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Amorphous went viral in November 2020 for his mashup of Rihanna and Luther Vandross songs.
The DJ-producer has since released his debut single with R&B singer Kehlani.
He told Insider in an interview that he hopes to release more of his own original music soon.
The release of DJ Earworm's "United State of Pop" in December 2009 marked a major moment for online music remixes by incorporating the most popular songs of the year into one megamix. With the Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling" serving as its baseline, the song featured clips from Pitbull's sensual "I Know You Want Me," Kesha's "TiK ToK," Kanye West's "Heartless," and Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody."
The song reached 52 million YouTube views, solidified DJ Earworm's fame, and laid the foundation for the DJ's annual mixes.
11 years later, up-and-coming DJ and producer Jimir Reece Davis is following in DJ Earworm's footsteps. Like his predecessor, the artist known as Amorphous shot to fame by creating nostalgic mashups.
But after years of releasing mixes of other people's work, Davis released his debut single, "Back Together," which features Grammy-nominated artist Kehlani, on Tuesday. Kehlani's most recent album, "It Was Good Until It Wasn't," debuted at number two on the Billboard 200.
Amorphous incorporates the old with the new
Rather than focusing on the year's top hits, Davis' niche has been creating mashups that appeal to multiple generations.
In three years, the burgeoning artist has released more than 170 mashups and his YouTube videos have garnered over 27 million combined views. Some of his most viewed videos include mashups of Ariana Grande's "Nasty" with Ciara's "Body Party," which reached over seven million views, and Megan Thee Stallion's "Body" mixed with Travis Porter's "Bring it Back," a video that has since gained over two million views.
In an interview with Insider, Davis said he credits his expansive music taste to his older brother and his father. He said he grew up with the artists his dad listened to, like Marvin Gaye, Anita Baker, and James Brown, as well as his older brother's affinity for TLC, Destiny's Child, and Britney Spears.
"All of that culminated into my musical upbringing," Davis told Insider.
As he's grown his career, Davis said he's looked up to the producer Timbaland, the powerhouse behind much of the music from legendary artists such as Aaliyah and Missy Elliot. He also says he's drawn musical inspiration from The Neptunes (the production duo including Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo).
Davis told Insider that he sees the comprehensive music knowledge he has from his father and brother as a blessing that helps him to combine the old with the new. "It shows me that no matter what I'm doing, I'm impacting people of all ages and all demographics and that's something I don't take for granted," he said.
Viral fame helped Amorphous go mainstream
When Insider spoke with Davis in February, his humility and gratitude radiated through the phone. Like millions of others, 2020 was a difficult year to look back on for the artist. Amid the pandemic, he moved out of Los Angeles and back to Orlando to take care of his mom.
But Davis' career changed on Thanksgiving Day 2020, with the release of his funk-heavy mashup of Luther Vandross's 1981 hit "Never Too Much" and Rihanna's 2016 song "Kiss it Better." This wasn't his first viral hit, but it soon gave him a massive opportunity. The Twitter video he posted that showed him grooving to the mashup has since reached two million views and opened the door for collaboration with New York City rapper Fat Joe and producer DJ Khaled.
Davis told Insider that Andre "Dre" Christopher Lyon, one-half of the production duo Cool & Dre, who has previously worked with Fat Joe, discovered the mashup on Instagram. Fat Joe and Dre did not respond to interview requests.
According to Davis' recollection, Dre immediately sent the song to Fat Joe.
Davis told Insider he eventually received a phone call from Fat Joe. DJ Khaled was surprisingly on the call, too, Davis recalled. "That call was something," he said. "It was almost otherworldly… They have similar personalities, they could be brothers."
The trio agreed to work together in creating the song "Sunshine (The Light)," and later shot a music video in Miami featuring an appearance from Diddy. The video currently has over 20 million views on YouTube.
Since then, he's continued mashing up songs from the 1980s and 1990s with contemporary songs and artists. He recently mixed Aaliyah's 2001 song "Rock the Boat" and Rihanna's 2016 hit "Work," a creation he said he immediately imagined when he first heard Rihanna's song.
Davis said he's trying to avoid certain pressures of finding fame online. "There's a lot of pressure that can be put on people to have to constantly try and stay relevant, or try and have their next viral moment," he said, "and I'm not particularly worried about that."
Several artists have noticed Davis' talent
The opportunity to work and be recognized by an extensive list of artists, musical and otherwise, is something else he doesn't take for granted, Davis told Insider. He's worked with R&B duo dvsn, he joined Kelly Rowland on Instagram Live for the singer's birthday and also took over actress and screenwriter Lena Waithe's Instagram Live.
He's also holding out hope that he and Chloe Bailey, one half of the sister duo Chloe x Halle, can work together soon, he told Insider. The two shared a brief interaction on Twitter after he tweeted "I really, really, really, really, really, really want to collaborate with @chloexhalle. like... so bad."
According to him, Bailey sent Davis a direct message, which said she was "proud" of him after the group's official Twitter account replied with eye emojis.
In the meantime, his upcoming collaboration with Kehlani will be one of his biggest moments yet. And in a February interview with The New York Times, the artist sounded pretty impressed herself. "Amorphous is not only an incredible ear, visionary young artist, but is the most gracious humble deserving human being," she said.
Read the original article on Insider