Sampling, an essential component of modern music production, involves taking a portion of a sound recording and reusing it in a different song or piece of music. In K-Pop, sampling is also a popular practice, and many iconic tracks have sampled both classic and contemporary tunes.
Following Red Velvet’s chart-topping success with “Feel My Rhythm,” K-Pop’s love for sampling — especially classic progressions — was seemingly rekindled, and now there are plenty of songs to choose from. These ten hits, however, seem to have the most fans in the K-Pop community.
RIIZE’s track “Get A Guitar” creatively sampled the iconic bass line from QUEEN’s “Another One Bites The Dust,” merging the distinct retro vibe with modern K-pop aesthetics. This audacious blend showcases the group’s ability to traverse musical eras, presenting a fresh yet nostalgic auditory experience to the listeners.
2. Red Velvet
In “Feel My Rhythm,” Red Velvet tastefully sampled Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Air on the G String From Suite No. 3” (1723), intertwining classical melodies with contemporary pop sounds. The quintet essentially started a trend that would take over the K-Pop scene. The fusion of music in “Feel My Rhythm” not only pays homage to classical music but also exemplifies Red Velvet’s innovative approach to music production.
SEVENTEEN’s “Diamond Days” revisits their roots by sampling “Shining Diamond” from their debut album, embodying a reflective and evolutionary musical journey. Eight years post-debut, with significant success under their belt, the group reinterprets the song from a newfound perspective while retaining the enduring sentiments expressed initially, showcasing their growth and consistent passion in their musical narrative.
BLACKPINK’s “Pink Venom” notably sampled tracks like “P.I.M.P.” by 50 Cent and “Pon De Replay” by Rihanna, among others, thus encapsulating different musical eras and styles within a single track. This array of samples contributes to the track’s dynamic energy, showcasing BLACKPINK’s knack for innovative music production.
5. Girls’ Generation
In a beautiful blend of the past and present, Girls’ Generation sampled their own track “Into the New World” in “FOREVER 1,” creating a nostalgic yet fresh auditory experience. This self-sampling not only signifies a respectful nod to their musical beginnings but also symbolizes their continual evolution and lasting impact in the K-Pop realm.
aespa’s “Next Level” ingeniously sampled “Next Level” from the Fast & Furious soundtrack, merging cinematic adrenaline with K-pop’s energetic beats. This sampling choice demonstrates aespa’s knack for embracing contemporary pop culture trends while delivering catchy and memorable tunes.
In “After LIKE,” IVE sampled the timeless “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, blending the disco era charm with modern K-Pop flair. This classic sample serves as a bridge connecting different musical generations, showcasing IVE’s capability to meld old with new.
ZEROBASEONE’s “In Bloom” brings a fresh take on a-ha‘s “Take On Me,” merging the iconic synth riff with modern pop elements. This nostalgic sampling choice showcases the group’s ability to reinvigorate classic tunes for contemporary audiences.
EXID’s “DDD” tastefully samples Missy Elliott‘s “WTF,” infusing the track with a dose of hip-hop flair. This demonstrates EXID’s ability to meld genres and pay homage to international music icons, enriching the K-pop landscape with diverse musical influences.
KEY’s “CoolAs” takes a groovy turn by sampling Tame Impala‘s “The Less I Know The Better,” blending the indie and psychedelic vibes with K-pop’s modern pop sensibility. This tasteful sample choice showcases KEY’s musical versatility and willingness to explore beyond the conventional K-pop sound boundaries.