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The standard for modern pop music usually involves some electronic beats and auto-tuned vocals. Then we have artists like J2 and Hidden Citizens who turn these pop hits into an epic score worthy of movie soundtracks. Classics such as "Lean on Me" or Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror"(which can be heard in the video above) are reproduced into what is called an epic trailer version. These epic versions have gained enough recognition to be used in promos for TV and films. Let us not forget the many views on YouTube!
So, who are these talented producers and what makes them so epic?
First there is J2, or Jay Singh. He is a British based producer and composer. His work ranges from hip hop, rock, to the epic trailer music. He has worked with other famous artists such as LL Cool J, Beyonce, and The Pussycat Dolls. For the epic trailer music, he usually tends to work with lesser known artists.
J2 has created a series of trailer music albums called the Iconic Series. This is where he takes already known hits (old or modern) and make it something worthy for a movie trailer. A few of his songs have been used in real trailers. His take on Brandy's "The Boy is Mine" (sung by Stargzrlily and Anjolee the Free) was featured in the trailer for the thriller When the Bough Breaks.
'When the Bough Breaks' Trailer
His rendition of "Born to be Wild" with Blu Holliday (originally by Steppenwolf) was featured in the trailer for Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies and the promotion for the TV series Zoo.
J2 has created original content with the same epic taste. One song called "Rise Up" (featuring Keeley Bumford) was chosen to promote the CW drama Valor.
'Pride, Prejudice and Zombies' Trailer
Then we have Hidden Citizens, who is another epic group following the same formula as J2. They also take already known songs and re-create them with unknown singers for a trailer or commercial. Their first album The Awakenings debuted in 2016, and last year they released two albums, Reawakenings: The Departure and Black Clouds, comprised of original music. Their work has been featured in the trailer for the popular video game Assassin's Creed Syndicate with the song "Silent Running," originally by 1980's band Mike + The Mechanics. That grand cover was also featured in other TV shows, such as The Originals, and Shadowhunters.
'Assassin's Creed: Syndicate' Trailer
Hidden Citizens also reproduced "(I Just) Died in Your Arms", originally by the English band Cutting Crew. On America's Got Talent, contestant Sofie Dossi, an acrobat and contortionist, used the song for her act. Considering the large audience Got Talent attracts, Hidden Citizens would have definitely got noticed thanks to Sofie.
As great as those song covers are for trailers, there is original music seems to be made especially for trailers. A third artist fans of this kind of music may come across is Zayde Wolf. His real name is Dustin Burnett and he is more famous for his original content rather than covers. The epic genre, however, still remains in his music, except they tend to have a rock and roll edge to it. His work has been present in many TV and film promotions such as "Walk Through the Fire" (featuring Ruelle), which was in the Megan Leavey trailer.
'Megan Leavey' Trailer
Hopefully, you loved what you heard. J2, Zayde Wolf, and Hidden Citizens' music are available to stream on Spotify as well as to download on iTunes, if you are interested. The epic tunes are also on the producers' official websites.