Recently, two Vietnamese musicians Tien Cookie and Phạm Thanh Hà accused British singer Charli XCX of using the melody from the song “Đi Đu Đưa Đi” by Vietnamese singer Bich Phuong without asking permission.
Specifically, the opening verse of the song “Used To Know Me”, the 11th track on Charli XCX‘s newly released studio album CRASH, is extremely similar to Bich Phuong‘s hit “Đi Đu Đưa Đi”.
It is also important to remember that “Đi Đu Đưa Đi” was released on August 24, 2019 while “Used To Know Me” was just released on March 18, 2022.
The opening verse of “Used To Know Me” has the part “You used to know me now you’ve gone” which has a melody quite similar to the sentence “Lúc đi hết mình lúc về hết buồn” of “Đi Đu Đưa Đi”.
Vietnamese musician Phạm Thanh Hà shared: “If 100 listeners are sure only 3 people will not recognize this similarity. Assuming “Đi Đu Đưa Đi” is not released before “Used To Know Me”. How will I – the composer – be questioned by the audience? We have not received any permission to use our melody from Charlie XCX.“
The other composer of “Đi Đua Đưa Đi” – singer and songwriter Tien Cookie said: “Vpop had many cases of being questioned about foreign plagiarism and Vietnamese artists have received a lot of criticism. What about this case? I wonder if Charli XCX is thinking that Vietnamese singers are outdated people?”
Because the tunes of the two songs are so similar, many netizens have doubts. And in the credits of “Used To Know Me”, Charli XCX’s crew also stated clear information that: “Used To Know Me” has a sample of Robin S‘s “Show Me Love” and interpolate the melody from “Đi Đu Đưa Đi” by Bich Phuong.
It can be seen that the catchy melody of Tien Cookie and Phạm Thanh Hà composed for singer Bich Phuong has not only “stormed” the Vietnamese music in 2019 but also attracted the attention of international artists.
Charli XCX’s #CRASH has reached #1 on US iTunes.
— CHARLI XCX UPDATES🩸 (@FckyeahCharli) March 18, 2022
“Interpolate” is a term used in popular music to refer to the use of a melody from a previously recorded song, applied in a new song. However, the original melody will be re-recorded, keeping the old melody but with some changes in harmony, structure, … and lyrics to match the new song.
This is different from “sample” – keeping the original melody from an old song intact to use in a new song.
This is quite common globally. And of course, there must also have a clear contract between the song owners to avoid copyright issues.
One of the most famous cases of “interpolate” is the hit “Hung Up” by “Pop Queen” Madonna used the melody from “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” of the legendary band ABBA.
Most recently, Olivia Rodrigo “interpolate” the melody from “Cruel Summer” and “New Year’s Day” of Taylor Swift. Olivia used it in her own 2 songs “Deja Vu” and “1 Step Forward, 3 Step Backs”.
It seems that Vietnamese netizens are not too interested in the story. Because musician Tien Cookie had a drama that spoke out of disrespect to the audience before. So the Vietnamese audience did not want to defend her.
And Charlie XCX stated full credit and the singer’s style is to use other people’s “samples”. Moreover, Charlie XCX only uses the melody of “Đi Đu Đưa Đi” in only one sentence.