Many people have criticised Kuami Eugene for releasing “confusion”, a song that is believed to be a remix of an original by Sidike Diabite. Albeit I concur that the song by the lynx entertainment singed youngster is indeed a cover of Sidike’s “Fais mois Confiance”, I believe Eugene has done nothing wrong in making this beautiful song for the gusto of his fans and Ghanaians at large.
First, there are over dozen copyright laws that may prevent an artist from putting up a remix. However, standard industry practice and conventions give room for an artist to take inspiration from another’s creativity but ought to give due credit to the original creator of the piece. The emergence of remixes is not a new practice in the music industry across the globe.
I hope you enjoyed the hit single by Sean Kingston titled “Beautiful girls”. Oh! I bet you didn’t know that it was a cover of Ben E. King’s Stand by me. Did you bash The then 17-year-old Kingston for that amazing creative work? Kingston used Ben E. King’s riddim to express his high school self-pity, warning a possible girlfriend that her good looks will make him want to kill himself if they break-up. Teenage angst paid off well, though: The song went to Number One on three continents. Ben E. King’s stand by me has been remade in different genres by Legendary acts like John Lennon, Junior Murvin, Maurice White, R – Kelly, U2 and Bruce Springsteen. In recent times, former Disney star, Miley Cyrus cut lyrics from “Stand by Me” into the chorus of “My Darlin’,” she and the perpetually Auto-Tuned Future rhyming the older song’s title with a promise to make a movie in the 3D and had contributions from Pharrell, Dr Luke and Mike Will I am. So Milet and Future did a perfect collabo as a remix. Even the Greatest, Muhammad Ali took a shot at recording an amazing version of the same song.
The just ended Grammy awards also nominated many songs that were covers of other songs. In fact, the album of the year won by Bruno Mars had all the songs in it sampled from originals by other musicians. And oh! My very own favourite musician of all time Jay Z sample “Bam” from Sister Nancy’s 1982 hit a rock on the 4:44 album. The album had the highest number of nominations at the Grammys this year. The album that got most people dancing around the world, Grateful by DJ Khaled. The timeless song, “Wild Thoughts “ which features “Bad Gyal” Rihanna and “Kojo fine boy” Bryson Tiller is just another good sample of Santana’s “Maria”. I bet you never knew?
As I mentioned earlier, there are copyright laws regarding how to go about a cover of someone’s creative work. I am not a lawyer so I would not dare into explaining those laws. I would leave that to my dearest, Annica Nsiah-Apau, wife and manager of Okyeame Kwame.
To the fans and lovers of Kuami Eugene, keep supporting the young talent. He has caused some “confusion” with his new song but give him a break, he’s done nothing wrong.
Jacob Kwaku Gyan
International Music Promoter/ Fmr Project Manager of Okyeame Kwame