Hall Pass: John Oates wrote this song with Berklee students, now wants you to remix it


Attention DJs: Now is the time to remix John Oates.

The Songwriters and Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductee, responsible for some of the most iconic hits of our generation through his work in legendary pop duo Hall & Oates, recently teamed up with Berklee College of Music songwriting collective WritersBloc for a collaborative experiment.

The first step was writing and recording a new song, titled “Smoke & Mirrors”, which premiered last week on Billboard. The follow-up now finds Oates giving away the stems of the track, released royalty-free in the public domain, for any DJ to remix it as he or she sees fit.


The song’s assets can be downloaded here. Oates is asking that remixes be uploaded to YouTube or Soundcloud with the hashtag #smokeandmirrorsremix in the title, so a complete playlist can be compiled.

“Pop songwriting today is largely done by committee,” Oates says of his experience working with Berklee group WritersBloc. “We had two writers on beats, two on chords, two on melody, and two on lyrics. Each duo had a laptop, midi controller, and headphones, and sent their .wav files to a cloud service. The files were downloaded to the engineer’s master laptop running ProTools and mixed on the fly so everyone could hear each other. It worked remarkably well.”

“Smoke & Mirrors” features vocals by Amy & The Engine’s Amy Allen, and was mixed and mastered at Boston studio The Record Company. Listen to the track below, via the documentary-style video, and revisit our Vanyaland interview with Oates from last April.