You have studied hard for your examination and there beside you is someone who is intent on copying your answers. What do you do? It may be a great feeling for those who see it as helping out another but dishonesty cannot be rewarded. In Jamaica, the entertainers here have a bad habit or it may be a culture where they imitate popular songs internationally and write lyrics to make it their own with the same mix. A more recent case saw one of Jamaica’s dancehall artistes Vybz Kartel and Spice with a song called Ramping Shop (very sexual I might add) copying Neyo’s Miss Independent Woman. Only when the song was very popular internationally did Neyo file papers to stop these unscrupulous artistes from profiting from his work. Alicia Keys, Beyonce etc are all victims of this.

Neyo’s Miss Independent – Original Song

The Imitation

Alicia Keys – Sleeping with a Broken Heart

The Jamaican Copy by Various Jamaican Dancehall Artistes

The Diva Beyonce

Do you see elements of Beyonce’s style in this video?

To imitate means to copy the actions, appearance, mannerisms, or speech of; mimic. In a recent post I expressed my admiration for Beyonce. I knew the regular readers would find that as a surprise. My love for her is more than an appreciation for her music but more so an admiration in the way she carries herself and performs in the music industry. Her team led by her dad treats her like a product – which is actually is.

I may also like her because her father has many years experience in Marketing and knows the application and the understanding of such. I will agree with her critics that she isn’t the best singer the world has seen and she is overrated. However, what Beyonce has is a commanding stage presence, her performances are amazing and insiders in the music industry express many times over again that she works hard. To her credits, she has won tens of Grammies and reached many number ones on the biggest charts internationally. Anytime she exits the stage you would have known she gave her best and you would have been entertained by Sasha Fierce her alter ego. When you look at Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Alicia Keys; these artistes are popular because of their originality and the freshness they bring to the music industry. I have a problem with people imitating established artistes. Interesting I say that knowing I have a business background where you copy an invention or a process to make profits. However, I believe artistes who imitate are short on talent and lack the creativity they need to survive. It is also interesting to observe that artistes just starting out are the ones who imitate because they idolize these established artistes.

Here in Jamaica, there is a female dancehall artiste who goes by the name D’Angel. I remember years ago in an interview she stated that her idol or the person she looks up to Beyonce. I didn’t know that idolizing an artiste would make you imitate their actions even their style of performane but that is imitation.

The trend of imitating the hardest working female in the music industry even exist in USA I saw a video recently and the props, production of the video resembles one Beyonce did earlier in her career. Many people will not notice similarities like this except for the ones who are looking for the details. What if an artiste imitated Lady Gaga, then maybe the imitation would be clear for everyone to see. It appears the more mild the imitation artistes get a free pass on stealing someone’s ideas and make it their own to generate profits.

For those who are able to dig up the singers Beyonce imitated will agree that some of her ideas may not be new but she uses her own style to add to what was done before to make it her own.

I believe in making your own self. Each one of us has unique talents and gifts that make us special. What if everyone blogged the same way, sang the same way, listened to classical music etc we wouldn’t have diversity.

Oprah recently produced a show to highlight the crises in Haiti. On the program Rihanna was featured singing Bob Marley’s Redemption Song. Here she sings an established song – sang it word for word but added her own style and creativity to the song – which turned out great. I cannot stop listening to this song which was produced to help raise money for the Haitians.

Entertainers should desist from imitating artistes all in the name to make a profit. These songs are played on the internet and on local radio stations and I would assume they make money from appearance fees singing these songs. I am tired of it.

Do not forget to enter my blog competition which ends on January 30, 2010 midnight. Enter on the post below.

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