When Meghan Trainor released her new album Thank You a couple months ago, I remember watching a clip of Trainor talking about her songs. In particular, she mentioned how she heard “Woman Up” and wanted to use part of the song. After doing some extensive research (not really, a simple google search), I found the original “Woman Up” by Ashley Roberts
If you listen to both songs, there are obvious similarities – the bass line and structure is almost identical, and she keeps the “woman up, woman up” part of the chorus – which is expected as she did sample the song (i.e. she used parts of Roberts song and gave her credit). However, when I was reading the comments on YouTube on Roberts’ version, a lot of people were bitching about the fact that Trainor sampled the song. Like it was some toxic evil. Personally, I like when artists experiment and sample. I mean, if it weren’t for sampling, we wouldn’t really have most dance music, and remix culture would be dead. I like looking at (or listening to) an original work and then seeing how someone took that and made it there own.
This is not to say originality is dead or bad – some people easily write off contemporary music as being just that – but sampling gives us new versions of our past favorites and more paths to explore. Don’t get me wrong, I love original songs and I’m all for that form of creativity, but I don’t think sampling should be knocked down just because people can take an original work and expand on it.