CRRDR Throws a Middle Finger Up to the Copyright Police

CRRDR Throws a Middle Finger Up to the Copyright Police

By Tobias HessMay 16, 2024

Colombian-born, Berlin-based DJ CRRDR (Francisco Corredor) isn’t one for rules. Corredor, the founder of the influential label Traaampaaa, is a pioneer in the development of Latincore, a novel genre that merges the sounds of Dembow, Tribal, Guaracha, Reggaeton and hardcore. Latincore’s undeniable velocity can be felt in its haptic reggaeton rhythms, piercing hardstyle synths and often dizzyingly fast tempos.

On CRRDR’s newest EP, Tu Vacilatela Que Yo Estoy En Otra, out May 17 on Headroom Records, Latincore’s steaming cauldron of ingredients reaches a boiling point. The six-song EP features special collaborations from ROOi, Ojosfinos and Jay Mitta, alongside a reimagined version of CRRDR’s underground hit "TRAAA," this time titled "TRAN'T." "TRAAA" was taken down for copyright infringement after it was featured in Netflix’s hit Spanish soap Elite. After trying and failing to secure rights to the song’s original sample, Corredor decided to take a DIY approach to solving the predicament, re-recording the original sample and re-offering it for his fans and admirers who had already made "TRAAA" a part of their lives. The move became “a way to show a middle finger to [an] industry” that has made sampling all but impossible for emerging artists, especially those with roots in the global south, far away from musical power centers, Corredor says.

That middle finger is exemplified in the video for "TRAN'T," which begins with Corredor receiving a message from the “copyright police.” This prompts a winding journey and chase that pokes fun at the Kafka-esque struggle of being a musician in 2024.

PAPER spoke with Corredor in the lead up to his new EP to chat about dealing with the Copyright Police, the origins of Latincore and world domination.

The video for "TRAN'T" pokes fun at the "copyright police," but I'm sure having your song taken down after being in Elite was stressful and challenging. What was the experience of navigating that like?

Since I started making music and using samples, I always knew that I was going to have problems once my music became more mainstream. For emerging and Latin American artists, it is impossible to access the money to license a sample from big platforms, labels or big artists, but I've simply always wanted to make music from samples, scratch creations and using vocals. It's part of going against the status quo of how the industry works and it's important to rethink how samples work in a post-pandemic era. I mean, nowadays you can even create music using famous artists’ voices with AI.

In my case, I just wanted to create a discussion around the use of samples in this era and rethink the future of music and the new genres that are being born because, in the end, a lot of music and genres have historically been born from samples.

The funniest thing about this is that I also tried to talk to the artist who owns the sample and his manager, but they were not willing to negotiate around the sample while understanding that I am an emerging and independent artist. They only wanted me to pay an absurd amount of money, and that's why I simply decided to make a track and release it on my own terms.

What was it like remaking "TRAAA" as "TRAN'T" after going through that experience?

At first I was scared when I took down "TRAAA" from all platforms. Many people began to ask me about the track. At the time, I thought I was going to stop using samples in my tracks and only make original creations, but I felt that
"TRAAA" was an anthem for CRRDR. Many people knew me from that song and it ended up being used by Netflix, so I had an obligation to revise it with my own sound design and my own vocals. It was a true reinterpretation of what it means for a song to be Latincore because this track now has it all: Reggaeton, Cumbia, Techno, Guaracha. For me it is simply a way to show the middle finger to the industry and also to show some people that not only can I make music that grab tracks from other people, but I can also remake a track as a fresher vision.

"TRAN'T" teases your forthcoming EP Tu Vacilatela Que Yo Estoy En Otra. How did you approach putting together this project?

Tu Vacilatela Que Yo Estoy En Otra comes from the thread of RIP LATINCORE 2K24 after “TRAAA” was taken down from platforms and I was facing trauma from dealing with sampling and licensing. I wanted my releases to center my own sound design and 100 percent original music, as well as feature more collaborations with artists that I had been working with since 2021, as a result of my tours and travels around Latin America and the world. That's why this EP has a more special connotation, because it's about everything I've been through as Francisco and CRRDR. I really have a lot of music to show, so this EP is a nod to many things to come and is a fresh vision of the music that is being born from the global south.

You've taken Latin Core around the world. How has seeing the genre and sound expand over the years felt?

For me, it's always crazy to think about this because the word “Latincore” was a term that we started to use to define the music we were playing at our parties in Bogotá. It was very funny because whenever we organized a party we would say things in our Instagram captions like, “We are going to play ‘deconstructed reggaeton’, ‘latin tek’ and ‘techno perreo,’” but always with a joking connotation. In the end, I started to say Latincore to refer to this music because it was what made the most sense as Latin music + hardcore, or latin club music, but heavier. In the end it was just a sum of words that we used to define the music that several people in Latin America were making. I feel like this genre has a lot to offer to the global club community and the mainstream. It is a matter of time before people who make Latincore have more visibility and occupy positions in festivals, parties and others around the world. For me I think this is the most important opportunity for Latin American artists to empower themselves and for us to redefine the value of the music that is born in our communities.

Photography: Kara Ulova