Since this post is primarily about Afrikaans music it would be logical for it to be in Afrikaans. However, since I’ve been critical of Korea’s copying-culture on numerous occasions on my blogs and wrote about it in English, I think it only fair to write this post in English as well. In a previous post I commented on how the Korean bands like G-Dragon copied – i.e. plagiarized – the music of established Western artists. One blogger referred to it as Korea’s “culture theft” habit.
Well, I’m sad to say that the Afrikaans music industry has taken up the same ill practice. While in South Africa, I heard this new Afrikaans artist, Snotkop, perform his song “Kry jouself by die werk” (“Get Yourself to Work”). Unlike the Korean bands that seem to use American songs and build and improvise on them, Snotkop’s “Kry jouself by die werk” is practically a direct translation of The Offspring’s “Why Don’t You Get A Job?” One could argue that it is a cover of The Offspring’s song, in which case it is terribly bad cover.
Listen to another of Snotkop’s songs, “Shutup en soen my” (“Shutup and Kiss Me”):
Now compare the beginning of “Shutup en soen my” with Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner”:
Embarrassingly similar, isn’t it?
It is sad that all Snotkop’s “better” songs seem to be bad copies of other well established artists. For instance the song “Ek wens” (“I Wish”) sounds very similar to something by Evanescence. Unfortunately the use of Auto-Tuning does not cover the fact that he doesn’t have much of a voice.
The rest of his music, like “Parappa” and “Katrien” is that kind of pop music that betrays superficiality of culture and taste. Boer-in-Ballingskap made a true, but very disconcerting, comment: “Die ligte Afrikaanse pop, is ook maar ‘n refleksie van die volk se smaak” – Freely translated: “The light Afrikaans pop music is in essence a reflection of their taste.” Sadly this seems true as it is this kind of tawdriness that is void of any originality that seems to be selling the best within the Afrikaans community.
The truly unfortunate thing is there are many talented artists performing in Afrikaans so that we need not be satisfied with such low quality music. As long as people are satisfied with fast food, quality cuisine will not become the standard; it is similar with music. While people are drunk on cheap pop music, there is no room for quality original music, which need not be the case in Afrikaans music as we do not suffer from a lack of original artists.
Take for example Riku Lätti: