How did four artists release music on the same day with the same 90s sample?

Four dance tracks, four different artists, released by four different labels, all on the same day.

It’s the frowning phenomenon that was spotted during this week’s deluge of new music on Friday. “Beat Goes On (To The Brain)” by Campbell, “Beat Goes On (DNB Flip) by Spencer Ramsay, “The Beat Goes On” by Chapter & Verse and “Beat Goes On (La Di Dadi Di Mix)” by Cody Wong mixes up songs that all used the same catchy vocal sample.

The sample dates back to a 1997 release by The All Seeing I, “Beat Goes On”, a cover of the 1967 Sonny & Cher song of the same name. In a TikTok video posted by British DJ and radio host MistaJam , the track’s original vocal hook, “The drums keep beating a rhythm to the brain”, is of course in these four versions.

Given the seemingly impossible odds that all four artists stumbled upon the decades-old track and then decided to release their own versions on the same day, there’s great interest in figuring out what exactly happened here. So far, there are a few theories, which are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

The first is that artists are turning to TikTok as a modern source for digging up boxes. According to a recent study by MRC Data cited by TikTok, 75% of users in the United States said they use the platform as a way to discover new artists and 63% of respondents said they have heard music on TikTok that they do not like. had heard nowhere else. Naturally, these stats are going to impact the sample choices of the artist community, which is constantly looking to follow trends and popular sounds before they become established.

Ironically, if all four artists discovered the same sound organically on TikTok, that might suggest that TikTok isn’t exactly expanding creative consciousness more broadly. And it can even do more to categorize it by making artists feel attached to the few popular – and ever so fleeting – sounds of this present, “viral” moment.

The second theory is that the concerted effort to digitize legacy sample libraries is driving creators to the same sample dip. Universal Music Group is the parent company of London Recordings, which released the original version of “Beat Goes On”.

UMG’s Usample also launched last year and began offering samples of the company’s extensive catalog. USample’s Instagram page describes the service as “Universal’s secret sample website exclusively for top talent affiliates,” stating that pre-approved creators can access up to 6,000 samples on the platform.

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The strategy of developing a creator-focused service to leverage archival content is particularly lucrative for major record labels. The practice not only expands the sphere of influence of their assets, but also incentivizes the use of a greater volume of samples, which means an increased means of monetization.

However, if multiple artists end up leveraging the same pool of samples from major labels, the novelty of those samples is likely to fade quickly.

Lingering questions certainly remain as to how the particular circumstances of this situation arose, but it is more likely than not to become a more frequent occurrence given the promptings from the power centers of music and management that take on technology trends.

You can listen to each track below.

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