Will.i.am’s fourth studio album, #willpower, indicates strong electro-pop influences with lead singles including the Sebastian Ingrosso and Steve Angello produced “This Is Love” and the Basto written “Scream & Shout.” Other than these collaborators, Will.I.Am had no other EDM producers come to his aid — at least to their knowledge. Today, Will’s VEVO uploaded the fifth track from the album, “Let’s Go” alongside Chris Brown, and the preview has the dance music community up in arms. “Let’s Go” appears to be a blatant ripoff of Arty and Mat Zo‘s Anjunabeats release, “Rebound,” and not just a sample, the entire track. Listen for yourself after the break.
Will.i.am ft. Chris Brown – Let’s Go
Arty & Mat Zo – Rebound
Arty, Mat Zo, and Anjunabeats label head Jono Grant have been voicing their own concerns. Arty took to twitter claiming that will.i.am never cleared the rights with Anjunabeats, who owns the rights for “Rebound.” Jono Grant tweeted earlier, “Poor form by Will I am nicking @mat_zo and @arty_music ‘s track “Rebound” without asking the artist or label @anjunabeats ! #dotherightthing” (since deleted). Mat Zo has seemingly deactivated his twitter account in disgust. This isn’t the first controversy to spark behind #willpower. British singer-songwriter Tulisa is currently suing Will for song royalties to “Scream & Shout.”
Stay tuned as this story develops.
Update #2: Chris Brown pleads ignorance.
Update #3: Statement from Mat Zo via Facebook:
Update #4: Laidback claims song was cleared beforehand, Arty will receive production credit
Update #5: Arty and Quintino affirm there was no official licensing agreement and these tracks were released without permission.
Update #6: Will.I.Am pleads ignorance. No comment from Will or Interscope on copyright infringement yet.
Update #7: Will.I.Am has broken his silence regarding the allegations of copyright infringement. During an interview with KISS FM, Will said, “Arty is a dope producer so I wrote this song to ‘Rebound’ this last year.” He then says:
“I got in touch with Arty and showed it to him, did a different version to it ’cause I asked him [to] make it newer ’cause I don’t just wanna take your song and rap over it. But in a year’s time, time’s gone by [and] we preferred writing over and using the [original] rebound. Something happened and the clearance … hopefully we resolved the issue. I’m a fan of Arty; I think he’s great and the world needs to know about how talented those guys are. It’s sad that it’s turned into a fiasco but hopefully it’s resolved because I’m a fan of those guys to the point where I wrote to their instrumental.”
Seemingly, the Black Eyed Peas producer expects to resolve the issue. Time will tell how this debacle concludes, but surely Arty and Mat Zo can expect royalties. [H/T Huffington Post]