In 2007, mashup artist Jordan Roseman — better known as DJ Earworm — took the top 25 songs from that year and wove them into a single track. He called it "United State of Pop," and he's been doing it every year since.
Roseman says he starts the process every year by collecting the lyrics of the year's biggest pop hits in one document. The goal is to come up with a synthesis that conveys the general feeling of the year.
"I'll sort of scan through the document and try to identify my main thesis," Roseman says. "If the sentences don't exist, I try to build them from the individual phrases and see if I can get something that creates the sentiment so that it goes from darkness into light, it gives you an emotional journey."
His 2016 mix, which went live Dec. 1, is called "Into Pieces," a title he deemed appropriate on two levels. "I liked it because it was about my artistic method — I cut things into pieces," he says. "But also, it very much feels like our world is fracturing."
Roseman joined Morning Edition to break down his process for this year's mashup; hear the full story at the audio link.