Where did I hear K.K. Samba before!?
June 19, 2020 7:53 AM   Subscribe

The first time I heard famous singing dog K.K. Slider singing K.K. Samba in Animal Crossing New Horizons, it was so familiar to me that I was sure it was a ripoff of a real classic samba. But as far as I can tell from the googles, it's original to the Animal Crossing series. Why did I already know it?

I'd never played any Animal Crossing game until last month, nor any other Nintendo games except Super Monkey Ball and Wario Ware, which I'm pretty sure don't have any sambas in them. But I absolutely knew that tune as soon as the dog started singing. Has it been used in tv commercials? Covered by some famous musician? Or, alternately, maybe it really is so similar to some famous classic samba that it took over that space in my brain? It would have to be a famous one because I'm no samba expert, but then I would've expected the original to come up in my furious internet research about K.K. Samba.
posted by moonmilk to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I might be wrong--there might be a specific source. But it just strikes me as a midi version of a bossa nova version of samba de enredo, the big parade samba style of Rio de Janeiro's carnaval. Because samba de enredos are performed as part of a parade competition in the sambodromo, they are pretty formulaic in their anthemic melodies. I don't know if it is actually taken from a specific one, or whether the composer just studied the form and put one together.

Like this one of the Portela samba school from 1960, it's not a direct match, but has the same kinds of melody turns and phrasing as the Animal Crossing tune.
posted by umbĂș at 7:59 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]

I listen to classic samba with some regularity and little bits of it here and there sound familiar, but nothing clicks as a coherent whole. To me it just sounds like an AI wrote a Bossa Nova version of a samba song.
posted by os tuberoes at 8:28 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]

Hm, I'm inclined to agree that this is just a very convincing pastiche. I've tried listening to some of the samba/bossa songs this reminds me of, but there's nothing that comes close to being 1:1 with what KK plays there.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:54 AM on June 19 [1 favorite]

That's a fairly typical bossa nova/jazz samba chord progression.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:36 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]

Just for completeness wanted to note that song has two versions in the game (as they all do). The other version is the aircheck version and does not include KK's bizarre robotic dog vocals. Same melody, very different arrangement.

Also this song dates back to at least 12 years ago, as do many of the songs in AC:NH.
posted by Nelson at 3:23 PM on June 19 [2 favorites]

OK, I must have heard it some time in the last 12 years, and it's so catchy thanks to Nintendo's earworm composers that it stuck in my head. Thanks!
posted by moonmilk at 5:59 PM on June 19

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