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5 rules for killer remixes

Maurice Joshua explains how he created killer jams for the likes of Beyonce, Britney Spears, and Mariah Carey

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You’ve probably heard Maurice Joshua’s dance music at the gym or the club — that’s why they call him the Remix King. The Chicago native counts Beyoncé Britney, and Mariah as clients and has grown into the go-to guy for club-ready revamps. Here, he explains how he churns out such consistently massive jams.

1 Go With Your Gut
Joshua’s take on Beyoncé’s ”Crazy in Love” took him just 30 minutes to cut — and netted him a Grammy. ”That was the shortest time I ever did a mix,” he says, noting that other, far more labor-intensive mixes (like Destiny’s Child’s ”Say My Name”) never caught on.

2 Keep it in Tune
”Remixing is still an art — you have to know music, what’s in tune, what’s out of key,” says Joshua, who plays keyboards and tuba (!), among other instruments. Mariah Carey, he says, ”is really nitpicky. She knows her s— and isn’t gonna stand for off-key.”

3 Attack the Unexpected
What fun is remixing without risk? Check out Joshua’s well-received, playful tweaks of Johnny Cash’s ”I Walk the Line” and Curtis Mayfield’s ”Don’t Worry.” ”I’m not gonna lie,” Joshua says. ”I can remix anything.” But that doesn’t mean you should. Which leads to…

4 You Can Say No
Joshua does turn down requests for his services. Recently he declined to work on tracks by Raphael Saadiq and Solange. ”I’ve passed because there’s no way I can see myself working the record like I really want,” he says. ”The vibe’s gotta be right.”

5 Get Paid!
Remixing can be seriously lucrative: Joshua earns $30,000 for a typical big-artist track. But the music biz’s tough times can make collecting a little sticky. ”The situation with the labels right now is they take forever to pay,” he says. ”So get half first.”