Local musicians have raised concerns that a hit Maltese language song bears an uncanny resemblance to a dance track released by British electronic act Clean Bandit.

Local singer/song writer Aidan Cassar has been accused of plagiarising his hit song Naħseb Fik after a video comparing his song and Clean Bandit’s Tick Tock started going viral online.

The video played both songs simultaneously and pointed out that the two tracks contain a number of similarities, including beats and chord progression, with key elements of both songs lining up at the same time.

The video comparing the two songs

A number of musicians have expressed disappointment at the similarities, especially after the song had done so well.

“Honestly, I’m plain disappointed because I thought it was a catchy innovative composition,” musician Wayne Camilleri told Times of Malta.

“I’ve never met the guy, but I would offer some advice. Every serious songwriter should make being original as possible his priority. When you copy something it’s out there forever and it’s only a matter of time until you get busted. If you write valid stuff you will gain respect slowly but surely. But never copy," the guitarist said.

Singer-songwriter Moira Stafrace said the similarity of the two songs was “disappointing and insulting” and threw the success of the track into speculation.

“My daughter alerted me to this track and my initial reaction was ‘finally, a good popular song in Maltese!’, but seeing the comparison it’s so disappointing to see that it’s been copied,” she said.

“I’m a songwriter and there are times when because of trauma I’ve suffered I can’t write or face artists' block, but I can’t just go and copy someone else’s music and release it as a song.”

“What is original remain pure and sacred but whoever copies shows themselves up as a fake.”

Meanwhile, Brikkuni frontman Mario Vella, who had previously praised Aidan’s song, weighed in on the speculation and said that the theft was “plain and grievous”.

In comments to Lovin Malta, Aidan denied having plagiarised the song, saying that he had teamed up with foreign producers to make it.

“Some listeners argue that with regards to commercial music, all current hit songs sound the same on radio,” he said.

“The pop-industry is very particular and once trendsetters set the mood for the upcoming season, all artists in the commercial world try to follow.”

“The reggaetón beat combined with orchestral elements was surely an inspiration to Naħseb Fik when it comes to the beat and feel of the production – but the single went viral for its memorable tune and catchy lyrics.”

Asked to respond to the plagiarism claims, Aidan said; “Music should unite, and this is exactly why this track is doing its rounds.”

Efforts to reach out to Aidan have so far been in vain. Times of Malta has also contacted Clean Bandit for their reaction. 

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