This may be the only time Justin Bieber is associated with the word "cool" in a non-ironic way: Aspiring music producer Nick Pittsinger slowed down Bieber's "U Smile" by 800%, and the result is, yes, actually pretty cool. A lot of people seem to think so, anyway: Posted on Soundcloud this morning, Pittsinger's version has more than 300,000 plays already.
Using a free software program called Paulstretch, Pittsinger slowed down the Bieber song to create a beautiful soundscape. Sure, you can always speed up your favorite (or least favorite) artist to sound like a chipmunk, but slowing it down while adjusting the pitch up can produce some surprising results. Technology to change the speed of music has been around for a long time, of course, but to slow it down that much, adjust the pitch accordingly, and not have it full of nasty artifacts is pretty impressive.
Although Nick hopes to work with Bieber in the future (reach higher, Nick, reach higher!) he's happy with the popularity of this experiment. There may be such a thing as "too popular," though — another band is claiming he's plagiarized their song. They might want to think again before they pursue that claim: speed up the song and it's obviously the Bieber tune.