I don’t know about you all, but it’s among my most ardent dreams to have a song written about me (good, bad, whatever — I’ll take it). Well, for everyone out there who shares this wholly self-absorbed reverie, may I introduce: Riot In Paris.
A couple of weeks ago Brooklyn hip-hop duo Pete and Mercy launched an experiment with creative collective Innovative Thunder called Track Me. The idea is that fans and interested parties can head to the Track Me website, click a button that sends out a tweet asking the band to write a song about them, and, if the guys are interested, Riot In Paris will do just that. The band tries to post one song every other day, complete with music video. Their only inspiration? Whatever it is you spew into the Twitterverse. Thank the deities for oversharers.
“We’ve always been interested in how, with your social profile, you can create a persona that may or may not be you,” says Pete of the project, a topic that’s wholly relevant in a world where people are increasingly broadcasting their daily lives.
There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about whether or not people accurately portray themselves on their social profiles — some say that those personalities are fabricated, some claim that we’re the same person IRL as we are when we’re wisecracking on our cousin’s Facebook Wall. Contested fidelity aside, the band is tasking themselves with penning songs about people they’ve never met — except possibly via Twitter DM — and that presents its own set of challenges.
“We’ve had some trouble sometimes getting inspired by some people’s tweets and whatnot,” says Pete. “We’re not trying to make little ditties or short songs for people. We’re trying to make songs that are on par with the quality of our album.”
Generally, Riot In Paris looks for the most eccentric (or, in some cases, hot female) subjects when choosing their next muse. But sometimes one tweet is sufficient to get the old mindwheels going enough to bust out a whole jam.
“There was this one girl named Nancy who threw out a tweet that said she wished that people would express their feelings in Pantone colors. And that was enough to spark a song,” Pete says.
The band is not quite sure yet what they’re going to do with all the songs, but they might put out an album in the end.
“Obviously, it’s a cool marketing thing. We have a new album coming out in a couple of months called Sample Sale,” says Pete of the whole deal. “But also, we love making music. It’s an exercise in songwriting — challenging yourself to write a song about someone you’ve never met before just based off of their tweets.”