It’s time to grab your spoons and stir the pot, hunty! Last weekend Nano advanced from the first semi-final of Melodifestivalen 2017 direct to the March 11 final. But amid his celebrations, fans were quick to draw comparisons between his song “Hold On” and Jessica Mauboy‘s “This Ain’t Love”. Jessica, you’ll remember, performed for Australia as a special interval act at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014.
Melodifestivalen newcomer Nano went into the first semi-final buoyed by a lot of hype. Bookies, insiders and journalists who had heard the song all tipped it to challenge Ace Wilder and her number “Wild Child” for the win. And in the run-up to the actual show, as clips and snippets of his song were released to the public and under extra scrutiny owing to said hype, musical sleuths cried that they’d heard much of the song before on Jessica’s track, which was released in November 2015.
Indeed, the tracks do share a few similarities — from the gospel-style backing to the flourish of drum and bass to the swell leading into the chorus.
And there’s a pretty obvious reason why these songs have a similar signature: They both come from the songwriter Carl Ryden.
A tried and tested music maker, Carl has has also written dance tracks for David Guetta, Australia’s Havana Brown and Denmark’s Nabiha.
But none of these songs have the clear drum and bass elements that “Hold On” and “This Ain’t Love” share.
And while some Eurovision fans are very quick to throw around words like plagiarism, that’s probably not the case here.
Drum and bass as a music genre dates back to the early 1990’s, when it became a staple of raves in southern England. Recently the genre has gained mainstream success through the likes of artists such as Rudimental.
Do we think that Nano has plagiarised Jessica Mauboy? No. Do we think that songwriters frequently draw on broader musical trends and their preferred set of stylistic flourishes and techniques? Absolutely. The similarities could also, of course, simply be a strange and humorous coincidence.
What do you think of the comparison between the two songs? Let us know in the comments below!