This song is still breathing: the many incarnations of ‘In My Mind’
A song can have many lives, whether it’s in remix form, reworked form, or just a totally new interpretation of an original. Case in point is ‘In My Mind’, the electro-pop anthem by Dynoro and Gigi D’Agostino currently topping Shazam’s global chart for the eight consecutive weeks after climbing to #8 on the ARIA Singles Chart. The song’s long journey to well over half a billion streams includes artists from Lithuania, Italy, USA, Sweden, and Australia, which is where it all began in 2012.
The original is an all-Aussie collaboration by Melbourne producer Ivan Gough, LA-based singer-songwriter Georgi Kay (originally from Perth) and the duo of Aden Forte and Josh Soon, who perform as Feenixpawl. For Kay, it was a creative challenge to move out of her comfort zone of guitar-driven songwriting, and venture into the EDM realm.
“‘In My Mind’ was actually the first dance song I ever wrote and sung on”, says Kay, who is currently wrapping up a five-day stint at APRA AMCOS’ SongHubs songwriting camp in Nashville. “I don’t think any of us had a clue whether or not it was going to be the success that it was, let alone thriving six years on.”
And thriving it is. The song took home the ARIA for Best Dance Release in 2012 and the APRA Dance Work of the Year in 2013 … and it was just getting started.
Swedish producer/DJ Axwell’s remix became an international festival anthem, and spent 11 consecutive weeks at #1 on the ARIA Club charts, and ended at #1 track on the ARIA 2012 End Of Year Club Chart. It was even nominated for a 2013 Grammy, for Best Remixed Recording.
Axwell, a member Swedish House Mafia, put the track on the trio’s 2012 album Until Now, cementing a place in the EDM cannon.
Flo Rida also gave the song a rework, adding in lyrics and releasing ‘In My Mind Part 2’ featuring Kay on his 2012 Wild Ones LP. Kay’s solo version of the song appears on her 2013 Ivy League/Parlophone release as well.
Last year, Lithuanian producer Dynoro gave the song another rework, taking elements of it and adding in a hook from the 1999 club hit ‘L’amour Toujours’ by Italian producer D’Agostino. The song took off in Austria first and became a European club hit (spending 10 weeks at #1 on the German singles chart), continuing on to the radio (#4 on the European airplay chart), streaming (#1 on Spotify and Apple in 15 markets) and sales charts of the region (double platinum in Norway, Sweden, Poland and Hungary), and now, making it all the way back to Australia, where it placed at #2 on TMN’s Most Added To Radio Chart in September 2018.
“It’s just such a surreal feeling to see and hear a song you wrote over six years ago make a resurgence and still be relative to this day!” said Kay.
Kay and Co. are not alone in experiencing this phenomenon. Melbourne’s Cookin’ On 3 Burners’ 2009 song ‘This Girl’ became a worldwide sensation when young French DJ Kungs discovered it on YouTube and added a clubby, summery touch to it.
The group’s Jake Mason describes how it happened. “At no point were we in the same room together. The remix was released initially on Soundcloud, where it picked up momentum. The video came a couple of weeks later, from there the radio play kicked in. And then Shazam started kicking in, which was the real glue. It was the most Shazam’d dance track of 2016.”
The Kungs version went to #1 in eight countries including Germany, France, Italy, and Belgium, and #2 on the UK Singles chart.
So when a producer discovers an internet gem and reworks it, do they need to ask permission from the creators of the original work?
APRA AMCOS’ innovation and electronic music specialist Frank Rodi, explains, “There isn’t a straightforward answer, as it depends on whether the remix is deemed a “cover” or an “adaptation”. Cover versions are protected by a statutory licence if the resulting song is made available for sale.”
“However in some cases, it could be argued a remix is more than a mere cover, but an adaptation. Adaptations definitely require permission from the original copyright owners: songwriters and any publishing interests. Also worth noting is that if parts of the original record of the song are also used in the remix, separate clearances will also be required to use those sound recordings.”
And what about royalties? “Most remixers are not entitled to take a share in the song. Hence the original songwriters and publishers will receive the same royalties share as they did for the original composition. However the sound recording royalties will in most cases change, as the song has been rerecorded,” notes Rodi, whose advice to remixers is to seek permission beforehand.
That’s good news for Kay, whose debut album drops November 2 and says ‘In My Mind’ “changed my life in so many ways. Enticing me into the deep and diverse world of electronic music was just one of them.”
While the OG team of writers have to knock back “remix requests almost every day”, it seems Flo Rida at least is on to a good feeling. The rapper released ‘In My Mind Part 3’ only three weeks ago. Kay, who is the featured vocalist, notes, “It’s incredible. I mean, this song is still breathing!”