Culture Club Classic Revamped by Tyler Christian

When Berklee’s Popular Music Institute (BPMI) reached out to us asking us to reimagine Culture Club’s all-time classic “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” we jumped at the chance – even though there were only around 10 days to turn in the final master.

Tyler (they/them) swiftly put together a team consisting of producer Ollo Vera, guitarist Liam Garcia, drummer Julian “The Tiger Wizard” Lewis, and yours truly handling mixing and mastering. We set out to work on the track right away and shot ideas back and forth in rapid succession. What resulted is a track fuzing equal parts RnB, contemporary pop, and… I don’t know how else to say it, metal.

Tying everything together is Tyler’s incredible vocal arrangement that stacks around 60 layers of virtuosic yet musical parts that weave in and out, turning this song’s original pop-ified reggae feel into something that’s completely their own and has to be heard to be believed.

In fact, the song has already received Boy George and Culture Club’s official seal of approval! Find the quote in the description to the video below and view Culture Club’s Instagram post right here.

It’s interesting to hear this interpretation of this song, as we have just re-interpreted this ourselves. We have kind of stripped it more bare. I realize this song is about something else now. I am not that person from thirty years ago. So I don’t feel the same way about this song.

When I sing this, I’m not always sad. So I have to almost drop back into that space. For me personally, I’m always excited when someone takes the song and does something else with it. I’ve already done the original so I don’t need another version of it, trying to sound like me.

This version of the song is right up my street. When I think about the climate in the early eighties, when I wrote this song with Culture Club, attitudes to sexuality were different, and people were able to get away with more in terms of what they said about you and what they felt about you, and it’s changed now, so hearing this song, interpreted from a new generation is exciting, as the message is still the same.

Boy George

The video for “Do You Want to Hurt me” is officially live and the single hit streaming platforms on the 26th of June. Click below to watch the video and stream the song on your platform of choice!