Nick Bertke goes by the name Pogo. He's a remix artist, and a really good one. So much so that he's garnered over 110 million views on YouTube and has worked with some of the top studios on the planet to create viral videos. We're talking Disney, Microsoft, Showtime, and more. His work is in museums, magazines, and television studios. This is his logo:
As we all know, breaking into the music business is no easy task. There's only room for so many artists due to the limited attention of the listeners. Nobody wants to share a one billionth share of the pie. That's why music labels manufacture and push only so many pop stars at a time. They want the whole pie, and when there's already a star doing good, they're not going to launch another new career. They'll milk that cash cow for all they can.
That's why I'm always impressed to see people using their creativity and ingenuity to carve a unique path for themselves, thereby sidestepping all of the competition and cutting straight to the top. Bo Burnham did it for his music and comedy by using YouTube instead of hitting the road and grinding it out at open mic nights.
Making awesome remixes is how Pogo gets it done. He gets attention to those while getting fat paid, and then continues to work on his own material and directs a chunk of that attention back to his completely original work.
It's genius. Take some classic popular cultural movie or TV show, slap on some video editing skills and music chops, and bang, he's getting big corporate jobs, stacking cheddar to the ceiling, and riding on 24 inch chrome. Then he can leverage that to launch his own projects. That's that hustle, bruh. Pogo and his Pogomix crew are very slick.
My favorite remix project of his so far has been ScoobyStep, his Dubstep take on Scooby-Doo, largely using sound effects from the show. Who'd have thought Scooby sniffing the monster's trail or chewing carrots could make the glitches. Shaggy's ridiculous noises and the clan's footsteps are all included, among tons of others. It's hard to explain.
You're better off just checking out the awesomeness, here in the video below:
I once tried to become a dubstep maker. I'd have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for those meddling wub-wubs. Now I'm back to producing rap beats and mixing for others while writing for this incredibly entertaining blog!
There's been a handful of people who've launched huge careers by remixing other artists' material. One that comes to mind is the 2004 mashup of The Beatles' White Album and Jay-Z's The Black Album, with the result being called The Grey Album by Danger Mouse. That wasn't the start of his career but it launched him to the top, where he now works with Cee Lo Green and MF Doom and others. Attention is the currency that matters, even if you can't monetize it at first.
Sometimes you have to look at things like an investment for a while. It definitely worked for Pogo!