RJD2 Explains How He Builds Songs From Scraps

NPR | Oct. 12, 2013 11:19 a.m.

Contributed By:

NPR Staff

RJD2's new album, More Is Than Isn't, is out now.

RJD2's new album, More Is Than Isn't, is out now.

Courtesy of the artist, Benny Mistak

RJ Krohn, better known as the artist RJD2, has been making original electronic music for 15 years. He has a signature style, in which he layers together snippets of soulful melodies and hard-driving beats to create cinematic arrangements. (If you watch Mad Men, you’ve heard him do just that in his theme for the opening credits.)

Even for a music scholar, the exact process involved in making sample-based music can be a little obscure. So, Weekend Edition Saturday asked Krohn for a walkthrough of one of his own songs.

“Her Majesty’s Socialist Request,” the energetic single from RJD2’s new album, More Is Than Isn’t, doesn’t sound much like a 12-bar blues — but Krohn says that’s where his thought process started.

“For me, the home-run scenario when working with samples is to take a passage of music that has very, very little merit or value on its own, deconstructing it and rebuilding it into something that does have merit,” Krohn says. “The ghost that I am chasing is that.”

Hear Krohn’s full breakdown of “Her Majesty’s Socialist Request,” including cameos from some songs you might recognize, at the audio link.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit


blog comments powered by Disqus
Thanks to our Sponsors:
become a sponsor
Thanks to our Sponsors
become a sponsor