“Royals” still rules. Nominated for record of the year and song of the year at Sunday’s Grammy awards, Lorde’s breakout single has become massive enough to migrate across radio formats with surprising ease. For example: Instead of pushing new rap singles, urban radio programmers across the country have spent the past few months spinning a song by a New Zealand teenager that scold’s hip-hop’s celebration of “Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece.” Baffling.
But maybe not as baffling here in D.C., a city particularly attuned to rhythm. At about 85 beats per minute, the tempo of “Royals” clocks in around the same pace as Washington’s go-go music.
Local producer DJ Dyn-O-Might obviously noticed this and retrofitted “Royals” with a smart go-go beat, earning the song even more local airplay on WPGC (95.5 FM).
Strangely, Dyn-O-Might’s remix helps solidify a strange tradition of go-go radio singles that re-contextualize hits from young, white, female pop singers. Roughly a decade ago, Rare Essence owned regional radio with a cover of Ashlee Simpson’s “Pieces of Me.”
And just last week, Trouble Funk released a comeback tune called “Hump Day,” which borrows its hook from Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.”
There’s no way to know if Lorde has heard Dyn-O-Might’s remix, but odds are she’d probably dig it. She’s currently wearing a Cramps T-shirt on the cover of Rolling Stone. She recently retweeted goth-ish rapper Little Pain. The lady appears to have sharp taste.
So maybe she’ll collaborate with a go-go band when she makes her Washington debut at Echostage in March? In her words, “Let me live that fantasy.”