With the entire world still reeling from the death of Aretha Franklin, the electronic music community is no different. Several artists came forth over their social media accounts this past week to express how her music has impacted their career and everyday lives. Electro-funk and soul producer, Gramatik, is one particular artist that has been sampling Aretha Franklin for over 15 years; most notably in his singles, “I’m Free” and “In This Whole World.”
More recently, Gramatik has been wrapping production on his forthcoming SB5 project where the Lowtemp Records labelhead samples her voice on three bright new tracks. In light of her passing, he’s decided to go forth with an early release of one of those tracks as a tribute to the “Queen of Soul” herself. The producer spoke about his ties to Franklin’s musical body of work and how she will be missed:
“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.”
Blending elements of hip-hop, soul, funk, and R&B is what Gramatik has always been known for. So it was only natural that Franklin was such a key inspiration for the electronic music artist, along with so many others. Listen to Gramatik’s rendition of “Let Me Know The Way (Aretha Franklin Tribute),” off the fifth volume of his “Street Bangerz” compilation.