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Following the release of ‘Bulan’ on May 28, some social media users pointed out apparent similarities between scenes in its music video and that of ‘Lit’, which was released in 2020.
If you're curious… Watch Lit's MV here: https://t.co/UqtTjkxne3
— ☔ (@chelualu_) May 30, 2022
— Timeless SEMI IA (@Timeless_Xingmi) May 30, 2022
On his Twitter account earlier today (May 31), Ken – real name Felip Jhon Suson – shared a statement addressing the allegations, acknowledging that Zhang – also a member of EXO – is one of his musical inspirations, among other acts.
“As the creation of art is often borne out of inspiration, it is inevitable for any of my (or any artist for that matter) songs to have some similarities in style with other artists as I often harness my musical references when creating,” he asserted.
The statement then cited the musicality of ‘Bulan’ to rebut the plagiarism allegations. “A closer examination of the chord progression, instrumentation, samples used and even syllabication will prove the claim otherwise,” it read. Ken also noted that the melody and ethnic chants in the track were inspired by indigenous Filipino ritual music made modern with rock and hip-hop elements.
Ken went on to respond to claims regarding individual visual elements of the music video – from the prominent use of the colours red, black and white to the dragon or bakunawa in Filipino folklore – by listing down references and explaining how they stemmed from an artistic vision for ‘Bulan’ informed by Filipino mythology.
“‘Bulan’ was heavily and responsibly researched that details in the MV had its cultural basis, executed with some variations so as not to offend any cultures/indigenous populations,” the P-pop star wrote.
He ended the statement with an apology, adding that he and his team appreciate the feedback received from all the issues raised. “Moving forward, we will continue to create more art, break stereotypes and promote Filipino culture and artistry,” Ken concluded.
Hello, this is FELIP & team.
We are aware of certain posts circulating on social media alluding to the similarities between Bulan & Lay Zhang’s Lit. We’d like to clarify the allegations & shed light on the concerns as these are issues that need to be addressed. pic.twitter.com/bTNmgi1CJf
— FELIP (@felipsuperior) May 31, 2022
‘Bulan’ is FELIP’s second solo release. It follows his debut track ‘Palayo’, which arrived in September last year, marking the first solo project from a member of SB19.