SA band disputes Fifa song was a steal

2011-07-12 00:00

“I’M not asking for anything. I just want to inform the world that I did most of the work on Waka Waka,” Dominic James told The Witness.

The New York-based musician, who put the World Cup song back in the headlines at the weekend, is trying to put the record straight over the song credits.

James has singled out top South African band Freshlyground as having taken credit for work he did. “It feels so strange to see the whole world praising some other people for what I did,” he said.

“I built that song from scratch. The only things I didn’t write were the lyrics and the main melody. Even the eight bars that Freshlyground’s singer sang was based on my lead guitar melody.”

Freshlyground’s Simon Attwell responded to Channel24, saying the band was “in no way privy to or involved in the production process or the negotiations around the use of the song or the agreement with any of the session musicians.”

He said Freshlyground’s involvement in the track happened by chance, when Hill required an “African feel” for the track, and the band happened to be in another studio in the building.

“The track was pretty developed when we heard it — with some guitars and drums and Shakira’s vocals.

“Working alone in studio [without Shakira, Dominic or any other musicians], Freshlyground added their own ideas and Zolani’s vocal contribution on the bridge was entirely original. Our guitarist’s original playing also features on the track.

“We have never disputed Dominic's contribution to the track. Why would we?

“His brilliant guitar work forms the basis for the song.

“But unfortunately we were never involved in any of the negotiations around the commercials of the song.” — Channel24.

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