Drake and Tchaikovsky, the 19th century Russian composer, may not sound like an instinctual match. But for Steve Hackman — a Los Angeles-based composer, conductor, and producer — the two artists both have a lot to bring to the table, especially when their music is considered together.
Hackman has set out to make a point about both classical and pop music, creating a symphony of mash-ups that borrow from Drake and Tchaikovsky's respective catalogs. "All these pieces are reflective of my musical values, which is the idea that whether it's pop music or classical music intrinsically doesn't matter — one isn't better than the other," Hackman told The FADER over the phone. "I'm trying to realize a new musical world that I think we need right and I think people are interested in and that's the classical colliding with the pop. If it's good music, it's good music."
For the touring symphony, Hackman recruited classically trained musicians and singers to bring together the pieces. "I like to be faithful to the original classical piece because I want to give people that authentic classical experience but also augment it with all these popular elements," he explained. "I retain the original instrumentation and add three singers and some percussion to kick the Drake moments into gear."
Watch a performance of "Marvin's Room II" from Steve Hackman's Drake + Tchaikovsky symphonic mash-up below.