Reinventing and creativity both have similar meanings… with the main focus on producing something new.
With remixes, re-edits featuring snippets of audio reminiscent from former chart hits, some would say it is an artists way of cashing in on past songs fortunes and success.
Well recently there was a high-profile law case that has impacted two artists in particular; Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke with their chart hit “Blurred Lines”.
With the Marvin Gaye family claiming that the song resembled the late legends hit “Got to Give It Up ” both artists were ordered by a US court to pay the family $7.4m in royalties.
Yes Pharrell himself has admitted he was inspired by Marvin Gaye when producing his “own” sound, however what does this mean to other hits of his? “Happy” has also been criticized by the family for another one of Gaye’s hits.
One would argue that yes there are definitely similarities in the beat which in my opinion I couldn’t really see as a crime as there are many “copy-cat” tunes out there inspired from other classics.
This has now made artists very wary on the way they produce their music and what beats they can use, which takes me back to my point on creativity. Have we really reached a point in music where a song is truly a unique experience and no inspiration has been taken from existing music out there?
Personally I like the fact that artists are breathing fresh life into hits and lyrically I would argue that “Blurred Lines” is a totally different song. I would understand it if they took audio bytes of lyrics and made it into their own sound.
A great example of this, one of my favourite songs at the moment is “The Party” remixed by Joe Stone; featuring the sound of Montell Jordan’s classic hit “This is How we Do it” originally released in 1996:
Artists have to be very careful about how they collaborate with an artist living or dead following on from this case.
Share your thoughts on this as I would love fellow artists, musicians, producers to have their say…