5 Global Hits That Sampled Indian Songs – Score Short Reads
Sampling original music is quite common in hip-hop and other genres of popular music. Of course, there are some legalities involved in this usage unlike some Indian film compositions that have blatantly copied international singles. As for music overseas, some Indian classics have served as a major inspiration ranging from Dum Maaro Dum to Bole Chudiyan.
Britney Spears’ Toxic is an iconic club-banger and arguably one of the pop idol’s best works. The most identifiable part of the song is the hauntingly high-pitched strings riff that was sampled directly from the Laxmikant-Pyarelal song Tere Mere Beech Mein. Composed for the film Ek Duuje Ke Liye, it was sung by legendary vocalists Lata Mangeshkar and S.P. Balasubramanyam. Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s work also got featured on rapper Playboi Carti’s Go2DaMoon that incorporated the duo’s Soul of Bobby (Theme) from the film Bobby.
Sanam Re is one of the many Arijit Singh songs that were released in the late 2010s. But who in their wildest thoughts might have thought that Sanam Re would serve as the leading sample for the drill rap scene abroad? CJ’s Whoopity made use of Arijit Singh’s hums on Sanam Re and performed a drill flow against it, a trend that was carried on by may other rappers. As Whoopity became a smashing hit on TikTok, interest in Sanam Re regenerated.
Method Man and Busta Rhymes are both established rappers in their own regard. Hence, it’s a major moment when producer DJ Scratch decided to go back to Bollywood’s vintage roots for the two MCs, relying on Dum Maaro Dum. The title track of the Dev Anand film of the same name, the Asha Bhosle and Usha Iyer-sung composition became a cult “hippie” anthem in its time. The sample taken is a psychedelic guitar riff by RD Burman.
Black Eyed Peas’ dramatic track on a toxic relationship interpolates not just one but two vintage Indian songs. This includes and “
Ae Naujawan Sab Kuchh Yahan and Yeh Mera Dil Pyaar Ka Diwana, both recorded by Asha Bhosle, composed by Kalyanji Anandji, and with lyrics written by Indeewar. While the former was from Apradh, the latter was from Amitabh Bachchan’s Don. Interestingly, both were also action thrillers from the 70s. Black Eyed Peas alumnus Will.I.Am would also go on to sample AR Rahman’s Urvasi Urvasi for his pop number It’s My Birthday.
Indian-origin Canadian artist Tesher has made his career out of sampling and remixing Bollywood songs. In Jalebi Baby’s case, he used Jalebi Bhai while Young Shahrukh incorporated a sample of Bole Chudiyan. Both songs turned out to be such smash hits that Tesher became an overnight sensation on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram Reels. If that wasn’t enough, even Jason Derulo joined forces with him for a recent remix of Jalebi Baby.