News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

News From the Students, For the Students

The Griffin Gazette

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The modern music industry

How does sampling and re-releasing work today with popular artists?
Issy Steinberg
Red and purple lights show the large amount of people who attend a concert at the SoFi stadium.

LOS ALAMITOS, CA — Across the world, music is everywhere. While some music tends to be more popular than others, interests range from classical to reggae. Music is subjective and appeals to everyone differently, but recently specific types of music have been on the rise across school campuses. Many songs today are  popular because of music sampling, which is when artists reuse a portion of a previous songwriter’s music in their own music.

A staff member in the vinyl department of Fingerprints Record Store said that sampling began with hip-hop DJs using old records to make tracks. In order to do this, it is recommended that you get permission from the original artist. However, it is different depending on the artist. 

“They would take little samples from that record, but you can do that digitally now,” the staff member said.

Sampling is a way to increase the popularity of an already existing song and creates feelings of nostalgia. It also works as a way to pay homage to an artist who made a great song. Artists also use another form of connectivity to their audiences: re-releasing songs or albums.

There have not been any recent or modern examples of re-releasing that have been successful, but the industry is constantly changing and this could become something more prevalent in the future. On the other hand, sampling music is more common and popular in many genres today. For example, sampled songs that are popular include Jack Harlow’s “First Class,” which was released in 2022. It was sampled from Fergie’s hit “Glamorous.” This song takes parts of her spelling out the letters in “Glamorous” and singing “First Class,” which appeals to people who knew the song when it originally came out. 

“[Artists] are inspired by the sounds that they are lifting and chopping, but they are also learning from it. [Sampling is] America’s new form of popular music because it is replacing things like swing,” said Mr. Padilla, the music teacher at Los Al.

Similarly, Kendrick Lamar’s “i,” which was released in 2015, was sampled from The Isley Brothers’ “That Lady.” The beginning of the song features similar beats and words used in the beginning of “That Lady” and follows a similar pattern throughout. Another example would be Frank Ocean’s popular song “Super Rich Kids” (2013), which contains a sample from Mary J. Blige’s song “Real Love.” Some other artists who have sampled songs are Nicki Minaj, 2Pac, Pitbull, and many more. 

“Sampling is a throwback to a way of life.”

— Mr. Padilla, music teacher

What about re-released songs? Many artists have re-released songs after anniversaries, complications with their record labels, etc. The Weeknd re-released his debut album “House of Balloons” for its 10-year anniversary in 2021 and Ariana Grande re-released her debut album “Yours Truly” for its 10-year anniversary this year. However, this is not a common occurrence.

Re-releasing refers to when an artist releases a song or album that they have already created, which sometimes can include alterations or additions. KidzBop is a popular example of this because they take already existing music and sing it as covers for a kid-friendly audience. 

“It’s not usually what artists do because they don’t own their own masters to produce music. Very few choose to re-record and re-release it. You need to have a special relationship with your fan base to get them hooked to want to listen,” said the Fingerprints Records staff member.

Another recent example is Taylor Swift because she has had difficulty with ownership of her albums, so she has decided to re-record and release them so that she has complete control and ownership. She calls this series “Taylor’s Version” or “T.V.” She has already re-released (in order) “Fearless T.V.,” “Red T.V.,” and “Speak Now T.V.” She will release “1989 T.V.” on Oct. 27, 2023. Swift has been a popular artist because of the albums she has released that have received positive attention. She is the second most streamed artist in the world on Spotify and recently became the first female artist to reach 100 million monthly listeners.

With the immense support of her fans, Swift has been able to break records, such as the US Hot 100 entries by a female, and create suspense and excitement towards her re-released albums. The Eras tour, which highlights all of the different time periods of her career, kicked off in March 2023. Five months into the tour, on Aug. 9, Swift announced the re-release of her hit album: 1989, which left fans stunned. 

“I screamed so loud and got super excited. I almost started crying,” Maddie Huq, a senior at Los Al, said.

The original album was released on Oct. 27, 2014 and touched many millennials who were looking for comfort as they were becoming young adults. The album consists of songs that are about moving on from a relationship, dreaming, and discovery. This was her first album that was not focused on love songs and was catered to connecting with her fans. The re-release is scheduled to be on the same day of this year, marking nine years since it came out. 

Overall, avid music fans should think of sampling and re-releasing as a way to connect with an artist they love. Because music is constantly evolving, it can be expected that re-releasing and sampling could become overrated to some, but revolutionary and inspiring to others. The modern era of music will reestablish a concrete connection to listeners everywhere.

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About the Contributors
Nandi Smith
Nandi Smith, Editor
Nandi Smith is a senior at Los Alamitos High School. This is her first year in Journalism, and she chose to be a staff writer because she has a passion for writing and trying new things. Nandi has a passion for drawing, traveling, and speaking other languages like Spanish and Arabic. Her favorite subject is English because through reading, she loves to learn about different time periods and eras. This year, she looks forward to writing, exploring her passions in design, photography, and other activities on campus. You can contact Nandi at [email protected].
Issy Steinberg
Issy Steinberg, Editor | Reporter
Issy Steinberg is a senior at Los Alamitos High School and new to Journalism. She is interested in writing articles on music and pop culture trends. Issy likes traveling the world, learning new things, and hanging out at the beach, where she enjoys sitting on the sand and reading a book. Whether she is restoring a car or thrifting for a new wardrobe, Issy always has time for her friends and family.  You can contact Issy at [email protected].
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    Katie ArnoultSep 5, 2023 at 7:00 pm

    I love this article! I had never heard about music sampling until I read this piece, and WOW, is that SoFi photo cool!