Roy Ayers Talks Hip Hop Sampling, Touring With Guru
The 79-year-old Jazz legend recalls touring with Donald Byrd and Guru for "Jazzmatazz" and says being rediscovered via Hip Hop samples "is a delight."
Over the years, Roy Ayers has been sampled and/or replayed by the likes of Dilla, Pete Rock and A Tribe Called Quest to name a few. Recent changes in copyright laws have created a climate where sampling can be extremely expensive, and there’s the additional issue of some artists just not being fans of having their work sampled. But Ayers doesn’t fit into the latter category, and he recently spoke to OutDaBox TV about having his music embraced by a new generation of Hip Hop fans and artists.
“I had no idea that was gonna happen, as a matter of fact it was a surprise to me that so many Hip Hop artists started sampling my music,” Ayers said of his resurgence in popularity throughout Hip Hop’s Golden Era. “I thought it was a fantastic thing as it started happening…I was wondering how they knew about my music, but they had made themselves aware of my music and they started sampling it.”
Ayers said he initially found out about a new generation discovering his music by accident. His children began hearing various tracks that sampled his earlier works, but unlike some artists, Ayers took the sampling in stride. He added that he sought out artists like Q-Tip and Pete Rock in hopes of finding out what in his music appealed to them. In addition to giving his permission clear samples, Ayers has also recorded with several emcees.
“I recorded and toured with Guru,” Ayers added. “I did Jazzmatazz with him, and then we toured with Donald Byrd. It was a very delightful experience because, in those particular crowds that came to see us perform in Europe as well as the USA, people were [both] young and old.”