Over the years, remixing has become an artform. Artists have to carefully select, arrange and sort out sampled recordings whilst keeping in mind the very real danger of copyright violation. There’s a gray area, but finding the boundaries and bending the rules could take a young producer straight to the top. With so many songs to choose from and the different risk-rewards that come along with it; remixing for artists is like walking into a casino, plenty of tempting offers with humongous upsides albeit the risk.
Some prolific sources serve as an inspiration for more artists than others. Below, you can find a list with the most sampled and remixed acts today, according to WhoSampled.com.
While Tiësto has done his share of sampling and remixing, his works were sampled and remixed quite a lot of times – 204 times, according to the WhoSampled database. His 1999 song “Lethal Industry”, for example, was remixed by 11 artists, including Mauro Picotto in 2002, and Hardwell in 2010. Some other popular works he has seen remixed were his 2015 hit “Secrets”, that was remixed by artists like Diplo and Don Diablo, and his 2014 song “Red Lights”, with 6 remixes and 6 covers listed on WhoSampled.com.
4. Armin Van Buuren
EDM veteran Armin Van Buuren is next in line, with 218 remixes and samplings listed by WhoSampled. Among his most tampered-with works we find songs like “In and Out of Love” from 2008, remixed 11 times by artists like Chicane, Lost Frequencies, and Push, 2000’s “Exhale” remixed by Tamerlan & Djons and System F, and 2013’s Save My Night, remixed by Blasterjaxx, Allen Watts, and Marlo.
3. Michael Jackson
The King of Pop was a source of inspiration for many, and his songs were sampled and mixed by a variety of artists – 235 times, according to WhoSampled.com. 1982’s legendary song “Beat It” is among his most popular works, with over 80 remixes and samplings listed on the website, followed by reworks of songs like Smooth Criminal, The Way you Make Me Feel, Liberian Girl, They Don’t Care about Us, Thriller, and many others.
With 240 samplings and remixes listed on WhoSampled, Madonna is #2 on the list. The pop diva with quite the eclectic style has offered inspiration (and samples) to artists like Jam and Spoon, Danny Tenaglia, William Orbit, Junior Vasquez, Sasha, and many others.
With 257 songs listed, electronic music veteran Moby is in the top spot. Some of his most popular tunes inspired remixers like Technimatic (Why Does My Heart Feel so Bad), legendary German EDM group WestBam (Feeling So Real), Freemasons (Disco Lies), Sander van Doorn (Natural Blues), Fourward (Go), Tiësto (Extreme Ways), and many others.