Renowned Indian singer Sonu Nigam is being accused of plagiarism in his latest rendition of the song Sun Zara, released in collaboration with DJ Sheizwood and Kamaal R Khan (popularly known as KRK) for T-Series on December 2, which has shocked some in the music industry. Pakistani singer Omer Nadeem has alleged that Nigam’s version has similarities with his 2009 song, “Aey Khuda”.
Despite accumulating over two million views within four days of its release, the credits for Sun Zara do not mention Nadeem or his record label. This intensifies the accusations of plagiarism. The Monotonic singer expressed his disappointment on Instagram despite being a fan of Nigam. He shared a video post that contrasts the two songs and wrote in the caption, “I’ve reached a point in my life where I couldn’t care less about these things. But hey, if you’re going to do it, at least toss a little credit to the original track.” The celebrity also stressed the disparity in quality between the two versions and alleged appropriation.
Armeena Khan, an actor, expressed her solidarity with Nadeem and tagged Nigam under his post, asking, “Why are you stealing music?” As of yet, there has been no rebuttal from Nigam or KRK, and the veracity of Nadeem’s claims remains to be affirmed.
The controversy sheds light on the broader issue of Bollywood allegedly plagiarizing the work of Pakistani artists, with little to no consequences. Plagiarized versions often outperform the originals, given the massive audience Bollywood productions command. Aside from the ethics of accreditation, the importance of acknowledging and crediting original creators in a landscape where cross-border influences are prevalent is under renewed scrutiny as the debate continues in the music industry.