KCRW Exclusive: Foster the People — Houdini Remix (by DJ Valida)

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Foster the People by Williams + Hirakawa
Foster the People by Williams + Hirakawa

KCRW DJ Valida loves adding her special touch to favorite tracks. She remixed local artist Jenny O earlier this year and has now gotten her hands on another LA band, Foster the People. You can stream her “Slip Out Mix” of “Houdini” and read more about how the remix came about below.

Download here

Foster’s album is out on May 23 and fans who pre-order on their site get four tracks instantly, including the original version of “Houdini” and the summer jam that started it all, “Pumped Up Kicks.”


I’ve been a fan of Foster The People ever since I heard “Pumped Up Kicks” and “Helena Beat” played on KCRW in 2010. I didn’t discover “Houdini”until I made it a point to do some research and see what else was out there in terms of their music.

I was instantly intrigued by the title and the song’s powerful intro sequence. I loved it at first listen and have played it repeatedly ever since.

Fast forward to SXSW 2011, where I finally got the chance to see them live at the Filter showcase presented by KCRW. Needless to say, I was blown away.

I remember thinking out loud how much I would love to remix a track by them.  Fellow DJ Anne Litt had already heard my recent collaboration on Jenny O.’s remix of “Well OK Honey” and introduced me to their manager on the spot!

As a DJ with a strong affinity towards blending, I knew that I wanted to create a version that would mix in and out of other tracks in my set better, so building a decent-size intro/outro was key.

Also, my background is in dance, so I wanted something I could groove to and not necessarily rock out to, and therefore created a four-to-the-floor feel.

And finally, I have taken piano and singing for most of my childhood and early teen years and love to mess around on my keyboard and sing. I almost never sing the standard melody of any song and instead find myself making up harmonies to anything and everything I hear, so I already knew of the few places in the song where adding a subtle vocal harmony felt just right. Et voila!

With “a little” help from Ableton and my friend Computer Jay’s (member of Master Blazter w/ Dam-Funk) studio and engineering expertise, I set out to integrate all of the above while still keeping true to the original. Enjoy!

— DJ Valida