The dynamics of the copycat syndrome ....

Discussion in 'The ChitChat Lounge' started by Priyank_Jal_fan, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. Priyank_Jal_fan

    Priyank_Jal_fan ..:[Snip]:..

    Pakistani pop has become an industry in it's own right, but across the border our stars are still playing second fiddle to Indian media might, mainly because of the lack of a concrete system right here at home.
    Music is a symbol of freedom. It is all about expression and when it is powerful enough, it can lead to a cultural revolution, as it is doing in Pakistan. The youth has found its voice. Indeed, the Pakistani pop omnibus has caught on like wildfire on it's home turf and is burning so brightly that it has succeeded in permeating through the pervasive influence of Bollywood, right into Indian consciousness.
    The people of Pakistan and India have historically shared similar tastes in music and movies. When it comes to films, we lag miles behind. We are the tortoise who will have to struggle desperately to catch up with the Bollywood rabbit, but when it comes to music, especially pop music, Pakistan has zoomed light years ahead of the film dominated music that continues to dominate Indian sensibility. If all of India is still grooving to Atif's mesmerizing rendition of 'Woh Lamhay' after Zeher has sunk into oblivion, it is only because Indians haven't heard anything quite like this song. They can 'balle balle' with the best of them, but 'rocking your heart' out is not Bollywood's forte so Indians remain oblivious of its power. Yet, overawed as our musicians are by the forcefulness of Indian media, they have consistently short changed their craft for success in Bollywood.

    At desperate hours our tunes have become 'inspiration' for our Indian counterparts. And indeed, this inspiration is so great; we hear similar tunes gracing the soundtracks of Hindi films, credited to some of the biggest names in Hindi film music. Okay, so Mahesh Bhatt has signed up Atif now, but he never signed up Najam Shiraz for Murder. 'Bheege Honth Teray' a direct lift of Najam Shiraz's song 'Menu Teray Naal' became the hottest ballad in India for the year 2004, the credit for which went to India's 'great' music director Anu Malik. The debut singer Kunal Ganjawala won awards everywhere. Murder got unprecedented hype and apart from Mallika Sherawat's assets it was more about the music than the movie. And 'Bheege Honth' owed everything to a Pakistani song.

    Later, however, Mahesh Bhatt and Co, the producers of the film gave Najam Shiraz clips from the movie, for his video, perhaps as compensation for copying his song. And Najam went ahead and accepted with a gracious thank you, without realizing that he deserved more than few clips from the film. Another artist, who gave up his rights just to be a part of an Indian film, is Atif. Atif Aslam and Goher Mumtaz created a bang on the local music scene with their debut single 'Aadat'. After a few days of fame and glory together, both parted ways, Atif remained solo, while Goher recreated Jal with vocalist Farhan and bassist Shahi. First, both claimed of composing Aadat, and after Atif's entry in Mahesh Bhatt's film Zeher, both now claim to be the composer of 'Woh Lamhey', while accusing the other of cheating and stealing.

    Surprisingly, singing for the Mahesh Bhatt film proved to be more fruitful for Jal rather than Atif, the man who went ahead and signed the deal without thinking twice. Jal got all the publicity for free and went onto release their album in India, even though their version of the song 'Woh Lamhey' was not used in the film, nor were they remotely involved in the project. Atif, who should have been counting his lucky stars for not being a victim of so-called inspiration, went ahead and gave up his rights. The lyrics, although altered, did after all belong to Atif (and/or Goher Mumtaz) and the music was their composition. But whenever the songs are aired on any channels, Atif's name is not mentioned, neither is he seen. It has to be said that our artists are equally responsible for this chase of cat and mouse. When they are so generous with giving away their creative inputs to Indian films, then no wonder, the Indian film music directors, don't ever shy away from using and later abusing them.

    There are times when instead of hiring our local artists to compose for them, which is what should have been done in the first place, Indian music directors, when not being able to come up with decent tunes for movies, copy our songs. There are those who use inspiration as a motivation factor, they want to try and live up to the standards maintained by their favourite artists and be as good composers as they are. And then, there are those who take the easy way out. When lacking originality, they choose to remake or remix, instead of composing something original. (contd...)
  2. Priyank_Jal_fan

    Priyank_Jal_fan ..:[Snip]:..


    Inspiration, some say, is the highest form of flattery, is there a real truth left in that sentence anymore? After spending countless hours, days, weeks and months, an artist/s composes a song, in anticipation of appreciation, success and fame. One example is Hadiqa Kiyani, who with her brother Irfan Kiyani spends days and months coming up with music for her songs. But she wasn't spared from this outburst of so-called inspiration. In 2001, Hadiqa's album, Roshni was released. One of the songs from the album 'Boohey Baariyan' was imitated by Indian musicians. For the 2002 movie, Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam, this Hadiqa tune was copied and used as the title song for the film, which was picturised on Shahrukh Khan and Madhuri. Second, the song was copied in the film, Dil Hai Tumhara, which was released in the year 2002. 'Dil Laga Liya Maine' as the song was known, was picturised on Preity Zinta. No credit was given to Hadiqa or her musicians, who came up with this beautiful melody.
    Another example is Shazia Manzoor, famous Pakistani singer of Punjabi folk music, who seems to be experimenting with her music, to create variation and diversity in her songs for the audience. The Indian movie, Asambhav was released in the year 2004. One song from this film 'Koi Aayega' picturised on Priyanka Chopra is yet another copy of her song, namely 'Mahi Aave Ga' which she sung in 2000. Another Shazia Manzoor copy is the 2001 blockbuster hit 'Shava Shava' from the much hyped Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. The slower passages in the middle of the song that goes, 'Dekha Tenu Pehli Pehli...' is a direct lift from Shazia Manzoor's track 'Batiyan Bujaye Rakhdi'. Shazia's original track was part of her 1999 album, Chan Makhna. The original is an energetic and upbeat track while the movie version is slow and mellow. No one can imagine a Karan Johar flick would have a copied song in it, but it does.
    __________________It is sad, that all these artists make such efforts only to find out that their song has been the so-called inspiration behind a successful Bollywood movie song. Sometimes their song/s being fully altered and sometimes remaining repugnantly the same. In this age and time, inspiration means having the ability and the courage to compose or recompose a song of another artist and to present it to the audience. The audience fooled by the big budget videos and the presence of superstars accepts it. While, all the songs are not the products of "influences", quite a few are.

    Our movies, most of them are flops. And the songs are even worse. Nonetheless, they are made for the public for entertainment purposes. It is hard to grasp for anyone, that even Pakistani movie songs can be copied. One example can be the local flick Ghar Kab Aao Gey, which released in the year 2000. A song from this film 'Dil Ke Badley' was lifted and used in the film Zameer in the year 2003. The melody and the lyrics are almost the same with a few minor details changed. The song 'Dil Ke Badley' remained unrecognized, until it went to India as the creation of Indian musicians.

    Another local song to influence our Indian music directors was Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's 'Yeh Shaam Phir Nahi Aayegi', from the album Sangam. This album came out in the year 1996 and was a joint venture between Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Javed Akhtar. In 2003, the song was lifted and heard again, in the Indian movie, Market. The Indian version was known as 'Hum Pyaar Tera Jo'.

    Vital Signs, the ex-musical group, were one of the greatest artists to hit Pakistan. They were one of those evolutionary bands to bring pop culture to our generation. They kept improving with each album. Their third album, Aitebaar, which came out in the mid-nineties, was a smash hit. One of the most successful singles from the album 'Woh Kaun Thi' became a chart-topper. Years later, it is still not forgotten. In 1997, a lesser famous Indian artist Jojo copied this particular song. This JoJo song is also called 'Woh Kaun Thi'; the only difference between the two songs is the alteration of lyrics by Jojo.

    Another Pakistani artist to be copied was Abrar-ul-Haq. He made his debut, with the song 'Billo Dey Ghar' and became a sensational hit all over the country. This successful single by Abrar, was in 1997, lifted and updated by Indian composers for the movie Ziddi. 'Kammo', as this song was known, starring the macho man, Sunny Deol was a huge hit. Not surprisingly, most people failed to recognise the uncanny resemblance between the two songs.

    To expect Indian artists to draw moral boundaries and ask for rights would be a contradiction in itself. Pakistan pirates Indian movies and by default is the biggest exporter of Indian films. By doing so we put ourselves in an awkward position. The recent raids by FIA in replication plants were indeed a start, but will these raids stop the piracy of Indian films in Pakistan. According to IFPI (IFPI represents the Recording Industry worldwide with over 1450 members in 75 countries and affiliated Industry associations in 48 countries.), a pirated DVD fetches 1 dollar in Pakistan and up to 10 dollars in the international market. Over 13 million pirate copies are exported in a month. About 230 million replica discs are made every year. Domestic piracy market is worth 27 million dollars a year. The annual cost to copyright holders is at least, hold your breath, a whopping 2.7 billion dollars!

    The government is beginning to realize just how serious this matter is, maybe, a little too late. Only if Indian and other foreign films are not pirated here anymore, our artistes will get a shot at fighting for their own legal rights. As things stand now, artists are not far behind, in this composing of cheated songs. But there is a difference. Pakistani artists, whenever copying a song, cannot really cause a dent to the original artist, simply because the local media does not have a far enough reach. One cannot be compared to the likes of Jimi Hendrix in Pakistan. Indian artists, on the contrary, can make the original artist invisible. 'Woh Lamhey', 'Bheege Honth', etc are some of the Pakistan compositions, more successful and well known as Indian compositions, rather then our own. According to the Indian Actor, Emran Hashmi, 'Woh Lamhey' will do in 2005, what 'Bheege Honth' did in 2004. Our musicians do the work and the Indian film industry walks away with the credit. This, however, does not justify, the ripping off of international artists by Pakistani musicians, who also fall prey to the copycat syndrome. The only consolation to the international artistes being copied, if any, is that, no matter, who copies in Pakistan, Junoon or Khalid Waheed, we will never rise to their level of success.

    When the first Vital Signs album came out, it was a revelation to the young generation. Even today, 'Dil Dil Pakistan' is still considered one of the most successful songs ever to come out of the local scene. It comes almost as a shock to find out that artists such as Vital Signs are capable of cheating another artist. 'Samjhana', the single from their first album was a copy of the UB40 song 'Red, Red Wine'. And this was not the only copy. In the mid-nineties their third album, Aitebaar came out. The album titled song 'Aitebaar', which became the love theme of broken hearts, was also a copy. This was copied from Phil Collins' song, 'A Groovy Kind of Love'. Junoon, the Rocker Fellas of Pakistani pop, did the same with 'Pappu Yaar'. They ripped off 'Who Knows' by Jimi Hendrix. There are other artists from the local scene, who although are no Junoon or Vital Signs, in terms of musical creations and success, but they, too, took the small road to fame. VJ king Dino's hit song 'Pari', a copy of 'Two Princes' by Spin Doctors, Sajjad Al i with his copy of Khaled's Song 'Didi' into 'Babia', Karavan's song 'Gardish' with their inspiration from the Led Zeppelin single 'Kashmir', Khalid Waheed with his copying of 'What is Love' by Haddaway as 'Kya Hai Love' and 'Let It Be' by The Beatles as 'Apni Jan Pakistan', all copied other artists. These songs were not tributes or covers. They were full-fledged copies, an attempt to fool the local audience. When local artists themselves cheat others, how can they expect remuneration from Indian musicians, for using and abusing their songs?

    Sadly, with all the uproar being made in the local press about Atif peddling his music for peanuts, we are still slow to realise the errors of our own ways. Pakistani artists have always had problems with piracy. Their songs are available on the Internet for downloading, which eventually leads to burning of these songs to discs. Not only can those who own CD burners or computers burn these tracks to CDs, but also those who don't. Before the album of any artist hits stores, they're songs are already available to the listeners by being available at music stores in the cities. They're sold for the same amount or sometimes even less. This is simple piracy, which leads to an ostensible downfall in record sales. They have had to deal not only with the illegal production of CDs, but also the lifting of their songs by others and listening to them being aired on major Indian music channels.

    In this age of capitalism, music is not just an art. It is also necessary for artists to make a buck. However, there are rules to be followed and an integrity to be maintained, if indeed our musicians want to make a mark on the world at large. If copying superhit songs gets you one in Urdu, it also stops you from realizing your own potential as a musician. Now that a niche audience in India and indeed the world is waking upto the power of Pakistani pop, it is imperative that our musicians remain original and even more important for our government to ensure that creativity gets its dues through copyright. If Pakistan doesn't take it's own artistes seriously, can we really expect outsiders to give them the respect they need?
  3. shsnawada

    shsnawada Cyborgs & Pasta

    Are you suhaib?
  4. Priyank_Jal_fan

    Priyank_Jal_fan ..:[Snip]:..

    why u ask???
  5. shsnawada

    shsnawada Cyborgs & Pasta

  6. Priyank_Jal_fan

    Priyank_Jal_fan ..:[Snip]:..

    i dont know about what ur talking..... i got this article as an e mail from my friend Saheeb
  7. bjr

    bjr Lady of the Evening

    Nice try....but you've been owned.

    I read the initial part of the argument and there are some glaring holes in places but hats off to whoever took the time out to write this.
  8. bjr

    bjr Lady of the Evening

    I just realized the irony of the thread title....
  9. shsnawada

    shsnawada Cyborgs & Pasta

    :RollLol: Very trve (be as kvlt as possible).
  10. Priyank_Jal_fan

    Priyank_Jal_fan ..:[Snip]:..

    yup now u understand.... :nw:
  11. slash_i_m

    slash_i_m Laid to Rest

    man how do u sit and type all this stuff.i don't even hav patience to read anything more than 3-4 lines.:shock:
  12. shsnawada

    shsnawada Cyborgs & Pasta

    Talk about "not reading properly"
  13. Priyank_Jal_fan

    Priyank_Jal_fan ..:[Snip]:..

    this is an article By Maheen Sabeeh..... i just wanted to share it wid the IGTians......

    @ slash_i_m , u sure dont read anything!!!!

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