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Beyoncé’s ‘Break My Soul’ and the Long Tail of ‘Show Me Love’

“Champion were obsessed with sweet and sour, they called it,” StoneBridge, now 60, recalled via phone from his studio in Stockholm. He dialed his Korg M1 synthesizer to the next preset, landing on Organ 2, and replayed his bass line. That was the bouncy, sweet part. The sour was the grinding sound that opens the song, a product of his DX100 Yamaha synth, which he played in the red to distort it. He dusted it all, as well as Robin S.’s vocal, with some delay. The result was minimal like early house music out of Chicago, but shimmering with novel sounds. StoneBridge was not sure about his concoction, but deadline compelled him to turn it in.

When Robin S. heard it, it blew her away, she said in an interview last week. Finally her song was complete.

She had recorded her vocal years before in one take (not counting the ad-libs) while suffering from the flu, she recalled over the phone from her home in Atlanta. She was initially unimpressed by the song; and then, years later with StoneBridge’s revision, its popularity exploded on a global scale. “Show Me Love” was not the first house song to feature the M1 Organ 2 sound, but it hit bigger than any that came before it.

Earlier last week, Robin S. got a call from her son informing her that she was trending on social media as a result of the apparent “Show Me Love” reference in Beyoncé’s song, which replicates that M1 Organ 2 sound (in a different rhythm). She and StoneBridge both said they had no idea what was coming. StoneBridge discovered the connection while searching for his name on Twitter.

“I didn’t know whether to laugh, to cry,” Robin S., 60, said. “Out of all the songs she has access to, out of all the songs her team has access to, she chose mine.” The singer said she was particularly touched because she’s felt that dance artists like her “don’t get their props” despite their hard work.

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