Scott Bradlee has a true passion for music and history. Which is good news for the millions who have watched him and his fellow musicians re-interpret modern music in unconventional ways on YouTube.
Bradlee is the creator of the viral phenomenon Postmodern Jukebox, a diverse group of musicians who have turned Ke$ha into country, given Justin Bieber a bit of swing and most recently garnered praise -- and more than 4.3 million views, as of this writing -- for replacing Miley Cyrus' twerking with some classic doo wop.
Bradlee spoke to The Huffington Post over the phone about the rise of Postmodern Jukebox, the state of contemporary music, the Miley Cyrus controversy and more below.
On Postmodern Jukebox
"Postmodern Jukebox is a collective of musicians. It's the name of the band, so to speak, but also a project. There are three statements I'm trying to make with it, the first being that you don't need to have a song tied to one particular genre.
"Some people think this song is pop, and that song is jazz. But they don't have to be. I really like to break down the walls between music genres.
"The second is, through the use of contemporary material, we can revitalize styles that aren't as popular now.
"I remember distinctly seeing this one comment on a video I had done that said, 'This is the only channel that my grandfather and I both enjoy!' And that was amazing, because it's a chance to be inclusive of all generations and music genres.
"The third is, well, a little bit of trolling of the music industry. We don't have a budget for these videos; they're all filmed with one camera in my living room, and I think I've even left the air conditioning on during recording on occasion.
"Yet, because of the viral nature of these videos, we managed to hit #9 on Billboard Jazz charts last week. I want independent artists to know that you don't need to spend a ton of money on making an album or shooting a music video -- in fact, you probably shouldn't.
"There's no barrier to entry in the music industry anymore; if you want to sell a lot of music, all you need is an interesting idea and a mobilized fan base."
On Miley Cyrus
"I try to refrain from commenting on other artists and their music. It's hard to say what's good art, what's bad art and try to compare. To say there's some sort of benchmark, which is largely arbitrary, is not a real way to compare unlike things.
"With that said, I have read some interesting commentary. There was this one comment that stood out to me on her song, saying that it's almost a cautionary tale and shows what happens when too much partying goes wrong.
"And it's been fascinating to watch. In the end, it's all entertainment and she'll still come out on top, even if she seems to be falling out of favor right now."
On The Future
"I've been fortunate that it's been gradual growth for me. My first viral video was in 2009, which led me down the rabbit hole of the Internet, so to speak.
"After a series of successes, it's getting to the point where I am getting a lot of legitimate offers and options made available to me now. But because of the gradual rise, I don't have to feel like a sell out, and have had the ability to really grow and experiment along the way.
"And it's fun! It's just a bunch of people you like hanging out in the living room and making music together, and it gets to be a great hang for us each time.
"I do have a new series coming up, though. I've got 12 music videos ready for a totally new project that will probably be released in the fall. This is actually the first time I've mentioned it, so you're getting a bit of an exclusive here, by the way. It will still be music and breaking barriers, but very different from Postmodern Jukebox. It's going to be amazing, I think you'll like it a lot."
To check out more great music by Scott Bradlee and Postmodern Jukebox, visit their YouTube page.
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