The story behind the unlikely UK club classic sampled on Beyoncé’s “Break My Soul”
Even if you can't quite work out why the opening seconds of Beyoncé's new single “Break My Soul” feel so familiar, the smooth keyboard melody feels like an instant signal to party and a clear statement of intent from the Queen of pop that this is a dance record and she is taking us with her to the club.
It's actually a sample from Robin S.'s '90s club classic “Show Me Love", a retro floor-filler that has been a staple of wedding DJs, Ibiza beach parties and UK club dance floors for decades. American singer Robin Stone first released the track in 1990 on the small British label Champion Records. But it wasn't until 1992 that it was chopped up and given new life by the Swedish DJ and producer StoneBridge, adding in the sound of an organ through a preset on a synthesiser, as well as the track's signature snare drum kick.
“Show Me Love" has an almost wild sense of emotion to it – Stone has since clarified that her voice breaking while singing was in fact because she was suffering from the flu when recording – but it's an unusual choice for Beyoncé because of just how familiar it is. “Show Me Love” has been sampled by the likes of Jason Derulo, and by Charlie XCX earlier this year, and search results for bootleg remixes on YouTube go on for page after page.
Conversely, Beyoncé samples tend to skew more obscure. “Crazy in Love” used The Chi-Lites “Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So)” after producer Rich Harrison came across it in a stack of records, while “Freedom” sampled “Let Me Try” by Kaleidoscope to give the track more of a militant feel. On Lemonade the samples ranged from Tchaikovsky to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Andy Williams, while British-Somali poet Warsan Shire's words were featured in the expansive album.