Have you ever listened to a song and wondered where you heard that sound before? Then you’ll know how frustrating it is when you can’t quite remember!
To help you, and to let you find out more about how artists influence other artists, Imperial College MBA graduate Nadav Poraz founded WhoSampled.com, a site that allows its users to discover and discuss sampled music, remixes and cover songs.
A sample is a portion of a sound recording – typically from a song but it is also possible to sample a line or a sound from a movie – that is used to make a new song.
Sampling is particularly used in electronic and hip hop music. Famous example include Coolio’s ‘Gangsta's Paradise’, which samples the chorus of ‘Pastime Paradise’ by Stevie Wonder, and most recently Madonna’s ‘Hung Up’, which samples ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’ by ABBA.
BusinessBecause just spent the morning flicking through tracks on WhoSampled. Be warned, this can get very addictive. Did you know that I Get Money by 50 Cent was sampled in Money Already Made by Chamillionaire? Crazy, eh?
In an interview with the Uruguayan blogger Musicko, Nadav explained how he came up with the idea of creating WhoSampled: “As a music fan, producer, DJ and avid sample-spotter, the concept for WhoSampled was something I really wanted, as a user, to have on the web.
“So I figured out that if nobody else is doing it, I should! I have a background in building internet services so it was relatively easy to get it going.”
On WhoSampled.com members can share information about a sample, remix or cover, collaborating to create a comprehensive online database of sample-based music.
Once you are registered, you can search more than 40,000 artists and find out which of their songs uses samples from other songs, which other artists have sampled their work, and which songs are covers or remixes.
For this reason, WhoSampled also makes it easy to explore artists’ musical influences.
WhoSampled was launched in October 2008, just one year after Nadav graduated from Imperial College, and quickly became popular in the US, UK, France, Germany and Canada. Three years later, the website can count on 4,739 contributors, and a database of over 100,000 songs.
Nadav, who says he has been a music fan since he got into The Police at the age of eight, has also released a few hard electro tunes under the name Spinks.
To Musicko, he says he doesn’t believe the internet will kill the music industry.
“The Internet is changing the music industry forever. There is no doubt in my mind that the Internet has a positive impact on the music industry in that fans are now more enthusiastic and engaged than ever. The business model is changing but the industry will remain profitable and hopefully be more rewarding to the artists.