inspirational approach of sampling


One of my favorite Da Vinci methods is Idea Fusion. With this method, you take existing innovative ideas into your session to inspire your team. I always thought of this method as Idea Sampling. And it is what prompted me to explore sampling for my book.

Sampling can be an inspirational approach to create a new song. Incorporating a part of a past song and fusing it into a different genre can inspire artists to create something new with a nod to the past.

Some Well-Known Samples and a Few Obscure Ones

Many well-known hit songs used sampling. For example, 2Pac’s ‘California Love’ with Dr. Dre which sampled Joe Cocker’s funky riff in ‘Woman to Woman’ and fused it into a hip-hop hit. Sugar Hill Gangs hit ‘Rapper’s Delight’ sampled the strutting bassline from Chic’s disco banger ‘Good Times’. After the songs release, Chic’s Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards tried to sue the group’s record label – Sugar Hill Records – for copyright, but eventually settled with a songwriting credit.

There are also some lesser-known samplings. You probably haven’t heard of the song ‘Found a Child’ by Ballin’ Jack. However, you are probably familiar with sample from the song used in Young M.C.’s song ‘Busta Move’. The sample includes the jumpy rhythm guitar, handclaps and “uh! hah!” exclamations from the original song.

In researching this book, I came across great stories of how songwriters hear a song and it inspires them to make something new. For example, Beyonce’ thought Stevie Nicks’ song ‘Edge of Seventeen’ guitar riff sounded like a “voluptuous woman”. It inspired her to write the Destiny Child song ‘Bootylicious’ based around a sample of it. As well as climbing the charts around the world, it also popularized the slang word “bootylicious”. So much so, Oxford English Dictionary added the word.

If you want to immerse yourself in more sampling stories, check out “The best samples in music… ever!” on NME. Also, check out “Song Samples Hidden Behind the Greatest Chart-Topping Hits” on Urbasm.

Applying Sampling as an Inspiration Approach in Brainstorming

In sampling, fusing a sample from an old song into something new occurs regularly. It is a creative exploration not only for the musician, but also for the listener.

In brainstorming, sampling innovative ideas from other product categories or disciplines is a method I use regularly to get the team thinking about what could be. The Da Vinci method Fusion uses this inspirational approach. If you want to learn more about Fusion, check out this podcast or get all the methods in my book Brainstorming with Da Vinci.

About Da Vinci Deep Cuts

In my journey to write Brainstorming with Da Vinci, I spent many hours researching different artists and their methods they used to create a masterpiece. While some of these methods made their way into the book, many did not, but it doesn’t mean they weren’t inspiring. Da Vinci Deep Cuts are artist stories I uncovered that I feel are worth sharing.