Ask your friends or workmates to sing along to some songs with you, and they’re bound to know a few but not all of them. Yet, if you ask them to sing TV theme songs, they’ll probably know nearly all of them.
Fredrik Larsson is a young musician from Sweden who’s posted several clips of himself performing on YouTube. He tapped into something with his very popular 32 Songs In 8 Minutes video (nearly four million views) and decided he wanted more of a challenge.
Larsson wanted it to “have some kind of twist or fresh direction” and decided on a TV Theme Medley. The already viral video includes snippets of 22 popular themes from Two and a Half Men, The Simpsons, The O.C., Naruto, Family Guy, Married with Children, Cheers, That 70’s Show, Big Love, Freaks and Geeks, Malcolm in the Middle, The X-Files, Firefly, The Office, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Scrubs, True Blood, Charles in Charge, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Mission: Impossible, and Friends.
The TV themes were enticing because “they are usually a bit more complex than normal pop songs.” As you can tell from the list, Larsson created this TV Theme Medley using both new TV hits and older ones from shows that were canceled ten, twenty, thirty years ago.
We asked him how he chose the assortment of songs to go into his medley, and he explained that he asked his friends and family for their input, “and out of those (more than 50 shows), I chose the ones I felt were the best sounding, and that I could make well enough.” They aren’t necessarily his favorite shows, but he has seen most of them — except Charles in Charge which he says doesn’t air in Sweden.
After narrowing down which themes to use, Larsson then “started practicing more intensively for a week, and then I tried for three days to get the perfect takes.”
One of the reasons the video is getting so much attention is because people can’t figure out how it’s done. Many people believe the video stars Larsson and a twin but it’s really just some clever video effects. He says that post production didn’t take long, barely an hour. Larsson shared, “It’s just a simple split screen, with an additional cropped piece with the color keyed/filtered right side of the keyboard. I also adjusted the color a bit, to make both sides fit a bit better.”
Larsson admits to not having much of a background in music, but says that he wanted to learn more about it, so he’s studied music theory and instruments. He didn’t plan a career in it and doesn’t make any money with his videos but is working on composing an album. It will be progressive rock mostly, fitting in with his favorite genre. He adds, “Hopefully it’ll become successful enough for me to keep working with music for a living.”
If that happens, Larsson hasn’t totally ruled out composing TV show themes. He says, “I don’t know. As long as I had free hands, I wouldn’t mind it. But I don’t want to be tied down by labels or people telling me how to make music.”