If there’s one national final that’s serving more than it’s fair share of drama, it’s Belarus. And now there’s another incident to add to the tally. Electronic duo Shuma is being investigated after claims that their song “Chmarki” (Clouds) contains some lyrics from an old folk song.

Belarusian news site Sputnik reports that BTRC is investigating the situation.

Shuma is known for mixing folk songs with modern production. Their Facebook biography describes Shuma as “An electronic project that combines ancient pagan songs and electronic music”.

But if this style has been used in their Belarus national final song “Chmarki”, it may be in breach of Eurovision rules.

The rule in question is the 1 September rule, which is becoming very familiar to those following the Belarus national final this year. The rule states, “The compositions (lyrics and music) must not have been commercially released before 1 September 2017.”

If the lyrics to “Chmarki” have previously been released as part of another song, Belarus would not be able to enter “Chmarki” at Eurovision 2018.

A BTRC spokesperson told Sputnik, “We are checking the possibility of violation of the rules by the Shuma group, whether they can use folk words in the song.”

The situation echoes an issue with Jamala’s 2016 song “1944”. During the Ukraine national final, it was discovered that the chorus of “1944” referenced a lyric from the traditional Crimean Tatar song “Ey, güzel Kirim”. The only difference — the two lines were flipped, though the meaning was largely the same.

This was not considered to be in breach of the rules. Jamala went on to perform “1944” at Eurovision 2016 — and win the whole thing.

The Shuma investigation is the latest dramatic incident to plague the 2018 Belarus national final. Ukraine pop star Alekseev ran into trouble after fans pointed out he had performed a Russian version of his song “Forever” in May last year. BTRC officials decided that if Alekseev wins the national final, he will need to enter Eurovision with a different song.

This led to six other Belarus national finalists announcing they would withdraw from the contest if Alekseev was allowed to compete.

And yesterday, young Russian singer Sofi Lapina confirmed that she would withdraw from the contest as she was not happy about the Alekseev situation.

What do you think? Should Shuma be disqualified? Should BTRC scrap the messy national final and internally select Alekseev? Share your thoughts below!

FOLLOW ALL OUR BELARUS NEWS HERE

Total
53
Shares

43
Leave a Reply

avatar
23 Comment threads
20 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
29 Comment authors
mocosuburbianZebbAzaadAlexKjetil Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
mocosuburbian
Guest
mocosuburbian

oh man Chmarki was actually a good song though 🙁

Alex
Guest
Alex

It’s now worth mentioning that Belarus had a 4-year streak of changing their song entirely once it was selected. It was every damn year. Cheesecake broke that streak, at which point then the trend became to merely make revisions to each song before it went to ESC (which many countries do anyway).

Escfan96
Guest
Escfan96

Seriously just select that guy internally if that’s what you want. They turned the whole project into a Latino soap opera with these dramas.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Does anyone know what the disputed “folk words” are in this song?

Zebb
Guest
Zebb

It seems like there’s no folk song like this. I tried everywhere I could (except of VK sm), yet also this same site first descripted Shuma’s song as containing original lyrics. They’re just adding to the fan.

Still collecting myself after experiencing incompetence and toxicity of belarusian behind-the-scenes…

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

They need to get the same treatment as Alekseev. You can’t disqualify one and let the other compete.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Yes you can. These are totally different issues being investigated.
(Sorry to disagree with you.)

Sabrina
Guest
Sabrina

The lesson here is: if you really want to send that specific artist to the Eurovision, please don’t pretend you want to hold a national final.

oli
Guest
oli

I hope that they don’t get disqualified, this is my favorite song from Belarus national selection and I really like it.. Can’t they just change the lyrics?

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

They can, but then that might be considered a different song submission.

James
Guest
James

Folk songs tend to be in the public domain so if the lyrics sampled were from an old Belarusian folk song, the song in question could get a pass.

Denis
Guest
Denis

The compesition must be an original compesition. If it already exists it is not an original.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

I agree with James. As a songwriter, I have before written a song that is based on some folk lyrics but is a totally different song nevertheless. As long as the lyrical influence is referenced and acknowledged, then the overall concept and the music is still original regardless. Let’s see how this plays out.

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

I do like Alekseev’s song and think, if it weren’t under these conditions, he should definitly win… HOWEVER, it would be completely dumb and hypocritical to kick off Shuma from the selection while doing nothing about Alekseev. This is becoming more rigged every day…

Mark
Guest
Mark

Belarus, next year chose all your songs from a songwriting boot camp. Therefore the whole, deadline thing can’t be a problem.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Indeed. That is one solution.

Colin
Guest
Colin

Somewhat a sidetrack question, but I wonder why rarely anyone (if anyone?) uses September 1st rule to announce their song anywhere between September and November/Early December. Sure, some of these songs are out by then, but I cannot recall one example of an internally selected act confirming their ESC entry before at least Late December/ New Year.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Cause songs released early tend to fizz out by May!

When Occidentali’s karma came out in early February it rode a wave till Mid-april and then it’s hype came down. Had it been released later it would have probably finished higher in televote atleast.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Only Teardrops came out real early and didn’t fizzle at all.

Talentina Monetta
Guest
Talentina Monetta

A concept: scrap the national final and send “I Am Sexy Ice” instead!

Kjetil
Guest
Kjetil

Or Frau Liebe <3

Talentina Monetta
Guest
Talentina Monetta

Disgusting.

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

Sofi Lapina, whose song was above the average quality this year, choose to enter no new songs and withdraws. Now, they are going behind Shuma, another potential winner and the best entry Belarus could choose for Lisbon. So if the BTRC officials let Alekseev compite: “BTRC officials decided that if Alekseev wins the national final, he will need to enter Eurovision with a different song”, are they going to do the same with Shuma if they have indeed broken the rules? I don’t think so… This is getting ridiculous. It’s obvious why Alekseev withdrawed from Vibdir and entered Belarus National… Read more »

Kris
Guest
Kris

In Vidbir they didn’t allow songs released before 1st September to enter…..Alekseev was forced to withdraw

Tayanna had to change her song for similar reasons.

Christian
Guest
Christian

»Doch wir wollen dir ihn zeigen/und du wirst…«

These two lines are from the Italian entry 1984 and taken from Mozart’s »Magic Flute«. Isn’t it common that lyricists use phrases from another songs or theater plays, operas, etc.?

I guess there’s a lot more to find like that in Eurovision songs and they weren’t disqualified either.

Joe
Guest
Joe

There was also the classic “Euro-Vision” by Telex, which had a sample of the Eurovision “Te Deum” (is it different if the song is in the public domain?)

James
Guest
James

If the sample doesn’t make up a huge chunk of the song then it would not be an issue.

Kris
Guest
Kris

In Vidbir they didn’t allow songs released before 1st September to enter…..Alekseev was forced to withdraw

Tayanna had to change her song for similar reasons.

B
Guest
B

Honestly Jamala shouldn’t have been allowed to enter let alone with with a quarter stolen song so these guys either need to change the lyrics or go.

James
Guest
James

The portion of 1944 you’re talking about is likely in the public domain so it’s not stolen.

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

Yes, and it was also “altered” so that it wasn’t exactly the same as the original. Jamala was clever, in that regard.

Azaad
Guest
Azaad

It’s in the public domain and the whole point of 1944 is to be a lamentation of a historical tragedy- as such it makes sense to sample the folk song and that was explicitly indicated in the song and performance itself. Which is what I’m guessing Shuma did as well.

Fabian
Guest
Fabian

You know what’s actually soo suspicious?
That they make so much drama around them while they’re also, besides Alekseev, a favorite to win the national final.
Dear belarussian delegation,
We know who you want to win, just select him internally already….
Love,
Fabian.

No seriously this is so ridicoulus.

Josh
Guest
Josh

Belarus should just disqualify Alekseev already! This disaster is only going to get worse if they don’t.

Colin
Guest
Colin

By my count, Adaggio, Radiovolna and Lexy are the only acts not involved in any kind of scandal yet. Now I wish one of them wins, just for playing nice. Classy NF I guess.

riggedObjectivoEurovision
Guest
riggedObjectivoEurovision

Belarus taking inspiration from Spain
#riggedObjevtivoEurovision
#riggedEurofest

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

When you thought it couldn’t be more pathetic, you appears. Get over it 🙂

riggedObjectivoEurovision
Guest
riggedObjectivoEurovision

Ok…..Bye la la la

JeyDelRey
Guest
JeyDelRey

So Shuma is under investigation for the 1 September rule but not Alekseev? Seems fair Belarus, seems fair.

D
Guest
D

If Shuma gets disqualified for this but Alekseev stays in the competition Belarus would become the ultimate joke of a country

AzeriChico
Guest
AzeriChico

Dammit! Just drop this national selection and internally choose the artist you want (we all know who they actually want to win). This is getting ridiculous.

Africavision
Guest
Africavision

But that would be unfair to the 10 finalists who are not internally selected, and who have put a lot of effort into their entries for this year’s national selection. I think it makes more sense that he withdraw this year and be internally selected next year (that should please everyone, right?). My alternate solution is that all 11 entrant’s songs should be submitted to the EBU now, and the EBU reference group should decide if any of them breach any rules for participation in the ESC. If so, those should be withdrawn from the national final. I mean really… Read more »