Over this past week we’ve had Eurovision 2018 song reveals (and leaks) from the likes of Croatia, Belgium, Australia, Austria and Ireland. Yet despite all this new music coming our way, the Eurovision fandom has also had its focus on two specific songs released back in 2016.
The first song in question is “Cool Me Down”, which Melodifestivalen 2018 finalist Margaret competed with in Poland’s Krajowe Eliminacje 2016. The other is “Party Shore”, a song off the debut album of Germany’s Jenifer Brening, who will compete for San Marino at Eurovision 2018 along with Jessika from Malta.
Margaret — “Cool Me Down”
Many have drawn similarities between the two songs. However, while “Cool Me Down” was released in February 2016, “Party Shore” was released later that year in November. Owing to the nine-month difference in release dates, this has led to questions regarding the latter’s originality.
Jenifer Brening — “Party Shore”
During this past week several comments have been made by a number of sources and it’s important to take a step back and review the entire situation. Thus, here is a run-down of what we know so far.
Tuesday 6 March
It all started when wiwiblogger Jonathan decided to listen to Jenifer’s back catalogue after she was part of 1 in 360’s winning act. Going to her debut album Recovery, “Party Shore” is the first song to come up.
After clocking the similarities between the two songs, Jonathan took to Twitter saying: “Just casually sifting through the back catalogue of Jenifer Brening from San Marino’s #1in360 and listened to “Party Shore”, the first song of her Nov 2016 album. Does it remind people of a #Eurovision national final entry that they know?”
Looking on Jenifer Brening’s official website for the writer credits of the song, Jonathan also noted in another tweet that it says “All the songs on this 14 track collection were written by Jenifer in collaboration with Producer Andre Müther”.
Songs released within the same year often follow the same trends, so it’s very possible that it’s just a coincidence or that they used a similar sample as Robert Uhlmann, Arash, Alex Papaconstantinou, Anderz Wrethov, Viktor Svensson and Linnea Deb. The word plagiarism is, of course, frequently overused. But these similarities have made some fans very uncomfortable.
Wednesday 7 March
At the time of this news breaking Margaret was beginning rehearsals for her appearance at the Melodifestivalen 2018 final. After wiwibloggs met up with the Polish star for an interview we played her Jenifer’s song “Party Shore” to gauge her reaction.
In the video below, posted to Twitter and Instagram a few days after the interview, Margaret immediately recognises the hook of the song and begins singing the lyrics to “Cool Me Down” over the top. She also jokingly says, “So I’m going to be at Eurovision”.
Thursday 8 March
As the news spread across social media many Eurovision fans also tried to get Margaret and the songwriters of “Cool Me Down” to hear the song. Eventually retweeting and replying to a tweet by user @ales_falahee Margaret commented “Someone’s brave”.
Saturday 10 March
While things quietened down on Friday 9, “Cool Me Down” songwriter Linnea Deb spoke out publicly on Saturday morning. Posting on Facebook she wrote, “Helt sjukt faktiskt. Ändå kul på nåt sätt.” (“Completely sick, actually. Still fun in a way.”)
While this comment may have struck a slightly hard line, Margaret took a more positive tone later in the day.
Immediately after her seventh-place finish at the Melodifestivalen 2018 final, wiwiblogger Kevin asked about her current thoughts on the situation (scroll to 1:14 in the video below). She replied:
We talked yesterday with all the writers about that and we all agreed that we are flattered. Thank you. We really admire that someone can be so inspired by our music. It’s great, thank you.
She also jokes that if someone was to ever do a copied version of “In My Cabana” that it could include the lyrics “Let’s go eat some banana”.
Where do we stand now?
It is of course up to Margaret and the writing team if they wish to pursue the issue any further. Whilst there may be behind the scenes conversations between the two record companies that we do not know about, at the moment it seems like the “Cool Me Down” team are happy with the current situation.
Although Jenifer, her record company or producer Andre Müther have not commented on the issue publically, wiwibloggs has reached out for a comment.
It is also important to note that this controversy does not put into question Jenifer’s eligibility to represent San Marino at Eurovision 2018. San Marino’s entry “Who We Are” perfectly meets the EBU’s requirements of a Eurovision song (perhaps bar the mention of Twitter’s brand name), and Jenifer’s previous releases do not impact this in any way. You can find our thoughts on 1 in 360 and its shortcomings separately here.
We look forward to seeing both Jenifer and Jessika in Lisbon and falling in love with their own personalities as much as we have with Margaret during her time at Melodifestivalen. Fans will also be able to meet both Jessika and Jenifer at a number of running events across Europe over the next ten weeks. They’ll be raising money for anti-bullying causes to tie in with the theme of their song, which is an “anti-bullying anthem informed by Jessika’s personal experiences”.
This will culminate with a run in Lisbon where they’ll present a cheque for the money they’ve raised to the Diana Award, a charity supported by the Royal Charities Forum of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry dedicated to the Princess of Wales’ belief that young people have the power to change the world.
Meanwhile, if you’re still loving Margaret’s “In My Cabana” then you can try out her new mobile game, available on iOS and Android. Try and guide your player past obstacles and apes in order to reach Margaret’s Cabana at the end.
Let us know what your high score is in the comments below and let’s see who can come out on top!
So, what do you think of the similarities between “Cool Me Down” and “Party Shore”? Do you think Jenifer and her team took inspiration from the song…or were they simply following a trend? And will you be going out to support Jessika and Jenifer during their series of runs? Let us know in the comments below!