As an artist you may be looking for inspiration anywhere you can. It can come to you in many different ways from other songs, nature, a personal experience, and even a noise you hear around your house. This trick artists and production teams have been using for years is called sampling. You may be familiar with this idea of sampling other songs to create a completely new one of your own. The biggest artists of all time have used this technique from Kanye West, Madonna, Beyonce, Eminem, Daft Punk, and more. It doesn't matter what genre or song you sample from as long as you make it your own unique song.
When using a sample from another song, it is proper practice to have clearance to use it. Here are two types of clearance that you may need.
1. Clearance from the copyright owner of a song (music publisher)
You can look to find the publisher at Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) This company collects money for public performances of artists' music. This is a good place to locate the publisher of the sample you want to use.
2. Clearance from the copyright owner of the master recording (recording label/artist)
You can start by asking the publisher who holds the ownership to the master recording. This will require some searching on your part. The artist or record label usually is in charge of owning the master recording of the song. Find out what group the artist belongs to or reach out to the artist/artists team.
Recreating The Sample
According to copyright law, infringement only occurs when the original master recording is used, but not when the sound is mimicked and re-recorded. This means you don't have to have the clearance of the master recording if you plan on re creating the sample, only the publisher clearance would be needed in this case.
In most cases the artist and owner of their music will be happy to let you sample their songs. This gives the original song added exposure. This practice has been used for decades in some of the most popular songs of all time. It will continue to be used by people like you who will use it to create new songs by using creative works of the past.