by Sylvia Duzaryan
TED Week at UCLA Anderson continued with a stream from TED2014 featuring DJ and Producer Mark Ronson, who talked about how music today is predominantly composed of sampling from past eras of music, allowing artists to “insert themselves into and alter narratives.”
Ronson, who is noted for producing Amy Winehouse’s best selling album, “Back to Black,” touched on how “La Di Da Di,” made famous by Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh more than 30 years ago, has been sampled in hits such a Notorious B.I.G’s chart topper, “Hypnotized,” and the more current hit by Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop.” He argued that sampling is a way for artists today to “take something we love and build on it.”
This raises the question of whether or not sampling stifles innovation within the music industry since many mainstream artists, such as Flo Rida, keep making hits by sampling entire choruses from past songs.
Following Ronson’s TED talk, a panel discussion featuring UCLA Anderson Marketing Professor Sanjay Sood, DJ and Universal Music Intern Julian Baranowski (’15), Michael Chua of director of business development at Live Nation Entertainment (’13) and moderator Katie Jones (’15), dove into discussing this very question. Chua suggested that people today sample from everything, including academia, past experiences and information available on the Internet, so there is “no stigma against sampling” in the music industry. However, Sood added that we must “distinguish between people who want to make money and those who want to innovate,” meaning that even though sampling may bring in easy money, it should not hinder creativity or innovation when making music.
The 3rd Annual TED Week at Anderson continues through Thursday, April 10. For more information on previous panels and what’s yet to come, visit the Center for MEMES’ TED Week homepage.