Friday, February 01, 2013

What does Steve Jobs, P Square, Samsung and Azonto have in common ? - The art of copying well.

The Ghanaian genre/dance Azonto has taken the world by storm with millions of youtube hits and everyone and their mum making videos of themselves dancing Azonto.
However anything that gains followers will also gain copy cats and in this instance the copying comes from non other that Ghana's bigger neighbour Nigeria in the form of the song/dance Alingo. Alingo is an upbeat Afro - Zonto - Electro - Pop song by P Square with over two million youtube hits  a dance with an uncanny resemblance to the  Azonto dance. Aside from Alingo sounding like Azonto the dance steps are basically the fundamentals  of Azonto with some wing flapping for good measure.
Just watch for yourself below:

In my opinion P Square gave a master class in not just copying but copying well and improving on the original. In the two months since the video was released the majority of arguments on youtube have centred on whether alingo is a copy of azonto and the conversation has degenerated into insults between Nigerians and Ghanaians and who is better.
The usual suspects rear their head:

  • Ghana must Go  - To that i say check your history ( Aliens compliance order 1969) Ghana must go was simply a retaliation to Nigeria must go.
  • Currently there are more Nigerians in Ghana than vice versa, Ecowas enables it and it has its pluses and minuses - I am for regional travel and African unity.
  • Nigerian superiority complex - In my opinion Nigerians think they are better than anyone especially Ghanaians. This is something i have experienced in Ghana and around the world. I still don't know where this complex/over confidence comes from as in my book Ghana and Ghanaians have done great in soo many areas in comparison to Nigeria since independence. 
  • Some Ghanaians can have an inferiority complex  and are too keen to please foreigners from any country and this is exhibited at times with Nigerians (learn your history and be proud)
  • The over confidence of Nigerians has its positives, they use their aggression to grind, they are fearless, they think big and even when wrong they they still stand by their country and flag.
I may not agree totally with the almost delusional belief in ones nation when all the markers show it at fault be it to do with corruption, copying music (Flavour) or even dances like Azonto but i think we all can learn something about patriotism from Nigerians. Now to the actual point of this post, P Square have created an excellent and very lucrative career of copying well and sometimes improving on the original. The great Steve Jobs once referenced a quote from Picasso and states, “Good artists copy, great artists steal. And we have always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

If the brains behind the most profitable company in the world and the amazing device i am currently typing on thought it was smart to build on great ideas then i think P Squared are on to something.

They have crafted their songs, dance moves and dress sense on usher, Micheal Jackson, R Kelly. Just listen to earlier songs like Omoge Ni which according to a poster on this forum is essentially a remake of Celine Dione's unbreak my heart and you will get my point.
Comments on the same platform break down the Alingo  song as essentially an amalgamation of Wiz Kids Azonto and Timayas bum bum. None of the aforementioned have even half of the views of Alingo, guess why?

They added to the original songs and dance moves, sped them up, paid for an expensive well shot video and set it loose on the internet. Soo good is Alingo that these ladies in Estonia are doing their Zumba class to it.

Do you think they know who Sarkodie is, or the Azonto beat maker kill beats is or most importantly what Azonto is? A big fat no all they know is how to move to Alingo. So what can we learn from P Square and the Alingo saga.
  • Nothing is new under the sun, as a creative i can attest to this
  • I can also tell you the worst thing is to have your art/product ripped off
  • Make sure you create something soo amazing that it will be no use copying and if it is copied the world should know who the originator is ( case in point apple vrs samsung and asus ) *Samsungs 'copies' are doing quite well
  • Don't just create something great market it like crazy or else someone will do it better than you (case in point Xerox vrs Apple  )
  • Be proud of who you are and your culture, music or art, refine it or else someone will do it better than you and take all the credit and money. 
Please comment, like and share