Five times South African musicians “inspired” the world

South Africa Twitter was not impressed last week with British singer, Jorja Smith’s take on amapiano. Amapiano is a South African music genre similar to hip-hop, featuring vocals recited over an instrumental backing with a strong bass. The Daily Vox took a look at five times South African musicians inspired international artists; and their acknowledgement was “misplaced”. 

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DJ and record producer DJ Lag and American artist reportedly reached an undisclosed settlement following accusations that the latter had plagiarised the formers track, ‘Ice Drop’. The track “Culture” was credited to DJ Megan Ryte, A$AP Ferg and It caused a social media uproar when it was pointed out that it shared unacknowledged similarities with DJ Lag’s track.

Subsequently apologised for not correctly crediting DJ Lag.


South African singer-songwriter and poet, Busiswa, called out Fenty Beauty owner Rihanna, for allegedly using a remake of her hit song with  DJ Maphorisa, Midnight Starring.

In the advert, Fenty Beauty is showcasing their newest make-up release. South African social media users immediately pointed out its striking similarity to Midnight Starring produced by DJ Maphorisa, DJ Tira, Rude Boyz, Distruction Boyz and features Busisiwa and Moonchild Sanelly.

Busiswa tweeted after that sampling the song is legal.

Petite Noir and La Maison Noir

South African social media called out Beyoncé too for the “similarities” her Spirit music video had with South African singer-songwriter Petite Noir’s visual album, La Maison Noir.  

Petite Noir nor Beyoncé commented on whether anything was plagiarised,or just parallel thinking.

Daniel Baron and Children of the Sun 

Local musician Daniel Baron accused David Guetta of plagiarising his song, Children of the sun. Baron claimed that Guetta’s 2018 track, ‘Light Headed’ plagiarised his 2016 single. 

“I was completely mind-blown. I couldn’t believe I was listening to my melody. It was surreal at first because this is David Guetta, who I have been looking up to as an artist for much of my career. I am not sure where he heard my song but all I knew is I was listening to my melody in his song,” Baron said. 

Solomon Linda and Mbube

Remastered: The Lion’s share documents South African journalist Rian Malan’s fight for compensation for the late Solomon Linda. The documentary explores the history of  “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” track, and its legacy for its creator who died penniless in 1962.

Malan wrote an article in 2000 for Rolling Stone Magazine titled In the Jungle. It was revealed that Linda recorded a song with his group,The Evening Birds called Mbube or the lion. Malan said the record turned into a big hit. According to Malan, the song was reinterpreted for decades, eventually morphing into The Lion sleeps tonight; from the Lion King. 

The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) says South Africa fails to provide adequate and effective protection of copyrighted materials. Reforms are needed to avoid destabilizing the creative industries and to support a thriving copyright sector, the IIPA stated.

Emeritus Professor at the University of Stellenbosch, and specialist copyright attorney, Owen Dean says the Copyright Amendment Bill must be reviewed in its entirety and redrafted.  

South Arfican artists have protested for President Cyril Ramaphosa to sign the bill allowing royalty rights and earning benefits. 

Public consultation of the bill is set to take place this week. Representatives will appear before the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry to state their case for modernising copyright law in South Africa. 

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