Aidan Cassar Dai Laga

After announcing the line-up way back in October, TVM finally released all 16 Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2018 entries on Thursday.

Among the standouts was “Dai Laga” from MESC newcomer Aidan Cassar. Despite some rather ropy lyrics — who exactly is Old Tony? — fans were quick to warm to the song’s tropical vibes, comparing it to Justin Bieber’s recent efforts.

Aidan is credited with writing both the lyrics and music, and is the only act in this year’s national selection to do so without any assistance. Or is he?

On Saturday, wiwibloggs commenter EscAU shared a link which suggests that “Dai Laga” may not be wholly original and could potentially be in breach of the Eurovision Song Contest rules.

Aidan Cassar “Dai Laga”

https://youtu.be/uh2t85pFoyM

The link in question was to a production track with the very long title “(Justin Bieber, Major lazer type) Come Alive Prod By Lttb” on BeatStars. For a fee, artists can download the track for use in their own compositions.

And if you listen, it sounds strikingly similar to the “Dai Laga” backing track.

We’ve used the popular music-identifying app Shazam on “Come Alive” a number of times, and on almost every occasion it identifies a different song. All of which have used the same BeatStars backing track, and in places are indistinguishable from “Dai Laga”. You can listen to a few examples below.

Obviously, Cassar has put his own slant on things — for starters he’s added extra instrumentation — however, it’s hard to ignore what both our ears and technology are telling us.

If indeed Aidan has used this sample, is he breaking Eurovision rules?

“(Justin Bieber, Major lazer type) Come Alive Prod By Lttb”

Odeosa “Come Alive”

Badguybenny “She Wanna Have My Baby”

JRoa “Ulit ulit”

Reesie Reese “Come Alive”

According to the Eurovision rulebook:

“The compositions (lyrics and music) must not have been commercially released before 1 September 2017.”

At first glance, this wouldn’t appear to forbid the use of samples, as long as the 1 September rule isn’t broken. But if we go back to the Beatstars website, we can see that the backing track was first uploaded on 18 September 2016, and a version was uploaded to YouTube even earlier, on 14 August 2016. Also, multiple artists sampled it between then and the deadline.

A possible grey area is whether the 1 September rule applies to the song as a whole or to identifiable components within the song.

Where the 1 September rule becomes an issue, the contest guidelines state:

In case the composition has been made available to the public, for example, but not limited to, on online video platforms, social networks or (semi-) publicly accessible databanks, the Participating Broadcaster must inform the ESC Executive Supervisor, who shall have authority to evaluate whether the composition is eligible for participation in the Event. In particular, the ESC Executive Supervisor shall assess whether such disclosure prior to the Release Date is likely to give to the composition an advantage in the Event vis-à-vis the other compositions. The ESC Executive Supervisor shall authorise or deny participation of a composition which may have been available to the public as described above, subject to the prior approval of the Reference Group.

This rule has previously been applied to Anja Nissen’s Dansk Melodi Grand Prix 2016 entry “Never Alone” and Jamala’s Eurovision winning number “1944”. However, the issue in both instances related to previous public performances of the songs rather than their components.

wiwibloggs has reached out to Aidan Cassar for comment.

What do you think? Does “Dai Laga” break the Eurovision rules? Let us know in the comments below.

Follow all of our Malta Eurovision 2018 news.

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42 Comments on "Dai Laga dilemma: Does Aidan Cassar’s MESC 2018 entry break Eurovision rules?"

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Seb
Guest

Aidan is also in Avenue Sky , is that allowed as he had two chances to win?

Seb
Guest

*has

Tylos
Guest

Has no one sampled in ESC before?
Why haven’t the rules been clarified?
Seems a weird oversight.

Peter Robin
Guest

And they put him through leaving great artists like Kevin Calleja and Kurt Anthony. Mesc what a joke!

EscAU
Guest

Something else a bit funny: Avenue Sky and Jasmine’s songs in the selection this year were entered last year but didn’t make the cut according to Wikipedia, guess they’re recycling old ones to fill up the selection :/

Ramon
Guest

And ‘Breaking Point’ from two years ago too! XD

Angelo
Guest

Disqualify and bring in a new act !

Talentina Monetta
Guest

omg the exposé
Aidan Cancelled!

EscAU
Guest

His original song ‘bon bon’ is credited only to him writing it on his youtube channel
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B45sKG2lS_0
but shazaming it comes up with another track

EscAU
Guest

The same backing track ‘Dj Dagz & PM – Besom ft. Yll Limani’ not sure if he’s allowed to be taking credit for stuff he didn’t write :/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caRAhxZdGRU

Jim H
Guest

He is becoming a joke and his fame is short lived, I hope Malta takes action as this could affect their participation if he had to be selected as a winner

Robyn Gallagher
Editor
It sounds like the same sample that was behind the 2017 song “Fy faen” by Norwegian duo Hkeem and Temur. This seems to have been the first released song of all these tracks. https://youtu.be/id3YgQfBpTE Tbh, I don’t know if it’s a “bad” thing for not crediting a bought production track or sample. Sometimes the creators will happily give up their songwriting credit in exchange for selling a licence to use the track. It’s perhaps a little embarrassing that “Dai laga” uses a backing track found on all those other cheap songs, but he big issue here is that “Dai laga”… Read more »
Prism
Guest

Maltese Vasilije.

Vasilije
Guest

I was waiting for this! XD

I aam living meme!!! ?

Hater
Guest

Ew if u really are vasilije then screw you

Alex
Guest

Am I the only one who thinks it sounds like Muri and Mario from Denmark in 2015?

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Scroll down and you’ll see that Josh also thinks it sounds a bit like “To stjerner” 🙂

Canten
Guest

This is not a good look for Malta! Dai Laga was my favourite song in the Maltese selection, mainly for the music. But now I realise what I loved was mostly a production track. Cry Laga! Bye Laga!

Luke
Guest

What a joke, he has taken the place of a more worthy act. SHAME!!!!

Ewan
Guest

My first reaction to reading the article and the rule excerpts is that it is definitely against the rules. Commercial release of the “music or lyrics”, take away the lyrics from all variations and you get commercial release of the music.

Honestly surprised that so many users on the comments don’t see this as a breach.

Nancy G
Guest

His other song in MESC, with the group, is better anyway

ian from the philippines
Guest

it seems that they use a generic house calypso beat.

James
Guest
If the component in question is a commercially available production track that is used in the creation of a song, similar to how you make one using beats and other digital instruments available from programs such as GarageBand, I don’t think that equates to being a previously published song per se. I may have to listen to this song again and compare notes with other songs that are featured here in the article but if it turns out that the track used is basically the entire structure that makes up “Dai Laga”, I think I may be able to see… Read more »
mad-professor
Guest

He’s the new Anna Book (or worse, because he actually ‘wrote’ the song).

Mana
Guest

And what about Soledad/Despacito? 😉

YoungsterJoey
Guest

Nothing alike. Just because it’s the same type of musical genre? Puh-leeeeeease.

Mana
Guest

I don’t think it’s only the same type of musical genre. Songs of Enrique Iglesias (Bailando, Súbeme la radio, etc.) it’s the same type but it’s so different from Despacito (btw, I hate Despacito).

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Uh, the Biebs would NEVER get close something as bad as that beat. Let him compete, he ain’t winning anyway.

val
Guest

Let him compete. Nothing is new nowadays.
All raggaeton music is one single song after all. So what?
During centuries, folk music had only one rule : the song belongs to the one who makes it famous.

Andrea
Guest

I’d mostly agree except for one thing. Who the hell said reggaeton is music?

val
Guest

Ha Ha Ha yes is silly, but I try to be fair, I don’t think I’m above anybody.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

The difference is, “(Justin Bieber, Major lazer type) Come Alive Prod By Lttb” is not a traditional folk song.

@euphoria1307
Guest

I’M GAGGING ON THIS, Robyn for president!

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

You can be my VP!

Purple Mask
Guest

From BeatStars own terms of service:
“You may not otherwise reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, modify or create derivative works of the Materials, unless authorized by the appropriate copyright owner(s). In the event that you print Materials found on the Website, you must include any copyright notice originally included with the Materials on all copies. You may not link directly to any media file located on a BeatStars.com server, except where explictly allowed to do so. You should not attempt to claim any Materials as your own work.”

Ramon
Guest

“The compositions (lyrics and music) must not have been commercially released before 1st November 2017. In case the composition has been made available to the public, for example, but not limited to, on online video platforms, social networks or (semi-) publicly accessible databanks, the Artist must inform PBS, who shall have authority to evaluate whether the composition is eligible for participation in the Contest.”

Would be interesting to know what the broadcaster thinks of this, considering that the above is stated in their regulations when submitting songs?

EscAU
Guest

Padraig with the investigation hat on 😀 it’ll be interesting to see what happens, has anything like this where the track was released previously happened before?

Chep
Guest

Petition to have Dai Laga replaced with She Wanna Have My Baby.

Josh
Guest

It reminds me of “To stjerner” from Denmark’s NF a few years back.. I do like the song though, so I hope it isn’t disqualified.

zain
Guest

it is realy nice song maybe they are afraid from him cause he is young and intelegent

Ramon
Guest

hahaha intelligent? I beg to differ, had he been intelligent he would have gone to a producer and did something original with the melody and lyrics he had!

I bet he did the same thing for the singles he released! What a joke!

Briekimchi
Guest

Weirdly-enough, I was listening to To Stjerner yesterday (never you mind why) and thought it was sounding a bit like Dai Laga!