Music Notes

A Lin-Manuel Miranda Mash-Up Doesn’t Just Pay Tribute, It Also Helps The People Of Puerto Rico

"He decided to use that platform for something so much bigger than just music."

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Michael Korte is no stranger to paying homage to artists who inspire him.

The YouTuber — best known for his music video covers featuring music from Jesus Christ Superstar to The Greatest Showman — is back with a new video paying tribute to Lin-Manuel Miranda's career through the years.

The video, "Evolution of Lin-Manuel Miranda," features a mash-up of music Miranda wrote for projects such as Bring It On: The Musical, In the Heights, and Hamilton. Korte enlisted the help of artists Jasmin Cruz, Aaron Encinas, Mark Joseph, Jessica Muchow, and Brooke Simpson, The Voice's season 13 finalist, for seamless transitions between each incarnation of Miranda's career. 

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Korte took this particular mash-up to the next level by announcing that 100 percent of the proceeds made from the video will go to The Hispanic Federation to help Puerto Rico rebuild after last year's hurricane. The process to turn his idea into a reality took Korte about four months. 

But it was all worth it because for Korte, because Miranda is "an unstoppable activist and philanthropist," and adding a donation element seemed just right for this project.  

"Lin's work as an artist and activist continues to inspire and inform me," he says to A Plus. "I felt it necessary to honor him. I was always taught to respect those that paved the way."

Although power for residents in Puerto Rico has fully been restored, Korte added that knowing they needed help was something that compelled him to want to help out.

Meanwhile for Simpson, seeing Korte give back seems like a natural move for him in the short time she's known him.

"He decided to use that platform for something so much bigger than just music, which is what music's supposed to be about anyway," she says.  

Simpson also added that her experience filming the video was eye-opening to her because she only knew Miranda from Hamilton.

"This project and being apart of it just made me fall in love with him even more and [have] so much more respect for him as a creator," she says. 

And out of all the songs she performed in the video, Simpson says her favorite was "How Far I'll Go" from Moana because it resonates with her ongoing journey to become a successful singer.

"It was a really beautiful song but then on top of that, singing it and kind of looking at where I am in life and how far I've come from being on a platform on national television to now pursuing my dreams and this being my full-time job," she says. "It was just a really beautiful moment and it's full circle for me."

When it all comes to down to the essence of the video and what Korte wants to accomplish in honoring Miranda's career and helping Puerto Rico, it's a mix of making people feel something and inspiring them while also showcasing up and coming singers.

"Of course, there is also the hope that viewers remember that Puerto Rico still needs aid and compassion as their lives are rebuilt," he says. "This video brought with it the tremendous pressure of doing Lin and his work justice. Hopefully, viewers feel that we did."

Check out the video above.

Cover image: Debby Wong / Shutterstock.com

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