What Is Your Favorite Song By an Artist’s “Alter Ego?”

themes and variation header image with Jeremy Young

A clever way to credit one of the most joyful giants of jazz, a legendary hip-hop alias with a backstory to boot, inspired by The Art of War, and a mind-bending invented persona by a larger-than-life country star’s pseudonym — these are just some of the reality-altering topics we’re covering in today’s episode of your favorite podcast for water cooler musical conversations, Themes and Variation.

To tackle these slippery characters and their stories, Mahea and I turned to none other than Flypaper’s own in-house Editor-in-Chief, Jeremy Young, to discuss “Alter Ego Songs.” As usual, the episode’s theme stirred up a range of goofy ideas for each member of the panel, and led in three vastly different directions.

I won’t give it all away here — there’s magic in these minutes — check out the episode if your interest and curiosity has been sufficiently piqued!

Listen to Episode 37 in its entirety right here:

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Aside from acting as Soundfly’s Head of Growth and the Editor-in-Chief of this blog right here, Jeremy Young is an electronic musician and audio art maker living in Montreal, Canada. His band, Sontag Shogun has a new record coming out in April 2022.

Episode 37 Highlights

1. Mahea tells us a little about the history contract-defying pseudonyms in jazz.

Mahea: “So especially, for some reason, in jazz, there’s a tradition of ‘contracted’ musicians using pseudonyms in order to play on each other’s projects without interference from labels and such. So this is how he got away with playing on this record. Some other people who did it: Charlie Parker’s credited on tracks as Charlie Chan. Eric Dolphy is credited on things as George Lane. And my favorite, Jobim is credited as Tony Brazil.”

2. Jeremy describes some serious musical efficiency.

Jeremy: “Tupac found a song that he liked and then said, ‘Can you make me a beat in this style?’ So QDIII whipped something up or whatever. And then came back like later that night to the studio, played it for Pac three times. Pac goes into the vocal booth. He lays this song down in one take across three different tracks. So he does essentially three takes, but one take of each part and then walks out. That’s it.”

3. Carter commends the efforts of Chris Gaines Garth Brooks.

Carter: “He tried something here. He really, really went for something in a huge way. And I think that that absolutely has to be at least a little bit applauded. So the record came out a year before the movie was supposed to, which doesn’t feel like nearly enough run time, but like it never got made. The movie never got made, this project did fail, but here’s the thing: There were so many, so many gems that came out of the world of Chris Gaines.”

Join Our Collaborative Playlist

Yes, it’s collaborative! As in: you can add tracks to the playlist that fit the theme!

Every other week, and with every new episode of Themes and Variation, we launch a new collaborative Spotify playlist that includes the songs mentioned in the episode and more, which you can add to and enjoy. Here’s this week’s collaborative Spotify playlist!

We’ll see you in a couple weeks with a new theme, new guests, and some new songs to break down. If you have any comments, questions, or theme suggestions, drops us a (bass) line at [email protected]!

Jlin: Rhythm, Variation, & Vulnerability

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