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10 Songs that Perfectly Sampled African Music Legends

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Nigerian music has come a long way and has evolved over the years, with many popular songs influenced by the music of the past. Sampling is a significant aspect of Nigerian music that allows artists to create new and exciting music by taking beats from previously released songs and reworking them.

Some songs borrow rhythms from other works and infuse new lyrics into them, creating unique sounds. Other times, artists openly acknowledge the sampling in their songs, as seen in Olamide‘s “Anifowose,” or feature the original artist on the new song, like Phyno and P-Square.

For example, Burna Boy‘s “Last Last” is a great example of how an artist can use a beat from another song and make it their own. Flavour‘s “Nwa Baby” was sampled from Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson‘s “Sawale,” infusing a groovy highlife beat with Flavour’s melodious vocals. Similarly, Simi‘s “Aimasiko” was sampled from Chief Ebenezer Obey‘s “Aimasiko Lo N Damu Eda,” with Simi adding her soulful twist to the classic beat.

Check out these popular Nigerian songs and their original samples to appreciate the unique sounds that have emerged from the art of sampling.

1. Olamide – “Anifowose” (2013)

Sampled from: King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal 1 – “Orin Abode Mecca Medley” (1989)

2. Flavour N’abania – “Nwa Baby” (2005)

Flavour N’abania – “Nwa Baby” (Ashawo remix) (2011)

Sampled from: Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson – “Sawale”

3. Simi – “Aimasiko” (2017)

Sampled from: Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey – “Aimasiko Lo N Damu Eda Medley” (1987)

4. P-Square – “Bank Alert” (2016)

Sampled from: Onyeka Onwenu – “Iyogogo” (1984)

5. Phyno feat. Onyeka Onwenu – “Ochie Dike” (2016)

Sampled from: Onyeka Onwenu – “Ochie Dike”

6. Ayra Starr – “Sability” (2023)

Sampled from: Awilo Longomba — “Coupé Bibamba” (1998)

7. Ayra Starr – “Sare” (2021)

Sampled from: “Orere Elejigbo” by Lijadu Sisters (1979)

8. Jaiye Jaiye- Wizkid feat. Femi Kuti (2013)

Sampled from: “Lady” by Fela Kuti (1972)

9. Baby Answer – Runtown (2014)

Sampled from: “Eddie Quansa” by The Peacock highlife band (1973)

10 (Bonus). “Champion of the World” – Coldplay (2019)

Sampled from: “Otuto Nke Chukwu” – Harcourt Whyte (1975)

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