You may not recognize DJ Ted Smooth if you passed him on the street, but hip-hop clubgoers know his work. Over the past seven years, the Spanish Harlem native has taken your favorite R&B tracks from artists like Chris Brown, Jamie Foxx, Robin Thicke, Alicia Keys and Miguel and given them high-powered makeovers.
Smooth’s latest is a special Valentine’s Day remix of Beyoncé and Jay Z’s “Drunk in Love,” which he released online on Friday (February 14).
To differentiate his mix from Bey’s original, Ted took the singer’s live vocal track from her tantalizing 2014 Grammy performance, placed them over the eerie opening piano line from A$AP Ferg’s “Work” and added his own drums. Then, of course, there is his patented tagline: “Ted Smooth, Straight Face, You Remember.”
It all adds up to an energetic, trap version of the climbing hit.
Ted also re-sequenced Bey’s vocals, opening his version with the “surfboard” lyric to draw listeners in. “The vocals that I used for the intro are actually at the end of the performance, so I just took that for the beginning,” he explained. “Obviously when she sings ’surfboard,’ a lot of ladies like to do her dance.
This isn’t the first time Ted has reworked a Beyoncé hit. In 2011, he remixed “Love On Top,” using the vocals from her VMA performance and blending it with pieces inspired from LL Cool J’s 1995 hit “Doin’ It” — with the approval of team Beyoncé of course.
Smooth started out making mixtape blends in 1992. His first concoction was a mixture of Janet Jackson’s “Let’s Wait a While” and Biz Markie’s “Make the Music with Your Mouth, Biz.” In 2007 he made his first official remix from Chris Brown’s “With You” and since then has made a career helping artists extend the life of their singles, earning himself the title of the Remix King.
Ted’s remixes have become so popular that top-notch artists now request him and help him to add original elements to his work. Diddy and French Montana both contributed brand new versions to his Miguel “Adorn” remix in 2012 and most recently Jadakiss jumped on his rework of K. Michelle’s “V.S.O.P.”
“A Ted Smooth remix, that’s a tool,” he told us of his brand of music. “Some of the records that I remix they aren’t #1s, so the remix helps that record out because the numbers start dipping and here comes the remix, now it’s back on the radio and back on a DJ’s laptop. It just extends the life of a single.”
Check Out More Of Ted Smooth’s Remixes: