Mariah Carey single at center of online contest
By Kerri Mason
NEW YORK (Billboard) - Professionals and amateurs alike will have the chance to remix the third single from Mariah Carey's platinum-plus album "E=MC2" via a contest hosted on a startup social network Web site for musicians, Billboard has learned.
Starting July 15, the complete stems of "I'll Be Lovin' U Long Time," from Carey's Island release, will be made available to the members of Indaba Music, an online community for aspiring and established producers and artists.
"Mariah is the queen of the remix," manager Mark Sudack says, citing the pop star's work with dance producers like David Morales -- for whom she resang the vocals of 1993's "Dreamlover" -- and Junior Vasquez, as well as hip-hop greats like Sean "Diddy" Combs, DJ Clue, Ol' Dirty Bastard and the Lox. "This contest is a way for her to continue being a pioneer in the remix world, potentially finding a new sound, a new power, a new energy in the online space, as opposed to just the go-to producers of the moment."
The contest involves elements of fan voting, user-generated content and social networking. Entrants must join Indaba by creating a profile and can then download the song stems, work on their mix and submit it via the site by August 26. The Indaba community will pick its 10 favorite mixes via online voting. Three judges -- including Sudack, who co-executive-produced "E=MC2" -- will then select the winner. The producer of the winning mix will receive $5,000, be designated as Carey's No. 1 MySpace friend for four weeks and possibly have his or her work released.
The contest is more than just a unique way to promote the single, according to Sudack. "It's a marketing tool as much as it is a contest," he says. "But nowadays all you need is a laptop and a drum machine, and you have all the equipment that you need to go and make something that's hot and sounds special. There's so much potential talent out there that's untapped. You could have the next Jermaine Dupri sitting in a room somewhere, and he's got all the talent and all this genius with just no options to connect the dots."
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