Why (some) Danish singers should not sing in English incl. Ocean of You Remix
On March 27th I watched the P3 Guld award show. Should you not be familiar, it is an award show hosted by the national broadcasting company in Denmark (Denmarks Radio/DR) – P3 is simply their Program 3.
If you just want to skip to the Nik & Jay feat. Soren Huss – Ocean Of You (There, I Fixed It Remix) then continue to the section And the music keeps playing.
During the show there was a performance by the Glam Rap Artists Nik and Jay featuring one of Denmarks greatest singers Søren Huss. You can catch the performance here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvzKytjex8w [nbcite refID=”5″ refName=”p3guld2013″ type=”video” author=”BHSbroadcast” year=”2013″ month=”March” day=”27″ title=”Nik & Jay feat. Søren Huss – Ocean of You (Live @ P3 Guld 2013)” url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvzKytjex8w” ][nbnote ]I am totally sure that if you can find the actual live performance, Søren Huss sang much stronger than the other two, and this version that has been uploaded by Nik and Jay’s distribution company has been edited.[/nbnote].
The performance sparked a discussion in the private regarding the ability to sing both in Danish and English, and the agreement was, Nik and Jay cannot sing in English [nbnote ]Let’s leave our the argument of whether they can actually sing at all for other places on the internet[/nbnote]. This begs the question why is it such a difference? For good measure here is an all in Danish song of theirs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnOYpLa9jyg [nbnote ]Yes yes, the music way better that the vocals, props to their producers[/nbnote].
Lets get theoretical
One of the most characteristic features of the Danish pronunciation is the use of the glottal stop [nbcite refID=”4″ refName=”Bredsdorff1958″ type=”book” author=”Elias Bredsdorff” year=”1958″ title=”Danish” publisher=”Cambridge University Press” publisher_place=”Cambridge”].
The Danish language is placed very differently in the mouth/throat than most other languages, especially english. A prime example of this is to ask a danish person to say “this”. Or listen to our secretary of state[nbnote ]After an internal discussion I had to look up the translation for “udenrigsminister” it is both “foreign minister” (uk) and “secretary of state” (us), but more funny is the example text: “The foreign minister was shot down in his helicopter”, and apparently the new one was very popular. http://www.ordbogen.com/opslag.php?word=udenrigsminister&dict=auto[/nbnote] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTozrTpxldM. Almost all foreigners in Denmark have difficulties with the language. I have heard very few public figures with foreign backgrounds perfectly assimilating the danish pronunciation. Sometimes, however, the ability to understand foreigners is a cultural thing [nbcite refID=”3″ refName=”foxylens2013″ type=”website” title=”Danish Language is Falling Apart – Meaningless Guttural Sounds – Where Can We Find Each Other?” year=”2012″ month=”March” day=”1″ publisher=”The Copenhagen Voice” url=”http://cphvoice.ning.com/profiles/blogs/danish-language-is-falling-apart-meaningless-guttural-sounds” month_access=”July” day_access=”30″ year_access=”2013″ author=”foxylens”].
So what has all this got to do with open source music? If you haven’t captured the essence yet, I dislike the original version of Ocean of You, simply because the two glam rappers cannot sing in English (it gets worse in some of their other tries, where they sing “weewee“). I spent 30 minutes yesterday hacking up their Ocean of You, to become this version:
Is it perfect or done? No. But it should give you an idea what the potential is. Additionally the project is open sourced on GitHub, so fork away and create your very own Ocean of You remix.