[Interview] YouTube’s SHIMMixes Rocks The K-Pop Mash-Up Genre

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The sensational “BEST OF 2015” K-POP MEGA MASH-UP created by YouTuber SHIMMixes has reached over 160,000 views since its upload on January 13th, adding to the clout of the longtime K-pop fan. Who is SHIMMixes–a creative individual, powerhouse production duo, or master music engineering team? Until recently, only the channel’s 38,000 subscribers had that limited knowledge. After all, the Manila City resident says so on the channel’s About page. Recently, the fanboy sat down for an exclusive look into his creative process and life as a fanboy after his YouTube channel’s 4th anniversary.

Why don’t you ever show your face?

SHIMMixes: I find it really interesting that people still really like my work without knowing how I look or know my name! I maintain my anonymity as I really refrain from posting personal facts or photos about me in my page, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way forever though. I’m looking for a perfect time, and maybe I can surprise everyone with showing myself someday!

When did you become a fan of K-pop and how did it influence your first mega mash-up in January 2012?

SHIMMixes: I was actually a follower of K-pop since I was about 9 years old. That was 2004, and the Hallyu Wave was starting to grow hype in my country, but I was only just a casual listener as I was a lot more interested in J-pop. However, by 2008, my interest and attention to K-pop became full-time when I accidentally skipped channels, and saw Pops In Seoul from Arirang playing a Wonder Girls music video. It turned out to be “So Hot,” and I was instantly hooked. A few more MVs came on later, which were SHINee‘s debut track and then a Davichi track, and I was really liking what I was both hearing and seeing.

So your interest was peaked!

SHIMMixes: I became hooked, so I would look for new releases almost everyday and a few months after getting into it, while looking for other K-pop tunes, I stumbled upon the “ADIOS 2008” mash-up video by the legendary DJ Masa, and it was the video that introduced what mash-ups were to me. I didn’t know you can create some sort of unique sound when you combine a lot of songs and form all these different catchy patterns, so I immediately got on board with trying out my own mash-ups. After a lot of failures in making decent mash-ups, I opened up SHIMMixes to challenge myself and maybe try to get better at making them. I put up my very first mega mash-up in February of 2012 with quite positive responses, so I didn’t stop making them. I continued on for years, and now, I’m back with my Best of 2015 mash-up! DJ Masa was definitely the biggest influence. If it wasn’t for his mash-ups, I wouldn’t even be inspired to start doing what I am doing now.

SHIMMixes collaborated with his idol in 2013 on an 80 song mashup for Masa's channel

SHIMMixes collaborated with his idol in 2013 on an 80 song mashup for Masa’s channel

 

How have you grown as a music producer over the years? 

SHIMMixes: Since being a music producer is a lot different from being a mash-up artist, it’s a whole new challenge for me. I’m not good yet, in a sense that I’m not ready to battle in the professional field yet, but I believe I’ve changed a lot for the better. I didn’t know a single thing about MIDI and DAWs in 2013, but I’ve become a lot comfortable working with them since last year, so I guess you can call that good progress! I’m slowly trying to find my original style in music productions, so I hope I’ll show up someday with a banging original track that a lot will like too.

Do you go back and listen to your older compilations to critique your style? 

SHIMMixes: For my mash-ups, I am the biggest critique of my own work. I guess I just have this trait in me that I immediately see things I should’ve done differently (or better) whenever I upload my stuff, so the criticism comes immediately. If I may self-evaluate right now though, I think I’ve gotten a lot better in my craft. My 2012 mash-ups were a mess, a20151018_theoneshots_crushnd I find myself cringing every time I see them, so I’d like to think the self critique I’ve given my works have helped me get a lot better.

Who are some of your greatest influences in music, both domestically and in the world of Korean entertainment?

SHIMMixes: My “main” genre is R&B/Soul. It’s the genre that I love the most, so with English music, I listen to Joe, Musiq Soulchild and Miguel a lot. I’m a really big fan of Jeff Bernat too, as well as Eric Bellinger. With Korean entertainment, I listen to a wide spectrum of genres. With K-R&B, it’s mostly Crush, Zion.T, Dynamic Duo, and recently, G.soul. K-pop wise, I tend to lean more towards the Double Sidekick productions (I guess because I was a big One Way fan), as well as Primary and Brave Brothersproductions! But hey, in K-Pop, almost anything has its own way to sound really appealing to my ears.

What are some trends you believe we will experience in K-pop in 2016?

SHIMMixes: I honestly think there won’t be that much of a change from the musical trends we’ve seen in 2015, but I think mainstream K-pop will be a lot diverse this year. Last year, we’ve seen a bit of the diversity when ‘hyukoh’ hit mainstream, but I think a lot more acts from different genres will experience the same this year. Also, there will be a lot more idol groups to hit new heights in popularity this year. We’ve seen a lot of successful rookies in 2015, and we’ve seen a lot of less popular groups hit the jackpot last year, so I think in 2016, it will be no different. I’m hoping a lot of groups hit it big this year! I also think we’ll be seeing a lot of solo artists this year. Last year, we saw lots of idols having solo promotions.

Any last thoughts?

SHIMMixes: Thank you to everyone who’s watched my recent BEST OF 2015 mash-up video. It feels nice that a lot of people are excited to hear my work, and it’s awesome to read all the nice comments you guys have for my work!

Keep up with SHIMMixes on his various social media sites:

Facebook // https://www.facebook.com/SHIMMixes/
Twitter // @SHIMMixes
Youtube // http://www.youtube.com/user/SHIMMixes
Soundcloud // https://soundcloud.com/shimmixes