News - Remix by André Anjos '08 Featured in Honda's Super Bowl Ad

Remix by André Anjos '08 Featured in Honda's Super Bowl Ad

Remix by André Anjos '08 Featured in Honda's Super Bowl Ad

If you watched the Super Bowl this year, you probably saw a commercial for the 2011 Honda CR-V. The artful 30-second ad showed a CR-V driving through a five-day weather forecast to demonstrate how the vehicle is “capable…whatever the forecast.” Praised for the sophistication of its blend of real and graphic elements, “Forecast” debuted during the competitive advertising environment of the Super Bowl.

For André Anjos, a Greenville College graduate of the Class of 2008, the commercial meant 111 million people heard his remix of "Rescue Song" by Mr. Little Jeans.

Anjos, who watched the Super Bowl with a few friends from his home in Portland, did not expect the commercial to air during the event. Honda had initially negotiated with his company Remix Artist Collective (RAC) for rights to use the remix in a regional ad. So it was with complete surprise that Anjos heard his song feature prominently in a Super Bowl advertisement.

“It was definitely an interesting experience to hear one my remixes during the Super Bowl, because it’s such a mainstream event. I had thought the ad was going to be a small thing,” says Anjos.

Honda’s “Forecast” commercial turned out to be no small thing. Super Bowl XLV now holds the title of the most-watched event in American television history, and the commercials that debut during the event have become nearly as important as the game itself.

This was not the first time an RAC remix has been used in television and film. In fact, that Anjos’ song appeared in an ad during a television event of historical magnitude is indicative of the kind of success his company has experienced since he founded RAC in 2007. His work has appeared in TV (Entourage, 90210, How to Make It In America), film (soundtrack for the 2010 Sundance selection “Holy Rollers”), and advertising (Verizon, NBA, Coca-Cola, and JCPenney).

Anjos has always been ambitious. During his sophomore year at Greenville College, he cold called the manager for the Shins and pitched the idea of a remix. “I was nervous,” he says, “But I got over it. I’m sure he could tell I didn’t know what I was talking about, but no one had approached the Shins before about a remix. They just weren’t that kind of band. They thought the idea was fun, so he called back and gave me a shot.”

From the third floor lounge of Mannoia Hall, Anjos remixed the song “Sleeping Lessons.” It took him several tries to complete the full remix, because the recording process was constantly interrupted by students walking through the lounge area. Even so, the Shins were impressed with Anjos’ final product and released the remix as the B-side of a UK single.

Remixing the Shins was Anjos’ big break. He contacted two fellow remix artists - Aaron Jasinski from Seattle and Chris “Crookram” Angelovski from the Netherlands - and the Remix Artist Collective was formed. RAC became Anjos’ solution to a frustrating search for an internship.

“To be completely honest, I was applying for music business internships in the St. Louis area, and I wasn’t getting anywhere,” he explains, “I was even going for the ‘let me fetch coffee for you’ type of internship. So then I just decided to make up my own job, and somehow it worked. It took a lot of legwork. But getting that first gig with the Shins was where it all really started for me.”

It was a challenge for Anjos to manage RAC while he was still in school, but he was intensely motivated. “In college, my life consisted of classes by day and the music studios at night. I’d take over one of the practice rooms in Whitlock Music Center. It was quiet; often no one would be there that late at night. I would bring my laptop and headphones and get to work. The studios had some pretty nice synthesizers that were great to use, too.”

In just a few years, Anjos has worked with a wide variety of high-profile artists from Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Ra Ra Riot, Bloc Party, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to U2, Lady Gaga, and the Kings of Leon. RAC’s reputation developed quickly with remixes receiving attention from key music tastemakers, blogs like Stereogum and BrooklynVegan.

A remix is essentially a reinterpretation of a song that is produced from original, unmastered multi-track files, which Anjos’ receives from his clients. Artists benefit from remixes because often a remix can introduce a song to a broader audience and offer increased exposure. In recent years, remixes have become a standard part of promotional budgets. RAC remixes are in demand because of their distinctive style. Rather than simply adding a dance beat to an indie song, RAC produces remixes that are creative works in their own right.

Current RAC members include Anjos, Andrew Maury, and Karl Kling, a Greenville College graduate of the Class of 2008. Together they have developed a unique philosophy on remixing.

“We aim to maintain a style of remixing that strays from the ‘club mix’ archetype,” explains Anjos on the RAC website, “We create new incarnations of songs that stem from the original structure, but expand on their genre and musical arrangement. RAC mixes typically feature a unique blend of hip-hop and electro drum samples, analog synthesizers, melodic hooks, and original performed instrumentation.”

Anjos and Kling have promoted their remixes on the road this year by launching the RAC DJ tour. Their traveling schedule has helped them keep in touch with friends and fellow alumni living in various cities across the country.

While they were students, Anjos and Kling actively participated in the music scene at Greenville College. If you’re a recent graduate, then you’ve probably heard of their band The Pragmatic, which includes Anjos’ wife Liz, whom he met and started dating during his freshman year. Anjos was also involved with well-known GC bands like The Silent Film and Girls in Diners. The supportive community of musicians and artists at Greenville College made a lasting impression on Anjos.

“Even if a Greenville band had a show in St. Louis, everybody would go out there to support them. Those shows were always fun,” he says, “The group of people that just happened to be there in a really small town in the middle of Illinois - that was my favorite part.”

Upon graduating from Greenville, Anjos’ decision to “make up his own job” paid off. He left for Portland, where he immediately began pursuing RAC full time. In fact, a position in the IT Department during the four years he was a student at Greenville College is the only “real job” he has ever had.

Anjos still handles most of RAC’s remix work, but he has started to produce more often. Just recently he had the opportunity to produce one of his favorite artists of all time. Unfortunately, Anjos can’t reveal the name of the artist at this time, but he says, “It was the highlight of my career to get a call from his manager. It was very rewarding.”

In the future, he plans to develop RAC’s brand identity by continuing to produce, DJ, and collaborate on other artistic projects. Ultimately, he wants people to associate RAC with solid creative work. “I want people to know that if RAC is involved, it will be good. I want that reputation to be connected not only to music, but also to art and video.”

He encourages current GC students and other young alumni seeking to break into the music industry to focus on doing their own thing.

“There’s no right answer with the music industry. So many people break in, in so many random ways. Find a niche for yourself and just go for it. Work as hard as you can. That sounds pretty vague, but really that’s all there is to say. Everything else just falls into place.”

From the Shins to the Super Bowl, everything has fallen into place quite nicely for Anjos and the Remix Artist Collective.

While RAC has produced well over 200 remixes in the last four years, there are about 100 remixes streaming and available for download on RAC’s website.

Anjos and Kling will return to the St. Louis area in May as part of their RAC DJs tour.

This story was published on February 22, 2011

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