Copyright or Wrong?

If there’s one thing every Love Island contestant has on their list of red flags, it’s a fake personality. Alas, this year was full of them, and I’m not even talking about the ‘liar and actress’ Ekin-Su. The true villains this year were undoubtedly the music producers who butchered any iconic love, disco or pop culture song they could find and expected us not to notice. They hid these whispered covers of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’, ‘You Make My Dreams’ and ‘Tainted Love’ behind the unfolding drama of secretive kisses and blazing arguments as if certain that we wouldn’t care about the slaughter of these well-loved songs. Why? Probably because they wouldn’t dish out for the rights to the originals – so don’t pity them! Using these shoddy covers bolsters the opinion that the music industry is consumer driven for quick and easy profit.

Music is now such a prevalent and constant part of our lives, threaded through social media, film and TV, and the entirety of the Internet. It is now such an integral part that we don’t notice it half the time. However, it seems that the industry sees this more as an opportunity to make a quick buck. It takes a song we all know, tweaks it to have an Ibizan club mix bass or drum line and adds a young and impressionable singer to remove all emotion from the lyrics. They exploit the nostalgia factor by using a song we love to bring the money in without having to pay for lyricists, original composers, and authentic artists.

I often pity the singers, as so much of the time they enter the industry with a degree of artistic identity, only for it to be reformed into a more ‘consumable’ style. I’ve never heard anyone say their favourite genre is ’70s cult classics sung by an Ellie Goulding impressionist’. The need to defy the expectation that we’re happy with knockoffs is only seconded by the growing need to support original, authentic, budding artists. There are thousands of immensely talented singer-songwriters out there, silenced by corporate deities who don’t even produce decent music! As a consumer and therefore a judge of media, I will use this space to examine whether a song has been covered sympathetically, or if it should be chucked in the fire-pit and left to burn amongst the artificial coals. I shall also be talent scouting new and original bombshells to replace the fakes. Up next, Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’…

[Verity Fullerton-Smith]

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