Samples You Should Know About According To Stephen Kirkwood


Sampling is a beautiful thing about music, more often than not your fav tracks owe their foundations to a cleverly worked sample. It could be from a track from the 50s, 60’s, or 70’s, no matter the genre or age.  Scouring that magical moment from a track from yesteryear is sometimes the winning component you need to create something magical and pay homage to the original artist and music that inspired the idea!

Below is a list of some of my favourite samples in music. When the penny drops that sampling has had such monumental importance in the music we listen to today, it just gets even more fascinating! So here we go, these are my 5 fav samples.

Chic – Soup for One // Modjo Lady (Hear Me Tonight)

This is one that I can vividly remember listening to in the back seat of my parent’s car, in my booster seat!  As soon as I heard the track Modjo – Lady – Hear Me Tonight I was hooked! It wasn’t until I was listening to Chic years later I heard the famous sample and had to rewind! Such innovative work from Modjo brings this sample into the dance music sphere and creates such an iconic track.

The Winstons – Amen, Brother // Prodigy, NWA straight outta Compton

The most famous loop of all time! “Amen Break,” a six-second drum sample starts at 1:26.

if you are a fan of sampling, this next one is one of the most used and recognisable drum beats around. From Hip-hop to Drum and Bass, to countless techno records, this breakbeat section in this track has been around the block. Imagine being the drummer of the band, at the moment, jamming out this track and going for a solo, not realising the drum solo you just laid down created a massive movement in so many genres.  V COOL.

Will Smith Miami // The Whispers – And the Beat Goes On

Being a 90’s child, Will Smith’s ‘Miami’ was iconic, back when Will Smith was churning out some of the best movies around – Men In Black, Independence Day to name a few… Then comes along Miami, with this incredibly uplifting summer beat and catchy lyrics. Little did I know at the time, pretty much the whole beat was sampled from the Whispers and their track ‘ And The Beat Goes On!  It was years later when I was playing GTA Vice City and this track came on the radio that I realised!! I think it was Flash FM! Haha!

Eddie Johns – more spell on you 1979 – Daft Punk – ‘One More Time

sample at 2.32mins

I couldn’t compile a list like this and not include Daft Punk. When it comes to sampling, and making the sample completely your own, Daft Punk comes in at the top for me. I spent so many years listening to Daft Punk and not realising they were absolute Kings of sampling! Turns out, crate digging and spending hours listening to music from the past can completely make a band/artist. What Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel managed to create with ‘One More Time’ was nothing short of epic!

GiGI Agonstino I’ll Fly With You // Scott Brown – Fly With You

Bit of a guilty pleasure this one. Here’s me 14 years old – backpack on, a boombox with CDs ready to go, a bag full of new batteries as you had to replace them quite regularly… blasting hardcore/happy hardcore / early trance/neo cortex, Mauro Picotto, etc etc… Up pops this huge classic from the Italian GiGi Agonstino with ‘I’ll Fly With You’. The main riff in this track is insane, it cuts through like nothing else and fills you with happy vibes. Sampled by one of my fav artists growing up – Scott Brown in his version of – Fly With You. Both are completely different, but both pack a punch and deliver!

Alan Braxe, The Paradise – In Love with You // Stephen Kirkwood – Loving You

Well, I couldn’t not finish on my track! My latest work has just come out on the amazing Stress Records, a label I have been so excited to work with for several years! Always breaking new ground and never sticking to the rules, just how I like it!

The story of Loving You starts a few years ago when I was up in a place in Scotland called Inveraray, with my partner Claire. It’s a quaint little Scottish village, nestled in Loch Fyne, filled with the smell of wood-burning fires, whisky, and the fresh loch air. It’s my favourite place to recharge the batteries away from the madness of life. After a lovely few days, I put on Spotify and Discover Weekly sticks on a track as we were passing through the majestic rolling mountains of the west of Scotland. The original by The Paradise started playing and I was instantly blown away, with lush chords, a total feel-good track! Strings, pads, atmosphere blended, everything I love in a track… As it played the catchy vocal started singing ‘In Love with You’ and I just knew that I could do something very special to the 2003 track to bring it into my world of dance music. I could visualize how it would all come together, and how to give this classic a brand new spin. Fast forward to today and it’s resonating with so many people this Summer, just as much as it did for me!