Dormant boy band Slice International members of the Ndiwe wandinoda fame are breathing fire over their sampled chorus by Enock Munhenga popularly known as Ex Q.
The members accuse the Musalad hitmaker for taking a chorus from their song Mudiwa to his song Usandirambidze. In the song featuring Trevor Dongo, Nutty O and New Guy taken off his latest album Tseu Tseu that iHarare was listening to, ExQ also monikered Mr Putiti samples this line.
“Kufara nadia wangu, zvaifadza tichionana, (Its blissful relationship when I’m always seeing my girlfriend” he sings.
Members of Slice International argue that being dormant doesn’t give one the license to steal a part without attributing the source.
Slice International five men yesteryear boy band that hogged the limelight in the early 2000s with songs like the song in question, So ndiani among other tracks.
Upon being asked whether they gave consented to Ex Q sampling the lines, this did not go down well with some members of Slice group while others were moderate.
“You know ExQ is our boy. We entered the industry around the same time. We don’t mind him sampling the two lines without our approval but just that he should at least acknowledge that the lines came from us,” one of the members said.
Another member did not entertain this chicanery.
“We are actually shocked that he just went on to release a song where he extracted the chorus from our song Mudiwa. This was not only a hit song but it came out number two on ZBC Top 100 in 2002 which was quite a feat” another member said.
These members questioned the professionalism of the producer who did the song.
“It boggles the mind how the producer Tamuka of Military Touch Movement had to let Ex Q go on to sing lines from another song. As a professional Tamuka should have advised Exq to consult with the original creators of the lines he sampled. It just goes to show that these producers just do beats just for the sake of producing them without realising the professional consequences,” said the fuming members.
The Slice member noted that it would have been better after consultations with the group.
“I’m shocked to listen the sampled part of my song on his. He should have consulted with me and we could arrange that he credited where he got those lines from.
“If he had sung just one line, it would not be a fuss but making them two he should have credited me,” he said.
Asked if they were going to take any action, they are threatening to drag him to court.
“We just want him to reach out to us. We are waiting for his response on whether he will credit us or not and failure to do so will leave us with no option but to take the matter to the courts,” said the members.
In music, sampling is the act of taking a portion, or sample, of one sound recording and reusing it as an instrument or a sound recording in a different song or piece.Mr Putiti claimed he did not know the boyband Slice International.
“Slice who? ..I dont know about Slice…I dont know.,” he told Zimba Nice upon being asked if he had extracted the Mudiwa chorus with Slice’s consent.
Seeking the producer’s comment on the sampled lines, the reporter got ahold of one Sam who defended the action saying it was an attempt to ressurect the forgotten genre called Urban Grooves.
”You know Ex has been in the game for over 16 years and he knows the repercussions of sampling lines from other songs. It is bad what the media is doing to shoot down an album Ex Q worked hard for. You know Ex Q is trying to bring back those musicians like Slice International and Madiz back in the game,” said Sam.
According to Chris Robley, there is no such thing as a legal length to sampling a song without seeking approval from the original composer of the song.
“One of those common myths is this: you can legally sample a copyrighted song without permission as long as the sample is shorter than 6 seconds, or 11 seconds, or 15 seconds…Its false! Copyright is copyright.“And if the sample is recognizable (hell, even if it isn’t recognizable), you’re using another person’s intellectual property in order to construct or enhance your own. Think about the famous case of Vanilla Ice borrowing the bass line from “Under Pressure.”
“The sample is probably only 3 seconds long, but that didn’t stop Queen and David Bowie (or their labels/publishers) from swooping in to collect the cash. So no, you can’t legally sample something (no matter what the length) unless you’ve cleared that sample with both the owner of the song and the sound recording,” he writes on DIY Musician.
Another incident is the famous Blurred lines lawsuit which involved US stars Pharell and Robin Thicke and the late Marvin Gaye’s family. This was one of the music industry’s most closely watched copyright case, a federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a jury’s finding that Robin Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines” infringed on the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.”
When the case went to trial in 2015, it became a flash point in the music industry over the limits of copyright. The family of Gaye, who died in 1984, argued that “Got to Give It Up” was copied without permission, and that it had helped make “Blurred Lines” the biggest hit of 2013.