Toronto music producer Frank Dukes has had a lot of cool ideas – just ask Drake or Eminem or Kendrick Lamar or Rihanna or Lorde or…well, you get it.
But beyond his creative work as a producer and songwriter, Dukes has contributed to the industry in his approach to how sampling is dealt with. In order to help artists bypass the mire of clearing samples that are used in the beat-making process of creating songs, (and by doing so, help mitigate the “robbery” of songwriters), Dukes created a readily available sample library called the Kingsway Music Library: essentially a sonic version of Getty Images catering to hip hop and pop music producers.
But this new idea takes the cake.
Dukes has partnered with The Regent Park School of Music in Toronto to create a project that will not only inspire high profile artists, but is also a fundraiser for the school and a cool outlet for the kids. The school’s general mission, according to Executive Director Richard Marsella, is “to offer young kids access to music education” by removing the high costs that bar so many under-privileged from the joys of music. About 1000 kids across the city are currently benefiting from the school’s programs. Further, RPSM intends to “empower” the students and “help them act as positive role models” in the community. Taking this mission and “cranking it to 11” is what comes of the collaboration with Dukes.
Simply put, Duke’s idea was to create a sample library featuring young musicians from the RPSM so that when the music is used, the proceeds go back to the school. More specifically, Dukes says, “the money from the masters side and the retail side goes to RPSM…and then when the music gets sampled, the school also gets a royalty.” It’s the first music sample library that funds music education.
Lately, RPSM has been tweeting about all this, how their kids have been involved in a recording project called Parkscapes Vol. 1, and how it has been first picked up by Taylor Swift! One of the pieces has been sampled on “It’s Nice to Have a Friend”, from her brand new album, Lover. I bet those kids are crazy excited!
You rock, Mr. Dukes.
Frank Dukes Vice article from February 2015
Frank Dukes Complex article from April 2016