Vusi Nova on stealing hit song allegations: ‘I never said I owned the song’

Vusi Nova (PHOTO: Drum)
Vusi Nova (PHOTO: Drum)

Johannesburg - Vusi Nova’s hit song As’phelelanga has become a nationwide anthem dedicated to all fallen musicians.

However, despite its popularity the singer has come under fire after being accused of allegedly stealing the song.   

In an interview with DRUM, Vusi Nova addressed the allegations made against him for stealing the song titled As’phelelanga which is featured in his latest album Manyan-nyan,

"So first of all I haven’t stolen any song and I’ll tell you why I haven’t stolen any song because As’phelelang doesn’t belong to anyone, its public domain," he said.

"So if you go to SAMRO you’ll see. I did my research even before I recorded the song – I mean this is a song I grew up listening to, it’s a song I grew up singing."

The Afro-pop star singer also explained that the song which had now become a national hit, he once sung growing up; "Like us as AmaXhosa we go to the mountain; so whenever young boys go to the mountain, the ones that are left behind, sing the song and say ‘asiphelelanga’ … we grew up singing the song."

According to Vusi before he even considered adding the track to his album his team conducted thorough research to avoid any legal implications.

"When I thought of doing the song we did our research,” he explained further adding that this was when they discovered that the song was in fact public domain which meant that anyone could utilize it.

"Like say if someone wanted to be spiteful right now they could go and record that song and there would be nothing I can do about it, or anyone can do about it."

But since the song gained popularity many people have come forward to claim ownership of it and then alleging that Vusi had stolen it after having not given the correct accreditation,

"So with Chippa United for example they say, they went to register the song – it’s a big lie.  We did research its public domain so how did they all of a sudden register a public domain song as composers, as if the song is theirs… it doesn’t make sense," explained the singer.

The Port Elizabeth-born singer said that his team managed to track down the producer who recorded the Chippa United’s Asi’phelenga theme song version.

"The guy who recorded the song for them, he is the one that registered the song under himself… it’s got nothing to do with Chippa United they just took it and made it their theme song," he explained.

"No one fought them for that so why are they fighting me when I just released a song to honor our fallen heroes in the music industry, it doesn’t make sense."

The musician who mentors the boy band trio 047, also expressed that while others poked fun at the ordeal of people coming forward to claim ownership, to him it felt personal.

Maskandi artist Celazimnike Mtshali recently told the Sowetan that Vusi Nova stole the song from him and that he wants credit for the song which "sounds exactly like mine".

Addressing this Vusi said; "Yesterday there was an article whereby a Maskandi artist said it’s his song, so for me it’s just like people are laughing at it and making it a joke but for me it’s as bit personal."

Moving forward Vusi encouraged those who wanted to take any legal action against him to do so. “You want to go to court, go to court – there’s absolutely no grounds, no case at all,” he said.

“It’s like someone taking bah-bah-black sheep and recording it and then claiming it’s theirs… no it’s not yours, its public domain,” he said.

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