Is Avicii’s Crowdsourced Song A Hit?

Posted February 26

Remember when EDM superstar Avicii launched his massive crowdsourcing campaign, “Avicii x You,” back in January, asking fans to help him write his next hit song? Well, the fruits of that labor have finally been harvested, and “X You” has been released.

At the beginning of the year, Avicii teamed up with mobile networking company Ericsson at CES 2013 to bust out his crowdsourcing campaign, asking fans to submit melody, bassline, beat/rhythm, break and effects for a chance to be a part of his next single. Avicii himself chose finalists for each section of the song, and then allowed fans to vote on the winners. In the end, more than 4,000 artists in 140 countries submitted close to 13,000 sounds, and Avicii pulled the best together.

You can listen to the results in the video below. You can also do a deeper dive into the sounds behind the song on Avicii’s website, as well as check out a list of collaborators.

All royalties from the track, which can be found here, will be donated to House for Hunger, a charity organization co-founded in 2011 by Avicii.

Avicii is not the first to crowdsource elements of a song by any means, however, often those jams are either presented as extras or remixes — not new works. See Manchester Orchestra’s “Virgin” singalong project or the Bon Iver remix contest. DEVO crowdsourced the content of their Something For Everyone album, but that endeavor only dictated which DEVO songs would appear on the album, not their content. (And, naturally, the whole thing was more of a weird art project that anything else.)

Avicii’s effort — which seems as though it will air on the radio, according to remarks made by the musician at the Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona today — marks an interesting, mainstream turn when it comes to crowdsourcing. As he said himself at the event: “I think it’s cool that people will be able to hear this track on the radio and know that they’ve all been part of creating it.”

Unless his remark was in error, it seems as though “X You” — although created on the Web — will not be limited to that realm. This is an interesting move when it comes to crowdsourcing trend (IE taking it out of the niche, online realm and taking on traditional media) and could signal an interesting trend in digital music…

Crowdsourcing As The New Sampling?

When you think about it, crowdsourcing a song in the EDM realm makes a lot more sense than crowdsourcing, say, a punk song — since EDM music is created from samples in the first place.

In the case of “X You,” Avicii replaces traditional sampling — borrowing from established tunes — with a more organic, symbiotic form of creation: mining willing musicians for musical contributions. The result is a song that belongs as much to all of the various contributors than Avicii himself.

What do you think of the final product? Do you think the crowd created a hit?