Ever experience déjà vu when you’re listening to a song recently released? And feel like you’ve heard the music somewhere before, but cannot put your finger just instantly on it? Usually, that’s because you have actually heard the sound track before and the song you’re listening to is sampling it. Sampling is when you take a piece of one song and use it in your own. It’s a legal thing, since the original artiste gets paid for the copyrights. Except sometimes. And that takes the shape of plagiarism – and well we call it a no-no. 
Bollywood actor Alia Bhatt has officially kicked off her music career. The 26-year-old’s solo song Prada, featuring The Lamberghini famed singer, The Doorbeen, came out recently. 
I was talking to my best friend when I heard it on the radio, in-a-flex increased the volume and asked him – if he thinks the song on radio is similar to something we’ve heard before. We couldn’t really decide that very instant, but we knew it was a rip-off. 
Nothing really comes from a scratch anymore, and music is definitely no exception. When I talked to Sonam Kapoor, Bollywood actor, earlier this year and asked how she views plagiarism in light of fashion, she said “I think everybody is inspired by everybody.” Well that holds true for every creative industry. The first thing bands or singer talk about when they form are their influences and they typically start off by playing other people’s music. But a thing to notice is, that they always give credits to the original singers and musicians. 
Entire genres, including folk, blues and hip-hop, are based upon liberal borrowing out of either tradition or necessity. Simply put, most of the artistes today, no matter how big or unique they maybe, stands on the proverbial shoulders of giants before. Whether by osmosis, coincidence, common ancestry or theft, there are plenty of hit songs that sound suspiciously similar to pre-existing sound tracks or music. 
With already 21 million views on YouTube, Alia’s new single, Prada is no exception. 
And the melody of the song is eerily similar to one of Vital Signs’ popular song, Goray Rung Ka Zamana! Vital Signs were a Pakistan pop and rock band formed in 1986. Since their formation, they became Pakistan’s first and most commercially successful as well as critically acclaimed act. The band’s popular lineup consisted of Rohail Hyatt, Shahzad Hasan, late Junaid Jamshed, Nusrat Hussain, Salman Ahmed, Rizwanul Haque and Amir Zaki. Though the band’s demise was never officially announced, but in 1998 the band ended. 
The Indian song has an uncanny resemblance to the melody of the 90s hit and follows a similar groove for a major part sung by Bhatt herself. Since Vital Signs’ like several other 90s artistes have reportedly plagiarised or been ‘inspired’ by Western pop-rock songs before as well, but band member Rizwanul Haque confirmed that Gore Rung Ka Zamana was an original one. 
“It was very much an original song composed in 1987-88 and released as part of our first album Vital Signs Volume I,” Haque said in a statement. “The band came up with the composition and Shoaib Mansoor wrote the lyrics for it.”
Needless to say that Bhatt’s new song has once again ignited the debate about original music and whether the Vital Signs song was an original composition in spite of what Haque claims to be. Adding to the ongoing debate, well known RJ Wes Malik said that the VS song may have actually been inspired from a Punjabi folk song called Kalay Rung Da Paranda which has been performed by the likes of Noor Jehan and Shazia Mansoor.
“The Alia Bhatt song wasn’t actually copied from Vital Signs but in fact it is a very old folk tune,” said Malik in a Facebook video, while plugging in the song’s rendition by Surendar Kaur and Narendar Kaur. “So maybe that folk song is where Prada is copied from and is also where maybe…Vital Signs took inspiration from,” he concluded.
While Haque remains resolute that their song has always been an original attempt, the video shared by RJ shows exactly the same melodic progression that dates way back than Vital Signs. Whether it is inspiration being used in two different songs, the makers of Prada have some acknowledgements to make to Pakistani musicians, either way.