Along with the rest of the world, the electronic music space is amiss about the passing of Aretha Franklin. Various electronic artists have used her sultry voice filled with pleasure and pain, suffering and endurance. Poet Nikki Giovanni said, “This is a voice that has not only sound but a smell and a depth. A taste. You hear Aretha, but you also lick your lips.”
From Zeds Dead sampling “I Say A Little Prayer” into “Coffee Break,” to Jauz borrowing “A Deeper Love” for “Deeper Love,” and Mura Masa using her voice in “People Get Ready” for “Day 23: Have Faith In Me;” those seductive vocals have graced DAWs and inspired cross-genre productions for decades.
Electro-funk and soul producer, Gramatik, was especially touched. Using Franklin’s “Young, Gifted and Black” for his funk, hip-hop crossover “In This Whole World” and in the similar vein with his single “I’m Free,” the talented artist had a old-school yet modern electronic funk sound that could support and jive with the weight and nature of her voice. In his fifth rendition of “Street Bangerz,” Gramatik sampled her voice on three tracks. He released one of those tracks on Aug. 16, “Let Me Know The Way (Aretha Franklin Tribute).” Another great example of his relationship with Franklin’s voice, combining elements of hip-hop, soul, funk, and R&B.
Gramatik posted thoughtful words on what The Queen of Soul meant to him: “Back when I was in 8th grade, I discovered sampling and found out it’s the basis of hip hop production and culture. I was captivated by this art form and she was one of the first artists I sampled in that same week. Over the last 15+ years, I’ve sampled her countless times and learned the craft through sampling her amazing discography. 2 of the most prominent beats of mine with samples of her are “In This Whole World” and “I’m Free”, and even to this day, coincidentally, I made 3 beats last month for SB5 with samples from her songs, this is one of them. She was a force of nature, a voice of a generation and an inspiration to us all. We will miss you dearly, my Queen. ”
Photo Credit: @nofotos/Instagram</em