Cleveland's Afi Scruggs Uses Library of Congress Sample on Forthcoming New Single


  • Courtesy of Afi Scruggs
  • Afi Scruggs.
"Child’s Play," the noisy new single from local singer-songwriter Afi Scruggs, represents her first composition in what she’s calling Digital Funk.

“I used samples from the CitizenDJ project of the Library of Congress, as well as electric keyboard and bass patches to create a song that mimics the energy and movement of a playground at recess,” says Scruggs of the avant garde tune in a press release. “Child’s Play” comes out on Jan. 2 on all major platforms. “The single was my pandemic project. During lockdown, I dived into sampling and digital music production. Basically, I decided to study all the apps I’d bought over the last few years. Although I play electric bass and keyboards, I decided to use loops, samples and patches, with a nod to my musical roots in ’70s funk, R&B and blues.”

A Facebook group for music teachers creating online led her to the Library of Congress’ Citizen DJ project. The public domain audio and video site is open for remixing and composing, and Scruggs chopped interviews of children that were recorded in Washington D.C. and New York into something resembling a song's refrain.

“As an aside, some of the ‘children’ are grandparents and perhaps, great-grandparents now,” says Scruggs, who worked with producer Jake Fader on the track.

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