In the midst of Crayon Pop‘s “Lonely Christmas” being accused of plagiarizing the theme song to a Japanese anime show “Lupin the Third,” the song’s composer Kim Yoo Min explained why his song was not a results of plagiarism and emphasized that only the genres are similar.
On December 3, Kim Yoo Min posted a long explanation on his Facebook page, saying things like “[The song] is an original creation made without any references. If I had the intention to copy someone, I would’ve made it so that it wouldn’t sound similar. This is only a result of similarities in genre.”
About the similar intros in both songs, Kim Yoo Min explained, “The similarities of the 16 beat brass pattern as well as the offbeat rhythm are because these things are considered to be part of a bebop genre.”
The songwriter also goes into detail about the other technical aspects of music such as the chord progression and harmonies.
In the end, he added, “Although ‘Lonely Christmas‘ is an original creation, I am very sad that the intro turned out to be so similar to an intro that was created long ago. Realistically speaking, I can’t compare my original work to all of the songs in the world but through this happening, I will become a more careful composer.”
Kim Yoo Min was the man behind Crayon Pop’s massive hit “Bar Bar Bar.” He also wrote “I Can’t Leave You” for SHINee and “Hunter” for ZE:A.
Here is Kim Yoo Min’s full explanation:
Hello, this is songwriter Kim Yoo Min.
“Lonely Christmas” is an original creation made without any references.
If I had the intention to copy “Lupin the Third,” as long as I’m not a fool, I wouldn’t have made it sound similar. Because I did not know the ‘Lupin the Third’ song at all, the similarities in the intros only come from the simliarities of the genre.”
The reason why the two intros sound similar is because they are both of the bebop genre, which has 16 beat brass patterns and an offbeat rhythm. The bebop genre often gives a dramatic start, which both ‘Lonely Christmas’ and ‘Lupin the Third’ have.
However, the tone and beat are different. Even in the fermata, ‘Lonely Christmas’ stays on the first interval while ‘Lupin the Third’ stays on the fifth interval. The starting rhythm and the length of the fermata are different as well.
For the harmony, ‘Lonely Christmas’ uses the 1st-7th-4th-5th/1st-5th-7th-1st progression while ‘Lupin the Third’ has a 1st-3rd-7th-1st/1st-3rd-4th-1st progression.
Although ‘Lonely Christmas’ is an original creation, I am very sad that the intro turned out to be so similar to an intro that was created long ago. Realistically speaking, I can’t compare my original work to all of the songs in the world but through this happening, I will become a more careful composer.