My perspective on the issue is quite clear,Mithoon Tells Subhash K Jha

Composer Mithoon suddenly discovered  a leading riff from his beloved tune Tum hi ho in the film Ashiqui 2 being ripped off by  American rapper  T-Pain  in a  song called  ‘That’s Yo Money’.Instead  of apologizing Mr  Pain responded with a sniggering tweet  about waking up to a ‘brown tweet’ . well The Browns Are Not Taking This Lying Down.

Pain  coming up  for T-Pain?

My perspective on the  issue is quite clear. I’ve to admit the similarity between my song and  T-Pain’s track took me by surprise. Tum hi ho is a globally recognized Indian melody.My intention was to just to bring the similarity  to his notice.

Your objection to the similarity was  so well worded and he responded so impertinently?

I’ve  to be true to who I am. My culture has taught me  to be civil and  polite.

He referred to your very polite objection to his plagiarism as a  “brown tweet”?

I’d like to  believe he didn’t mean  to offend.I wouldn’t like to comment on that aspect of his response.All I will say is , I am very  proud  of my ethnicity.And  after the kind  of progress we’ve made as global citizens we  should be focusing on the music, not the colour of the skin.This is not the  way we should be  dealing with an issue as  serious as this.I am even willing to  believe that he hadn’t heard my song.

Hard to believe?

I am not one of those arrogant artistes  who believes the world has heard my song.

What   kind of a musician artiste  just takes any riff that’s given to  him without checking  its source?

That’s my point. I think there should be more accountability  about where  music samplings   come from.I look at this  as an opportunity to reach out. If they had reached  out to me and my producers T Series with the request for permission  to use  a melody  . If an artiste  reaches out to me or the  music company  and asks, ‘I want  to use your  riff to rap over it’  that would be such a wonderful collaboration.

Then  it becomes a celebration of creativity?

Exactly. I feel good creative work is not owned by any one  person.If tomorrow I like something  by someone that I want to use  I’ll take the proper legal consent.

 So how  are  you  dealing with this illegal  snatch?

My company T series is taking all the legal action required. I am so happy they’re taking the  proper route, the video was blocked on Youtube and  now  legal action is being taken. This must and should be handled  with grace.  My reach-out  was from one artiste to another. On that level I was willing to believe he hadn’t heard my song.Hamare desh ki mitti mein  itnasangeet hai abhi duniya ne suna bhi nahin hai. We have so much to give as musicians.Let’s be proud of that.Just take film  music. We have stalwarts  like C Ramachandra and Madan Mohan .Each of the composers  from the 1950s and  60s has given so much to the world of music. We  don’t need to borrow from the West.We can give so much.

Hindi film music is now going through a  lean phase as actors are no longer seen lip-syncing songs on screen?

That’s why appreciated Karan Johar’s  Ae Dil Hai Mushkil where Ranbir Kapoor has  done such a wonderful job of lip-syncing to Arijit Singh’s voice. I am  now  composing music for a Ranbir starrer  Shamshera for  Yash Raj films.It’s dacoitdrama directed by Karan Malhotra.

Your uncle Pyarelal and his partner Laxmikant have  composed fantasic music for dacoit dramas  like Mera Gaon Mera Deshand  Kachche Dhaage?

I can’t hope  to equal them. But I won’t disappoint you.

What  other exciting sounds can we expect from you in 2019?

I am  doing the music of an American film called The  Least Of These. It’s an Indian story  shot in India.After seeing the narrative they decided to record some songs in Hindi for the international market as well. I’ve already recorded the songs.They will be released  in February 2019.

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