official 2014 tour on their website: http://www.postmodernjukebox.com.