After initially writing and producing his latest single “Rule The World,” TheFatRat was actively searching for a vocalist for half a year. He wanted to recruit a person who could not only sing the song he envisioned in his mind, but also fit artistically. During his search, he found AleXa, the winner of the “Next Artist Award” at the Soridaba Best K-Music Awards, one of the biggest musical award shows in Korea.
AleXa is considered to be one of K-Pop’s most exciting breakout artists. When TheFatRat discovered her, he noticed their similar creative visions with how they immerse fans into futuristic, sci-fi worlds. He reached out to her to collaborate, and the rest was history.
While this collaboration is a fresh pairing, TheFatRat is no stranger to K-Pop. Although he currently listens to Blackpink and admires their style and production, he’s been immersed in the K-Pop realm for years and produced his first song in the genre for Wonder Girls in 2011.
“Rule The World” was officially released on September 4th and premiered on TheFatRat’s YouTube channel.
“Rule The World” consists of three key musical styles: the explosive melodic glitch hop TheFatRat pioneered, the global grandeur of K-Pop, and the powerful musical presence influenced by ABBA. When writing “Rule The World,” TheFatRat was particularly captivated by ABBA’s songwriting techniques. Noting his favorite ABBA song as “Does Your Mother Know,” he acknowledges the group’s signature fusion of melodic, Swedish flavor with more edgy sounds as an inspiration to his music.
TheFatRat notes that the start of “Does Your Mother Know” introduces an edgy presence, when the guitars come in and the singing offers a melodic feel. “This mixing of more edgy flavors with very melodic elements, that’s what I absolutely love about music in general and what I’ve been doing a little bit with ‘Rule The World,'” said TheFatRat, who spoke with EDM.com about the single. “When I played it to a couple of people, they were like, ‘This is a little bit of ABBA flavoring,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, you caught me!’”
AleXa’s fearless vocals carry empowering lyrics that explore the ability to overcome the impossible with an encouraging partner. For TheFatRat, his wife gives him the feeling of ruling the world. While he was producing for 10 years before he became an artist, his wife always encouraged him to pursue his dreams. Whenever he felt insecure, she gave him the strength to conquer anything. For the past one-and-a-half years, his wife assumed the role of his manager. “We just had a meeting for two hours where we discussed what we’re going to do within the next couple of years,” he added. “She’s grown into that position so fast.”
“Rule The World” is free to use on YouTube, true to TheFatRat’s ongoing tradition of freely dispensing his songs and their stems to inspire dedicated content creators. TheFatRat made a decision early in his career to make all of his music free to use.
“The idea to make songs available for everybody was when I made a remix in 2012 for Chris Brown‘s ‘Don’t Wake Me Up,’” he shared. “I don’t know why they did that, but it wasn’t released in a couple of countries, and I didn’t even know about it. Then, blogs started writing about it and people hit me up saying, ‘Hey, this blog has been writing about this song and I want to buy it, but I can’t find it anywhere.’ That was the peak for me, where it was the record industry being so limiting.”
On the flip side, when he began to put out his music for free, he didn’t experience similar restrictions. He noticed how fast his music spread and how many people used it.
However, a new change is that TheFatRat’s music will not only be free to use on YouTube, but also will be lifted from copyright restrictions.
“Over time, we ran into a couple of issues. As long as I only had a few songs out there, and not that many people were using my music, everything was fine,” he explained. “But what started happening was that people accidentally or intentionally claimed my music. My team is always doing their best to get the claims released. However, with more songs released and more people using them, unintended claims have gotten to a point where it’s not bearable for us anymore.”
TheFatRat has dealt with similar issues with his own music being claimed against him. To ensure that channels would be able to use his music without receiving illegitimate claims from random people or companies, TheFatRat’s team decided to go a safer route. Instead, they decided to put his music into YouTube’s Content ID system. The method allows his team to release all claims manually to allow creators to monetize videos without fear of receiving a copyright claim from anyone else.
TheFatRat will continue this policy for his forthcoming album, which is still in the works. While nothing is entirely set, listeners can expect some previously released singles to grace the tracklist. “I feel you have certain constraints when you want to put out a single because you want the single to stand on its own. While you have an album, you need some pillars to put it on, and then you can put a lot of crazy stuff on top,” he said.
“The cool thing about an album is that you can get way more creative and crazy about some songs,” TheFatRat continued. “That’s the fun part to do some longer songs, shorter songs, different structures, and some instrumentals. I’m sure that some of my fans will totally fall in love.”