Get ready for the next new viral sensation: jazz piano soundtracks! At least, that’s what has happened to from James Charles, Danielle “Bhad Bhabie” Bregoli, and Cardi B, courtesy of Charles Cornell‘s Instagram. The Denver-based jazz pianist (h/t Buzzfeed) has captured the Internet’s attention after he decided to add a piano soundtrack to clips of celebrities chatting away. Charles’s accuracy is stunning, as he seamlessly plays along to every beat of the fast-talking Cardi B. Suddenly, Ms. Almánzar bragging about getting exclusive Swisher Sweets-branded UGGs is the next bebop hit, and she’s ready to play the Blue Note Jazz Club in NYC. Who knew Cardi B was so sophisticated?
The Cardi B UGGs rant was the first one of Charles’s clips to blow up, according to Buzzfeed, as it made a huge splash on TikTok. Card B even retweeted it, giving the pianist the ultimate seal of approval. But, don’t expect James Charles to do the same. Charles Cornell remixed the beauty blogger’s apology video, and yes, it’s pretty amazing, but it might be too soon for James to have a laugh over the whole blowup with Tati Westwood. (Though, if James Charles truly is canceled, maybe he can take up jazz? He could even team with Charles, and they can call themselves “James Charles Cornell.”)
“I came across a video that I thought was particularly funny, and remembered the concept of transcribing the notes of spoken word and putting them to music,” the musician told Buzzfeed. “It’s a concept that’s been around since the ’60s, although the first time I heard such a thing was a few years ago in a couple YouTube videos by a drummer named Dan Weiss and a guitarist named Publio Delgado. I decided to give the concept a try and made a few, including the Cardi B one.”
It seems some celebs are easier to piano-fy than others. “Cardi B, for example, works so well because she speaks in a sing-song, rhythmic manner. This creates natural cadences in her voice that make my job much easier!” Charles told Buzzfeed. The publication also notes that there’s another account, Mono Neon, who turns clips of celebrities talking into a multi-instrumental symphony (serious, Mono Neon does some Thundercat/Jaco Pastorius-style bass work on a Cardi B clip, which means he and Charles Cornell need to team up.)
“This is all still so new and insane to me!” the pianist adds. “It feels so surreal to put out a piece of content and have thousands of people see it and enjoy it.”