For a while now a phenomena in the EDM world has been artists copying each other’s samples, styles, and even straight up stealing songs. This blew up back in April when Will.i.am was outted on all social media facets for copying Mat Zo and Arty’s “Rebound” to make his song “Let’s Go.” In this case, Will.i.am credited the two artists on his album, but in no way made arrangements to compensate the two. Since 2006 he has “borrowed” quite a number of tracks ranging from EDM artists like Daft Punk (“One More Time”) and Boys Noize (“Yeah”) to Hip-Hop group Phoenix Phenom (“Boom Dynamite”). We’ve seen this problem poke its head out time and time again as artists file copyright lawsuits and it causes a stir in the social media world, but this time a “producer” (and I use the term producer lightly) has not just sampled or copied a style of another, but literally uploaded other artists work to music purchasing outlets and called them his own.
Fernando Reyes, who goes (or went) by the name Havirest, had a bio on Beatport (currently being taken down) that said “The name comes from a dream he had and was indicated as an ideal artistic name, is actually known as Fernando Reyes, born on October 31, a composer and producer of his own music, started in middle school and get their first singles to be one of the most talented young musicians.” First off any time you have to suggest that you are a composer and producer of your own music, that’s sign that you are indeed not. Havirest has music for sale on Beatport and the iTunes Music Store that is a complete copy of other artists’ original tracks and renamed and labeled as his own.
One track for sale is called “Prophication” which is actually just Schoolboy’s “Project No-Autotune.” Another is SKisM’s “Experts” which he renamed “Slenderman.” Killsonik’s remix of “Tidal Wave” by Subfocus is for purchase under Havirest’s page under the name “Britney Urrel.” Finally he is selling an entire EP which is a direct copy of Asa & KOAN Sound’s newest EP. SKisM was informed of this happening on Twitter and responded with this on Facebook:
Obviously there is some compensation to be made on the part of Fernando Reyes to these artists for copying their work. The Havirest Facebook page has since then been deleted, but before doing so Reyes offered another statement backing up his copyright infringements:
He is apparently claiming that he did this in order to show Beatport’s poor security, but it honestly seems like he was trying to make a cheap buck without getting caught. His cockiness in this statement is completely unwarranted, as he has nothing to back his claims up except the hard work of other artists.
As we’ve seen time and time again this copying from artists claiming work that isn’t there’s as their own, it raises the question of what is too far when influencing your work based on someone else’s. In 1969, the funk and soul group The Winstons performed a 6-second drum solo, which is unarguably, the most sampled drum beat in electronic music. At the height of the British rave culture by 1990, breakbeat hardcore productions were increasing and this sample made its way into the lives of electronic music enthusiasts forever. Even though it is never credited in any song, probably because its just one sample, The Amen Break is incorporated into almost every jungle drum and bass song.
I think that in this day and age, with our easy access to a library of music online, artists are responsible for providing their listeners with exactly where the influence of their music came from, especially if they are sampling a large majority of it. Obviously sampling others music is a foundation of EDM that is widespread, but without giving credit where it’s due how can listeners expand their musical knowledge? One example of this is Flosstradamus’ “Total Recall” sampling a majority of Dutch Master’s “Recall To Life.” Floss wasn’t completely ridiculed for this and some hardstyle producers even backed them up as seen in these tweets by Showtek and Headhunterz:
You can’t argue that Will.i.am, Flosstradamus and dozens of other EDM producer sample other artists’ work in their own, they’re not denying they do, but what is too far without giving the other artist credit. Sampling won’t depart from the electronic music world, as we still see a 4-bar drum beat from the 60’s being used, so all I ask is that credit is given where its due. You can also be certain that this won’t be the last time this problem arises in EDM.