Ideas. Stories. Community.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Construction Noise: The Remix


Imagine - you work the nightshift, come home to sleep and there's this pounding through the windows.


FADEL: That was what was keeping Frida Backelin of Kumla, Sweden, from getting some much-needed rest.

FRIDA BACKELIN: It's been quite annoying, coming home, wanting to sleep, and then being woken up by this construction site.

FADEL: She took a video, shared it with friends and - you know how friends can be - they said they liked the beat. You should post it online. So Frida Backelin went to Reddit, where she's known as Fridafluff, and the beats came alive.


MATT HOUSTON: My name's Matt Houston, aka Matt Hues. I'm a music teacher, and I am a producer based in Los Angeles.

FADEL: The rhythms were irresistible to Hues.

HOUSTON: There's kind of two rhythms - what's called a poly rhythm happening together, kind of like a more simple pulse over it that was like, doo, doo, doo, doo.


HOUSTON: But then kind of over top of it, it had this, like, triple thing happening. This was like ba budda ba, ba budda ba, ba budda ba, da budda ba, ba - made me think of, like, a drumbeat, like, a jazz drummer might play or something.


HOUSTON: (Singing) Don't wake me up. I'm sleeping way too good. I really hate this banging shaking the neighborhood.

FADEL: Frida Backelin was thrilled with the intercontinental collaboration.

BACKELIN: The sound, the beat sounded good. And then at the end, when I heard the lyrics, it was just spot on - exactly what I was feeling. Don't wake me up. I'm so tired of this. I just want to sleep. I'm sleeping so good - perfect lyrics. And I thought it was just great.

FADEL: But the music didn't stop there. Once more, she opened up her apartment window and pressed record.


BACKELIN: (Rapping in Swedish).

I thought it would be funny to do, like, some Swedish old rap songs from my high school times. It's called "Rullar Fram" by Fronda. That one popped in my head, so I just filmed myself while rapping it.


BACKELIN: (Rapping in Swedish).

FADEL: Fridafluff posted again, and the beats took another trip to Matt Hues for another collaboration. But what about the people who are actually responsible for these globe-spanning productions?

BACKELIN: I actually went to the construction guys today and asked, are you putting in any piles today? Nope, not today. They have gone home. So I - damn, OK. Then I started to go. And they said, wait; what - why do you ask? Well, then I had to explain what I'd been doing. And the people actually liked it, and they asked how to find it. So I told them just to search on YouTube or Reddit for Swedish construction rap, and you can listen to it. So they were kind of excited to hear it.


BACKELIN: (Rapping in Swedish). Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.