Surpassing six million total channel views, SHIMMixes (SMXS) has made shockwaves throughout the K-Pop community for his yearly mega mash-ups. These releases are not your typical remix—they are ingeniously crafted, with highlights of each track carefully merging and resulting in mind-blowing creations. SMXS endlessly surprises listeners with each turn as the songs seamlessly shift from one genre and tempo to another. The Kraze was more than delighted to have the opportunity to sit and speak with Josh, the mastermind behind SMXS. Read on to get the exclusive story behind this magic and the behind-the-scenes action of what’s coming up next!
Q1: Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do!
Josh: Uhm, hi! My name’s Josh, and I’m a K-Pop fan that has been putting out mash-ups since 2012! I founded the SHIMMixes channel in 2012, and I recently just released a 2017 K-Pop mega mash-up!
Q2: What was your first encounter with K-Pop?
A: I was a pretty weird kid. When everyone else enjoyed playing with toys, I myself enjoyed listening to and creating cassette mixtapes. One time when I was rummaging through my sister’s music collection, I encountered awesome Asian artists like Utada Hikaru and BoA which sparked my interest in K-Pop and J-Pop. I became obsessed with K-Pop around 2008 when I encountered a few DAVICHI, Lee Hyori, and SHINee music videos playing in Arirang one time I didn’t go to school!
Q3: What do you find influenced you to start making these mixes and how do you find the inspiration, whether it stems from K-Pop or other musical genres?
A: My first encounter with mega mash-ups was DJ Masa’s Adios 2008 mash-up, and when I finished watching it, I knew I wanted to learn how to make something as awesome as that. When I released my first mash-up in 2012, I wasn’t totally happy with it, so that inspired me to get better at the craft.
Regarding the yearly routine, however, I get so inspired when I listen to a mind-blowing debut or a comeback. The song gets stuck in my head, and it gives me loads of ideas on how to approach the yearly mix, so I can say that that is where I primarily get my inspiration.
Best of 2015 K-Pop Mix
Q4: For those who are unfamiliar with how remixing works, give us a brief explanation of your process. And how do you stay up to date with the latest releases?
A: Honestly, I’m simply just a big music fan, so I really enjoy listening to new releases. I love listening to new songs, may they be K-Pop or mainstream, and it helps me stay updated. My process with the mash-ups, however, is a bit more complicated.
Mash-ups may sound simple to a lot of people, but it really is a long process, especially if you want to have your work sound really clean. That’s how I like my mixes to sound, so I pay attention to every detail and process even if it takes a long time. I usually start with the acapella extractions, then head over to mixing the instrumentals. This is when I create a first demo since a lot of changes happen as I make the mix. I match parts according to the melodies or lyrics, and when I’m happy with the overall product, I head on over to editing the music video!
Q5: When it comes to remixes, sometimes people ignore the lyrics (it’s hard, after all, to mix melodies and lyrics at the same time, and harder when it’s in a foreign language). You, however, create stories with the remixed tracks. How do you plan them out to make sure you catch the highlight melodies while merging the right lyrics?
A: Honestly, I know that if I [ever] [started] speaking Korean fluently, the lyrics in my mixes would sound funny [to] [me]. So just to avoid even combining a few awkward lines together, I’ve got Google in the next window so I can search for what a line means before I put it in. I understand the language a bit, but I’d rather trust the internet.
The whole mash-up, however, needs to be balanced, so while I’d love the lyrics to make some sense, I still give priority to the melody component of the mix. I don’t necessarily plan the whole thing first, so I proceed in sculpting the whole product as I produce each section. It also helps when I know exactly which melodies I want to put in the mix.
Best of 2016 K-Pop Mix
Q6: What is the most challenging part of what you do?
A: I think everything about it is a challenge. From the acapella extraction to the mixing, each process is pretty tiring and has its own issues that I have to solve. The thing I’m always concerned with, however, is the feedback I get once the whole mash-up is released. I’m sometimes pressured to meet the expectations of the people waiting for my work, but that is exactly why I constantly want to improve and continue doing what I do.
Q7: What is something that you haven’t attempted yet but would like to accomplish?
A: I haven’t attempted putting out vlogs on my channel, but that’s something I want to accomplish soon! I honestly want to start expanding my channel’s brand, so that’s my focus for this year. For the longest time, my channel has been about mash-ups, but I want to put out more types of content. There are more mash-ups coming too, though!
Q8: What was your intention in starting your channel and where would you want to see it go?
A: I originally opened my channel and started the monthly mash-up project in 2012 just so I [could] improve my mixing skills. Back then, my channel was just a hobby. But after I became inactive for the whole of 2016, I realized it was one of the things that truly made me happy, so I’m devoting this year to fully grow and expand SMXS! I’m taking my channel seriously now, and I’m having a blast coming up with content that could spark the interests of a lot of K-Pop fans.
As for the yearly goal, I hope the channel reaches the 100k subscriber mark by the end of the year! I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed!
Best of 2017 K-Pop Mix
Q9: Your 2017 mix included a tribute portion, to both groups and soloists who we may never hear music from again. Who do you think will dominate the K-Pop stage and who do you think may move out of the limelight?
A: Bias aside, I honestly think LOONA’s full group debut this year could shake the Hallyu world. You can never go wrong with any of the girls in the lineup. I’m thinking BTS could also rise even higher this year, especially with how well they’re doing on the charts both domestically and internationally. As for acts moving out of the limelight, I’m not too sure since I’m not good at predicting those things, but I do think there are artists with contracts set to end this year.
Q10: Do you think that 2018 will bring out original content to your channel? Give us a sneak peek of what you’ve got planned!
A: Definitely! As I’ve said earlier, I’ve been planning on releasing a few vlogs, and the very first one I’m releasing will be about the 2017 mash-up! I also plan on releasing a few cover videos, along with some original tracks I’ve been working on, so I hope a lot of people look forward to that! I promise you all that 2018 will be a busy year for the channel!
Q11: Anything else that you would like to share with us? Make up your own question!
A: I don’t have a question, but instead I hope you all look forward to what I have in store for the year! I’m taking content production seriously this time, and I believe it’ll be a great year to grow and show you all the things I originally wanted to but couldn’t! I also just want to say that if you have something you want to do but can’t, do it now! Let’s rock 2018!
Current Favorites Speed Round!
Song: Right now, Red Velvet’s “Bad Boy”!
Ice cream flavor: Cheesecake
Time of day: Midnight
Boy group: DAY6, I think? Those guys are amazing!
Girl group: A LOT. I’ve always been a Nine Muses fan, but recently I’ve been obsessed with LOONA. I’m a huge TWICE, WJSN, and Red Velvet fan, too!
Overall bias: JOY!! LOONA’s Kim Lip too!
Music video: Again, Red Velvet’s “Bad Boy”! You can never get enough of Park Sooyoung!
Stage Performance: fromis_9’s “Miracle” 180125 MCOUNTDOWN Stage!
City: Seoul. I miss Seoul.
Thank you, Josh, for this wonderful opportunity to speak with you! The staff at The Kraze is surely looking forward to all that will come out of SMXS in the near future, so be sure to check out the links below for more works by Josh!