Doja Cat‘s metal reimagining of her hit song “Say So” at the MTV Europe Music Awards certainly turned a few heads, including Australian prog guitarist Plini who was surprised to hear part of one of his compositions used within the performance without his permission. Shortly after the performance started stirring up buzz online, Plini pointed out the usage of his music on Twitter.
Plini released the song “Handmade Cities” on his debut full length album of the same name in 2016, and he was surprised to catch his music being played during the performance. The musician has been releasing music since 2011 and was even nominated for Live Guitarist of the Year at 2018’s National Live Music Awards in Australia in 2018.
“Someone tell @DojaCat that if she digs the arrangement of this at 2:50 onwards, then she would love my song ‘handmade cities,'” responded the guitarist after initially seeing the performance.
As word of the seeming lifting of Plini’s track started to circulate, the musician then offered a little more detail on his thoughts about the usage. In the Instagram post below, he shared, “In case you missed it, @dojacat ‘s recent performance of ‘say so’ for MTV borrowed a few elements from my song ‘handmade cities’ for its new live arrangement. i think it’s an awesome performance (shout out to the homie @laribasilio – sick playing!) and more than anything, find it absolutely hilarious that something i wrote 4 years ago in my bedroom would find its way here.”
He went on to add, “The lack of prior communication about it or proper credit upon release is disappointing but not particularly surprising in a sector of the industry that is usually more interested in clout than creativity. (it’s being sorted now, but would have been cooler a million views ago).” Plini then hyped his upcoming album in the post with a direction on how to pre-order, while also showcasing video of Doja Cat’s MTV EMA performance along with some of the music from his song “Handmade Cities.”
The seeming misstep over the music credit is the latest incident in a problematic year for the emerging star. As XXL pointed out earlier this year, Doja Cat faced significant backlash on social media when she was accused of associating with white supremacists and using racial slurs in chat rooms in the past.
Back in May, Doja was a No. 1 trending topic on Twitter via the hashtag #DojaCatIsOverParty when a video surfaced showing her in an online chatroom with reported members of the alt-right/incel community.
After the discovery, people dug deeper and found her 2015 single, “Dindu Nuffin,” which allegedly references a racial slur for Black people complaining about police brutality. Some people even believed the record poked fun at the death of Sandra Bland, a Black woman who died in police custody in Texas in 2015 under very suspicious circumstances.
Doja eventually addressed the backlash in an Instagram post. “I want to address what’s been happening on Twitter. I’ve used public chat rooms to socialize since I was a child. I shouldn’t have been on some of those chat room sites, but I personally have never been involved in any racist conversations. I’m sorry to anyone I offended,” she explained.
As for the “Dindu Nuffin” song, she explained that she wrote the song as a response to “people who often used that term to hurt me,” with the intent of flipping the meaning, but realizing it was “a bad decision” on her part.
She ended with an apology stating, “I understand my influence and impact and I’m taking this all very seriously. I love you all and I’m sorry for upsetting or hurting any of you. That’s not my character and I’m determined to show that to everybody moving forward. Thank you.”
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