Between budgeting problems and artsite demands, there should be an artistic common decency – or at least the fear of God or some higher authority when artistes decide to mooch of other people’s creative pool. But it seems Clarence Peters lives in complete oblivion of these simple moral lines of right, wrong, and common sense.
Flavour released the visuals for his Dance single earlier this week and it didn’t need a closer glance to see the concept from the video had been ripped off Justin Beiber’s Sorry video. The Clarence Peters directed video only has minor alterations in the dance moves, ankara styling of the dancers, and appearance of Flavour in the clip. Everything else is been blandly lifted in such a poor manner it almost seems like the intent was to state this obvious fact.
Except this is not the first time Clarence Peters has shamelessly fucked with international intellectual properties by cloning concepts, ideas and thematic narratives from established acts all over the world.
From Davido’s Back When video which shared the same greyscale, bedazzling concept with Jay-Z and Swizz Beats’ On to the next one, to his most popular Slaughterhouse My Life and Ice Prince’ VIP replication and even more obvious, Tiwa Savage’s Eminado which caused a minor social media stir up when South African rapper Asuminali went on a tweet rant about what he called a theft of intellectual property.
These are only a few worthy mentions as Clarence Peters seems to on a row with stolen ideas and remixed copycat concepts that neither try to be original in their own visual scapes or be refreshing enough to be distinguished from the original idea.
This is unacceptable.
The music video mogul began his career with DJ Tee’s ‘The Alliance Film Company’ a production company he left to create his own Capital Dreams production company which according to his Wikipedia page is a “company that specialises in the realm of the performing arts, new media art, film, television, radio, and video” all of which are creativity intensive fields, so it is a case of surprise-surprise for us to see Clarence Peters throwing originality in the wind.
For the sake of stating facts, it is important to note that when the brouhaha with Ice Prince’s VIP video began, the rapper publicly defended their joint plagiarism as his idea. A statement that won’t do much for either of them in a court of law, but hints at the possibility that sometimes the theft of other people’s creative work may be out of Clarence Peters’ control.
Nonetheless, Peters is a creative who should know his way around drawing inspiration from other people’s work without making them appear like a cheap imitation of a higher value delivery of a similar product. There is a reason artistes don’t direct their own video and that’s enough said.
The Nigerian music industry has labored for years to identify as its own self. This follows years of mimicking foreign influences and importing half-baked counter cultures as a short cut to mainstream success as we witnessed with groups Maintain P-Square, rapper Rasqie amongst others who were notorious remixers and masters of uncredited sampling.
The industry has since spent the next years trying to evolve as a sound that can be represented anywhere in the world. Similarly, videos that carry the visual representation of these sounds should also bear the mark of unquestionable originality and nobody is expected to understand this better than Clarence Peters even if there are no copyright laws to bring him to book.
Piracy is still piracy no matter how much sugar coat it dons on, and not getting caught doesn’t make it any less of a theft.
You should be ashamed of yourself Clarence.