Song sampling: How old songs become trending again

How many of you listen to songs or music on a daily basis? Perhaps the better question would be to ask who doesn’t because we can’t imagine having to go through our everyday lives without it.

Listening to music is nice. Songs and music are probably as old as human history. Back then, people had to visit music halls or bars. Nowadays, it may just be a habit to turn up your speakers or put on your headphones and let the playlist go on.

If we go into further detail, depending on what’s playing, music may do wonders for you. Studies show that listening to the right music will help reduce stress and brighten your mood. Finding that one song you can relate to may just be the right medicine for you to help get over a breakup or a stressful matter, or maybe you’ve found your new favorite playlist to play in the background while you get some gains in the gym!

What’s new, N2?

Anyway, we have just noticed a recent trend in the latest releases of pop artists. See, we like to be updated on what’s new, because a new song means we get to make a new dance routine! It keeps our mind and body fresh and flowing with young and creative energy (just vibing with the song is fine too).

However, some of us, upon hearing the song for the first time, may start scratching our heads and say: “Wait—haven’t I heard this one before?”

The answer is yes, and no. What you’re listening to is the new latest song released by your beloved artist, but why does it sound so familiar? That’s where sampling comes in.

What is sampling?

Sampling is defined as the recycling of a portion, which we call a sample, of audio from an existing song, for it to be repurposed in a brand-new composition. If it’s hard to understand, try and listen to Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give Your Up then have a go with Yung Gravy’s Betty (Get Money). It’s a dead giveaway when it plays Never Gonna Give You Up’s chorus in the first few seconds, and then proceeds to use the song’s melody for the whole song.

So how does sampling work?

Is it not illegal to copy someone else’s intellectual property? Well, there’s a process called clearance where the makers of the new record get permission from the lawful owners of the sampled audio. The process is quite taxing, but the result if it goes through is an amazing collaboration of the music in the past and what we have now.

You’re probably asking why sampling is the talk for this month’s blog and why it is important. Well, other than being a timely topic, it kind of feels appropriate as a Halloween blog without straying from dancing in general, because through sampling, the songs and sounds of the past are resurrected from the dead just like zombies!

Moving on, sampling is not a novel thing. In the earlier days of sampling, there were debates about whether it should be allowed or not. Seeing as the pop songs that feature sampling nowadays have gained great reception, the answer has been made clear. Let’s discuss the—

Importance of sampling:

It is a form of creativity

As a general point, sampling allows artists to express their creativity, unbound by the limitations of copyright infringement and originality, artists are free to reimagine an already existing piece of music into whatever they want it to be. Whether it takes just a small portion of the sounds such as guitar riffs or lyrical references, or the whole melody of a song, it’s still considered fine as long as there is an acceptable amount of change.

It introduces audiences to older songs

Is it not amazing to see the newer generation listen to the music of a bygone era? It’s the same feeling as digging up an ancient treasure chest, or to be more accurate, opening your very own time capsule with your children.  Sampling is an opportunity for a younger audience to appreciate older songs through their favourite artists.

It celebrates various cultures

Sampling plays a huge role in the history of some musical genres such as hip-hop, rap, and electric music. In our past articles, we have covered the origins of hip-hop and how it has united a nation to rise against oppression and discrimination in its own, creative way. Through sampling, the movement has been immortalised and should be made known to people.

The song La Di Da Di, by Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick, as of writing, is known to have been sampled in over a thousand songs already. Apart from hip-hop, we also have The Weeknd’s Out of Time which samples Tomoko Aran’s Midnight Pretenders from 1983. With City pop gaining traction as of late because of the growing aesthetic culture and its ties with Japanese culture, Out of Time serves as another catalyst for cultural appreciation.

So far, so good! To end the blog, here are five examples of catchy tunes that also use the sampling technique:

  • Cold Heart – Dua Lipa collabs with Elton John himself while his song, Rocket Man, is sampled.
  • Hold Me Closer – Britney Spears also collabs with Elton John and samples three of Elton’s songs: The One, Tiny Dancer, and Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.
  • I’m Good (Blue) – David Guetta and Bebe Rexha’s new song takes us back to the 1990s when the popularity of Eurobeat skyrocketed. This song samples I’m Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65.
  • Super Freaky Girl – Nicki Minaj samples Rick James’ Super Freak, which you may be familiar with as it is also the sampled song in MC Hammer’s iconic U Can’t Touch This.
  • About Damn Time – We can’t get over this song, it’s just too catchy! Lizzo samples Hey DJ by the band, World’s Famous Supreme Thing.

Both rhythmic activities go hand in hand during a performance. If you are interested in a dance routine for any of the songs mentioned above, hit us up at 0422 939 749 and book a free trial today!