When a Fire Starts to Burn

Songfacts®:

  • This features a sample of speaker and self-styled Hip-Hop preacher Eric Thomas rhythmically reciting the lyrics. However, Thomas wasn't Disclosure's first choice. "I got really annoyed because we wanted to get a rapper on the album and we couldn't," Disclosure's Howard Lawrence explained to Billboard magazine. "We wanted someone like Kendrick [Lamar] or A$AP [Rocky] and we got really close but schedules just didn't quite work out. So I Googled 'motivational speaker from Harlem.'

    "He was just chatting about business strategy for like, an hour," Howard continued. "I bought it on iTunes and sampled it – just rhythmically cut it up to make it sound like he was rapping. I basically made him rap on the album. We just put a beat to it and Guy mixed it up a little bit and that's the track."
  • Thomas' passionate message was also sampled for the intro to the album as it reflected the band's shifting identity. Howard Lawrence told NME: "The same sample of him talking about how change is inevitable and it kind of made sense with our project, how we started out in the whole club scene and then we've developed our sound and now we have vocalists, so it kind of made sense."
  • Guy Lawrence on the production of the song: "It's definitely an undoubtable jacking Chicago house track, pretty much. We used lots of retro sounds in it like 909 drum machines, which was very heavily used in Detroit techno and Chicago house and just a simple bass line. I think that's quite a distinct thing with our sound - we've gotten a lot simpler with time. When we started out, we were making quite complex, experimental grooves, and now it's more about the song and the hook, you know, because that sample is so like right in your face, it just didn't really need a lot underneath it going on. So we just kept it simple."

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