West African Afrobeats Plagiarism: Zlatan vs Keanzo a case study

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With the rising cases of stolen intellectual properties, an issue which seems to remain unsolved is no doubt as case study for the renowned Afrobeats of West Africa. The myth behind this plagiarism seems to be beyond a physical conception.

While some of the biggest copyright allegations in the history of Afrobeats are still pending resolution, new cases are popping up everyday. This is a matter of concern, compared to the rest of the world regarding music and it’s copyright legalization.

In 2012, Nigerian Afrobeats singer, Timaya accused the duo singers popularly called “P-Square,” of stealing the beats to his song “Shake Your Bum Bum,” into the making of their own song “Alingo,” according to it’s similarities. Later in 2015, popular Afrobeats folk singer, Darey Art Alade was accused of plagiarising a song by Timi Dakolo, “Wish me well” into his own “Pray For Me” song. While these cases and many other plagiarism allegations remains unsolved, the secret behind the Afrobeats inspirations still remains a mystery.

Recently, the Nigerian pop culture trendsetter, Zlatan teased a new single titled ‘My Life’ on his Instagram page. Coincidentally, or not, this song is a copy of a previously released song by Keanzo, My Life. Keanzo’s “My Life” was released 2 years before Zlatan teased his own version, the song was released in 2019, along with it’s visuals.

While there are so many similarities in these songs, so much that it couldn’t haven’t been unintentional; the choruses, progression and even the title. Keanzo have accused Zlatan of making an unpermitted use of his intellectual property.

” I am a single father trying to erk a living from music, but @zlatan_ibile has decided to take my content without my permission.”

Keanzo said

“I sang My Life in 2019 and in January 2021, Zlatan is using my intellectual property. Can you help me beg him not to do this?”

he added

Keanzo also pointed at the issue of the plagiarism of intellectual properties in West Africa. A common phenomenon which still remains unsolved.

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“This industry really has a long way to go with the way IPs are being used without consent.”

he said

Although, Zlatan is yet to reply to Keanzo’s allegations. So many fans think that the similarities between these songs is a coincidence. This could be blamed at the inspiration behind the songs. The awful stereotype trend in Afrobeats, where every artist seems to be doing the same thing.

See the preview of the songs shared by Keanzo below.

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