Bangladeshi pop singer Asif Akbar Khan alleged on Monday that Oscar-winning Indian composer and music savant AR Rahman has copied one of his songs for the film OK Jaanu.
Asif, on his Facebook account, posted his grievance over one of his songs allegedly being copied tune for tune in the film OK Jaanu.
Asif claims his song “Tumi nei bole” has been copied in the form of “Tu jo nahi” in a music video which could not be verified as an official music video. While the name being a literal translation could be put down as nothing too serious, the violin intro and the ensuing rhythm sounds all too similar.
The Dhaka Tribune carefully studied the two songs, compared the lyrics, the musical arrangement, and concluded that both were almost identical, and concluded the Hindi version was a translation, and nothing more.
However, the Dhaka Tribune looked up numerous outlets and found the film OK Jaanu to have released only three songs till date – with this track not among them. Meanwhile, the film is reported to release three more songs before its release this month.
Rather, the song “Tu Jo Nahi” was found to have been sung by one Keshab Goswami, who covers Bangla songs on his SoundCloud account.
The prominent Bangladeshi singer Asif seems to have been misled by the seemingly professional appearance of the YouTube video whose caption and description could easily be passed on as “official-looking,” as it was made with several clips stitched together from the film’s trailers and music videos.
Asif says he bears no ill-will towards AR Rahman, saying he rather feels honoured by the “questionable” homage paid to him. It has not been confirmed whether Asif is aware of the “hoax” video which has misled him into making these remarks.
The chain of misinformation began spreading when one Pritom Ahmed, a Bangladeshi singer and composer, launched claims of composing the track sung by Asif, and went on to claim AR Rahman had plagiarised from them, based on the “hoax” video.
Pritom Ahmed had risen to fame after making a music video with another Bangladeshi celebrity, Naila Nayem.
Pritom’s claims drew a large audience who were incited by the news. Whether Asif had learned of the “hoax” video from Pritom or he stumbled upon it himself could not been confirmed.
Although it is no new phenomenon that one music composer “picks up” from another, with a number of Indian composers having caught flak from Bangladeshi singers, and vice versa, this culture is almost a time-honoured tradition in the subcontinent.
Asif himself admitted to having revamped AR Rahman’s 1998 hit “Dil Se” track for his own use in another film earlier.