Nirmala Maghani has a lovely voice, I hope she becomes a rising star: Rohail Hyatt

Musician Rohail Hyatt has weighed in on the ongoing controversy about Coke Studio 14's first song, Tu Jhoom. The song, credited to Xulfi and performed by powerhouses Abida Parveen and Naseebo Lal, was lauded by fans. However, a day after its release, while speaking to The Express Tribune an Umarkot musician, Nirmala Maghani, accused the former EP frontman of lifting the melody of her original song.  The accusation propelled artists and industry insiders to come forward and share their stances. Hyatt, the founder of the show, is known for bringing a number of folk artists to the mainstream. Taking to Twitter, the former Vital Signs member sang praises of Nirmala's voice and shared he hopes she becomes the rising star of the Pakistani music scene.  "Regardless of the controversial circumstances under which I got to hear Nirmala Maghani’s voice, I feel blessed to have heard it," the former CS producer penned. "What a lovely voice she has. There’s indeed a silver lining to every situation and I pray she becomes a rising star in our industry." Regardless of the controversial circumstances under which I got to hear @nirmalamaghni’s voice, I feel blessed to have heard it. What a lovely voice she has. There’s indeed a silver lining to every situation and I pray she becomes a rising star in our industry IA#NirmalaMaghani
— Rohail Hyatt (@rohailhyatt) January 20, 2022 When a user shared that Maghani should be given a chance at the popular show, Hyatt replied, "I agree with you. If I was a judge, which I’m most certainly not, I would ask CS to guarantee her a place in the next CS, give her joint credit on the song and the equivalent of an artist fee right now." He added, "Simply as a gesture of open-heartedness. Not as a penalty of any wrongdoing." I agree with you. If I was a judge, which I’m most certainly not, I would ask CS to guarantee her a place in the next CS, give her joint credit on the song and the equivalent of an artist fee right now. Simply as a gesture of open heartedness. Not as a penalty of any wrongdoing.
— Rohail Hyatt (@rohailhyatt) January 20, 2022 Responding to another tweet about Nirmala getting due credit, Hyatt shared, "I believe some big singers are already trying to make the most of the situation and work with her and present a ‘saviour’ hero song. Just so I don’t fall in an opportunist category, I’ll wait it out." Thank you for your kind words. I believe some big singers are already trying to make the most of the situation and work with her and present a ‘saviour’ hero song. Just so I don’t fall in an opportunist category, I’ll wait it out 😊🙏🏻
— Rohail Hyatt (@rohailhyatt) January 20, 2022 Earlier, the musician had shared how "lack of understanding about raag based folk tunes usually ends up in controversy with someone claiming their idea has been copied." He wrote, "Songs in the same raag always sound similar. Even the melodies can be near identical. Lyrics matter." A lack of understanding about raag based folk tunes usually ends up in controversy with someone claiming their idea has been copied. Songs in the same raag always sound similar. Even the melodies can be near identical. Lyrics matter.#TuJhoom#cokestudio14#AbidaParveen#xulfi
— Rohail Hyatt (@rohailhyatt) January 19, 2022 Shedding light on how this work, Hyatt added, "50 years after the death of a composer, their work becomes public domain. Then anyone has the right to use that work. That’s not theft." He went on to add, "If I reproduce a public domain song, I can’t stop others from using it. But that’s not what’s being practiced. IP is a mess in Pakistan." 50 years after the death of a composer, their work becomes public domain. Then anyone has the right to use that work. That’s not theft. If I reproduce a public domain song, I can’t stop others from using it. But that’s not what’s being practiced. IP is a mess in Pakistan
— Rohail Hyatt (@rohailhyatt) January 19, 2022 Backstory Nirmala Maghani, an up-and-coming singer from Umarkot would like to differ to some aspects of the credits list. She has claimed that the melody of the song Tu Jhoom has been lifted from a sample she had sent to Xulfi back in June 2021, while eyeing a slot as featuring artist in Coke Studio 14. Xulfi didn’t reply to any of her messages, which she thought was expected from such a senior musician being suddenly reached by a singer he doesn’t know via WhatsApp. But the moment she heard Tu Jhoom she realised that one of the melodies she had sent has been used in the song without any acknowledgment. “The melody is exactly the same,” she told The Express Tribune in a telephonic conversation. “I have been calling Xulfi since I heard the song and after a day he finally responded by saying ‘I didn’t even download your audio file,’ which isn’t true because all my messages were received with blue ticks," Maghani stressed the point that all she wants is recognition and due credit for her work and nothing else. “It’s about recognition of my work and being acknowledged for it, nothing else.” When reached out for a comment on the matter, Xulfi denies any such accusations. "I produce and collaborate in the spirit of inclusivity and my work with Coke Studio holds the same philosophy,” he shared in a written statement with the publication.  Have something to add to the story? Share it in the comments below. 

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