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Saturday 19 January 2019
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Stolen Beats

It was beyond dispute the song of the year.  In December 2017, the ‘Omunye’ hurricane made its landfall to Namibia, causing destruction and havoc notably in Swakopmund.   This song was described as most popular and featured on every playlist.  Of course, Namibians made sure they took it to another level and social media was flooded with videos of mops, chairs, children, tents being hoisted in the air. This strange phenomenon happened at weddings, street bashes and house parties.  Even Teletubbies joined in on the fun.

But as they say, when something is too good to be true, it probably is. Distruction Boyz, after enjoying fame beyond belief now stands accused of having stolen the track from DJ LAG’s ‘Trip to New York.’ The Distruction Boyz despite facing a forensic copyright investigation denies that the song was stolen and claim that they bought it from DJ Mphyd. DJ Mphyd denies stealing the beat from DJ LAG. DJ LAG released his song three months before Omunye.

“ We are so sad”, says the group’s Zipho Mthembu who feels betrayed by the sudden backlash of negative publicity. With the case soon to go to court, Distruction Boyz remain adamant that they  will not stop performing the song.  If they are found guilty, royalties for the song will go to DJ LAG.

 
As friends they confirmed they won’t fight DJ LAG as they wonder whether it may be a strategy for him to market himself as he is touring overseas.  DJ LAG like the Distruction Boyz duo hails from Kwazulu Natal and has commissioned the analysis which compared the two songs and found his claims to be true that Omunye plagiarised his track known as “Trip to New York”.

In an early release of “Trip to New York”, DJ LAG made the song exclusively available to his followers and then released an EP with the song in July via Whatsapp.

 
DJ LAG is regarded widely as the pioneer of what is described as the “Gqom sound”.

In a telephonic interview, The Lounge learnt from John Max who leads NASCAM that this is rampant too in Namibia.  “We had the same situation a year ago with the same producer selling the same beat to two different artists.

This problem is created by especially young producers who do not appreciate the intellectual property provisions of our laws. They reproduce a song with the same beat with different lyrics and then think it’s a new song.”

Max advises artists that should this happen and they can proof it, they should approach the Police who will then launch an investigation.  Alternatively NASCAM has assisted artists before by playing mediator.

 

Namibian artists are urged by sign contracts with the producer and to negotiate a total buy out of all rights to ensure they own the song completely.  When producers are caught, they simply disappear so it’s best to be prepared.

Distruction Boyz hope to have this behind them soon as they will embark upon a tour to Spain later this year.




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