Obviously pageants are a big part of my life. Music is a big part of my life too. In fact, two of my favorite classes in college were courses in Music Therapy and History of Rock and Roll (yes it was a real class!)
I love all music. No genre holds me hostage. In pageantry, music sets the mood of a certain stage of competition and it can dial up the energy level of an audience. Specifically at my pageant, I want the environment for the contestants to be fun and loose without anxiety, and for those watching the pageant...I want them to dance in their seat while enjoying the show
I purposely spend a great deal of time searching, selecting, editing, and remixing music for the Miss Dallas Pageant. I want music that both you and I will rock to for a few hours. I've publicly said that over 90% of all pageants are boring, so here's one way to unbore your production and keep the audience energy up: Pump some sweet jams!
Most of the songs that make the final playlist each year are tracks I've edited to remove expletives or minimize suggestive lyrics, mainstream songs remixed to give it a new sound, tracks I've remixed myself to put my own signature on it, and some killer undiscovered jams that haven't hit the mainstream airwaves.
Here are 6 tracks I used for the Miss Dallas Pageant 2014, plus commentary on how I used them during the production and the thought process on the edits I made for each track.
For your listening pleasure, I threw all 6 tracks together into one remix for a fun jam session!
1) Opening Number - Excuse My Rude by Jessie J (133 Remix)
The first time I heard Excuse My Rude I fell in love with how fierce this was. In my head I could picture all of the contestants walking with their faces matching the attitude in this song. When it was decided that this was the song to open our show with, I wanted the contestants to be fierce throughout every moment on stage. I know that fierce maybe an overused word in pageantry, but I PROMISE you that once you blast this song you can't help but want to ignite the runway to this beat. If you listen to the original version of this song you'll notice that the first minute of my remix is identical to the original version...beyond that is where I add some modifications. The original version is still pretty awesome, but for our opening I wanted to make edits that would work for what we were doing on stage, and to make the track sound better in my opinion. Here are some of the changes and the timestamps:
1:00 - Slight edit to lyrics. The original version says "really, <awkward silence> hate you". I thought this sounded like a terrible and obvious attempt to mask out profanity and took away from the flow of the song. Listen how awkward it sounds here. Now, if you listen to my remix, I changed every instance of the previous to "really, really hate you." and trust me it sounds much better!
1:18 - Added a 2nd bass drop. During our opening number production the 1st bass drop (about 12 seconds into the track) coincided with a contestant turn and reveal from out of darkness with full stage lights coming on adding dramatic effect. I added a 2nd bass drop into the track that cued both titleholders to have an isolated walk on stage. Pretty cool moment if you saw it in person
About 2 minutes into the original version there was a rap solo by Becky G, which was pretty cool, but I just didn't think it worked with what we wanted in a pageant opening and to me it just didn't flow...so I removed it altogether...sorry Becky G!
Hope you guys enjoy my version, it's the first song in the remix track above...play it LOUD!
2) Swimsuit Parade - Dark Horse by Katy Perry (133 Remix)
This song set the stage for the Swimsuit Competition. During the parade I wanted the contestants to have energy coming out the gate...overriding the nervousness of walking out in a bikini in front of hundreds or strangers under tons of bright lights.
I found a few remixes that I liked of Dark Horse, made a few changes and cut it to about 2 minutes for the Swimsuit Parade.
This song begins at 3:02 on my remix track above.
3) Swimsuit #1 - Show Me by Kid Ink Feat. Chris Brown (133 Remix Clean)
I absolutely LOVE this Show Me...it probably has one of the sexiest beats on the radio right now and I really wanted to have this song for swimsuit for that very reason. I debated whether or not to add it to the MDP 2014 playlist because just 10 seconds into the original version of this song it reaks of suggestive lyrics. This song doesn't contain profanities, but it has inappropriate lyrics for pageant/family which would be super uncomfortable when someone's daughter is walking the runway. So I tricked this song up to remove the suggestive lyrics in the hook, left in some of the lyrics that I thought would pass the "grandma test", and isolated the hot beat (minus lyrics) where the majority of the suggestive lyrics were. Hope you like it!
This song begins at 5:07 on my remix track above.
4) Swimsuit #6 - Million Dollar Bills by Lorde (Easy Girl 133 Remix)
I added this version of Million Dollar Bills last minute to the Swimsuit Playlist. The original version of this song with the slow opening and reggae-like drag beats didn't cut it for me, but this version has some serious kick to it and thought it would be a sweet addition for Swimsuit. It was one of the very last songs on the Swimsuit Playlist and unfortunately it didn't get any airtime during the pageant.
I made a slight change to extend a part where Lorde started rapping -- yes rapping -- during the song where I felt they cut it short. This version is the pretty sweet...take a listen!
This track begins at 8:42 on my remix track above.
5) Intermission #1 - Fancy by Iggy Azalea (Caked Up Remix)
Yup, I also choose the intermission music as well! Even during intermission I still want the audience's energy level to stay consistent and engaged with the show. Most of the songs I select for intermission are songs that I wouldn't use for a pageant production either because the beats per minute are too high (aka the song is just too fast to walk to) or the song struggles too slow. I came across this wickedly sick version of Fancy that I knew wouldn't be a fit for the show, but would be PERFECT for intermission...even more perfect for the gym! This is my favorite jam of all the ones listed here...listen to it now
This song begins at 12:14 on my remix track above.
6) Intermission #2 - Turn Down For What by DJ Snake and Lil Jon
During intermission, I followed up Fancy with Turn Down For What. If you haven't heard this song you are probably in a coma somewhere This again is yet another awesome jam that I wouldn't ever use for the pageant production because of the speed of the song, yet perfect to get you amped up during intermission. The collection of breaks on this track is so dope it makes you wanna get up and rock out, just like in the video. And if you haven't seen the video, then you're in for ummm...well you'll just have to see for yourself haha! #weird #funny #twerkingzombies
This song begins at 15:29 on my remix track above.
-Will the Pageant Guy
This article was written by Will the Pageant Guy
I'm the Guy at thePageantGuy.com