Samples: A journey through music history

  • 27 July 2022
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Samples: A journey through music history
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A journey through music history. 


A Beyoncé’s special. 


To celebrate the release of Beyoncé’s new album, our Brazilian Community Manager, Fabio spoke with music expert Dan, from @SomdoDan.

Dan is present on all social networks platforms talking about music.

Do you know what his expertise is? Talking about samples.

With extremely creative and informative videos, Dan can make a very technical subject, FUN! 


For starters, Fabio asked him what was the first work he remembers that was based on a sample.

I would say a song, which is actually an instrumental piece, called Axel F by Crazy Fog. I think I was 10 years old, in 2004, when this song came out. Which is a 1984 sample of Axel F. The point is that the keyboard used in the original song was used as a sample. It went global. bursted. It exploded!


Do you remember the track Dan is referring to? 


Original song: 


Sampled track: 



What is the history of sampling?

Sampling consists in using other artists’ recordings, old or recent, in a new track. 

According to Dan, it is a recent practice from the late 80s early 90s. Sampling emerged as a cultural response of Hip Hop culture, which started in some regions of the USA and one of its bases was the sample.


“You take the beat from a song and put another song next to that beat. Rap for example used a drum loop in the 80's and 90's that was blown up several times and people sang over that loop. But later the DJs started to use part of the instrumental. This sampling technique became very widespread. Even people who don't work directly with it know what it's all about.”



Put play on RUN DMC - Beats To The Rhyme and listen to the drums on the first beat: 


Fun fact


Dan reminds us that sampling goes way back, more than we can imagine.

Beethoven used musical themes from other rival composers. He even dedicated some songs to other songwriters.

Using music of others was very common. Extremely common, even when there was no recording.


For a song that uses a sample to break out commercially, the sample needs to be interesting and different enough to grab attention

It's no use sampling a song that nobody knows and that doesn't have a certain characteristic of immediacy. An example that worked is when Jaden Smith used a sample in his song Icon that was from the 50's.


The first voice that appears in the song is the sample.

Jaden - Icon:



Cab Calloway - The Hi De Ho Man




For a sample to work, it needs to be immediate and memorable


Another example that Dan gives in the interview is Dua Lipa's song - Love Again. Who used the violin from the song “My Woman” by Lew Stone & The Monseigneur Band and Al Bowlly. Song from 1930 that is memorable for its violins.


“My Woman” by Lew Stone & The Monseigneur Band and Al Bowlly:



Dua Lipa- Love again 



What about Beyoncé? 


When Dan was asked why she is bringing back house music from the 90's, he said that even though house music is now huge in Russia, it has fallen out of favor in the US.

Bey wants to rescue the music from her youth, it was in the 90s that she began to establish herself as a musician! 


“This is very much related to the beginning of her career and of her initial interests with house music, in short, similar musical genres.”


Also according to Dan, house music has fallen into a sort of oblivion in the United States but we know that trends are cyclical. It takes about 20 to 30 years for everything to come back.

It works in fashion, trends and obviously music! 

Another example of this revival is Avril Lavine's Pop Punk which is coming back with a bang!


For Dan, Beyonce had a very beautiful evolution in her career.

Today she is a prominent voice for the  Black Lives Matter movement and she is using her work to do so. In this new work, she will relive her youth and raise some important social matters.


Bey is so current that her song Break my soul is already considered an anthem for labor rights and against American lifestyle that exalts work and productivity over other areas of life.



Robin S- Show me Love



Daniel Batista (@somdodan) artist | music producer | teacher 

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