Tanishk Bagchi shut out of Baaghi 3’s Do You Love Me credits… and that’s mighty unfair
By Bryan Durham - February 27, 2020
Here’s everything we could dig up about the tangled origins of this song
The picture and video teaser of the latest Baaghi 3 song, Do You Love Me was announced and got widely shared yesterday. Literally anyone who is aware of British artist Troyboi (aka Troy Henry) and his monster hit Do You (anybody on TikTok, really), pounced on the similarities between the audio and visuals of the two songs.
Last evening, DietSabya, an account that points out plagiarism in fashion and pop culture, observed that the teaser video of the Baaghi 3 track and the thumbnail for the Troyboi song were the same.
But that’s simply scratching the surface…
Well, purely video-wise, it’s now evident that star choreographer Parris Goebel (who directed the Troyboi video as well as choreographed it) should be more offended, but…
If that weren’t enough, it became apparent that the two tracks mirrored each other. It was enough for Troyboi to put out Instagram stories…
a) Sharing the teaser video
b) Saying “How ironic that my latest track was a tribute to India and this happens…”
c) Stating that he *dreams of sizable cheque*
This makes two things amply clear: Troyboi wasn’t consulted/informed/paid for sampling/use of the track and from the sound of it, he will be expected to take legal recourse.
More on why that might be a long-winded battle (“dreams” being the keyword here) in a bit.
Check out the Baaghi 3 video here…
And here’s the Troyboi video directed by Parris Goebel…
This is where things get interesting. From what we now hear, the makers of Baaghi 3 are claiming that they bought the rights/licenses from Lebanese band Bendaly Family.
A mid-day article defended the makers stating: “The track finds its roots back to 2012 which was brought by The Bendaly Family, a Lebanese family band. Upon the inception of this thought, T-Series acquired the rights from them…”
The Times Of India notes: “Also, the makers bought the rights of the original track and are extremely happy about this association. The original song was brought by The Bendaly Family, a Lebanese band, in 2012.”
There’s a bit of a problem with this defense. First off, the song dates back all the way to the 1970s. René Bendaly and his 12 children are Lebanese from Tripoli (according to discog.com) and were active throughout the 1980s. After an appearance on a TV show, they “became the Von Trapps on Lebanese acid”, says last.fm user @fionamwylie.
Chalo, chronology samajhte hain…
The YouTube video for the song Do You Love Me was taken in 1978 in Kuwait when the Bendaly family visited Kuwait for the first time (according to last.fm).
But, according to a commentator and (seemingly) music history buff ‘Hammer’ on the blog HAWGBLAWG, the song’s genesis runs far older than once thought.
He notes (and this IS important for T-Series and anyone interested in this song’s history), “So, basically the song ‘Do You Love Me?‘ wasn’t made in that same year only because that video was shot in the same year: it was a very popular — and energetic — concert-opener ‘medley’, non-song of Roger Bendali’s composition using a 70’s pop hit (Can’t help think of the original artist for the Englizi intro, but it should be The Tremeloes? Someone with time and interest enough better check into that).” His ending statement is telling:
“Contrary to what many believe, René Bendali did not compose nor write the words for the song, Do You Love Me — He just sang it.”Hytham Hammer (via HAWGBLAWG)
Since then, the song has seen several reiterations in the Arab world as well as in popular culture across movies and television. Most recently, however, it was Troyboi (signed to Skrillex’s OWSLA) who sampled the hook-line from the Bendaly Family track and released it (by all accounts) as early as 2015. However, Do You picked up in popularity in the mainstream only as late as 2019 (thanks to several users making TikTok videos around the hookline and Parris Goebel’s video).
Clearly, our media at large has not bothered with fact-checking and are instead toeing the “in 2012, the song was brought by The Bendaly Family” line by rote. How does a band “bring” a song?
Next, the person credited with holding the rights/license to the song, Rene Bendaly died late-December 2019 aged 70. He is known for writing and composing songs for the Bendaly Family along with regular collaborator, and late poet, journalist George Yammine. But as previously observed by someone clearly in the know, the song was not composed or written by René, but that he “just sang it”, clearly implying that the Bendaly Family holds right to a version of the song.
The Baaghi 3 music video and choreography is clearly inspired in parts by the Troyboi video and if anyone thinks otherwise, needs to get their eyes checked.
The music still lies in a somewhat grey area. Since not much is known about the Bendaly Family apart from the digging one can do on the internet (or read this article), one can only go by what one reads and looks for. How rights were bought from a band that probably did not write or compose the track makes this whole matter of crediting quite suspect.
Hammer adds that the song itself was “put to record in 1976” but points out that René Bendali is cited in one place as the originator of the song in 1963, which is “very offtrack and wrong. Well, back in 1963 most of the band’s members weren’t even born, for crying out loud”, he notes.
To then take down Tanishk Bagchi’s credits from the description of the song (at the time of writing this), seems quite extreme and unfair. Nikhita Gandhi’s credits in the Baaghi 3 as the female singer remain (obviously), but Tanishk, who was earlier credited for recreating the song, programming and arranging it and writing its Hindi lyrics, finds himself in the cold at the wrong end of the stick.
This, despite heavily promoting the song and backing the makers of Baaghi 3 earlier today regarding the credits war (in favour of the Bendaly Family and not Troyboi).
As someone who knows that the Baaghi 3 song is closer in vibe to Troyboi’s than it is to René’s supposed original (which not surprisingly, is absent from all streaming platforms at the time of writing this), this writer also feels than Tanishk has put in the effort to make this song stand on its own in spite of the prominent hookline.
It is unjust to shut him out of a song that he has worked on and re-created (he was doing the job he was hired for, after all). His effort shows far more than the choreographer and the costume designer. Why are their credits still there?
Also, while one can argue that Troyboi (like Tanishk) has sampled René’s song like many before him, it will be far tougher to put off Parris’s claims on the similar visuals.
Anybody has an answer?>