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Ryuichi Sakamoto Defends Yoo Hee Yeol Over Plagiarism Allegations

Credit: KBS WORLD TV/YouTube Screenshot

Yoo Hee Yeol recently suffered allegations that he plagiarized Ryuichi Sakamoto’s song.

Since the fall of last year, Yoo Hee Yeol constantly releases piano accompaniment as part of his Yoo Hee Yeol’s Life Music project.

But his recent A Most Private Evening earned criticism due to its similarities to Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Aqua. After apologizing, he pledged to process proper crediting and composition rights with the Japanese musician.

A week later, the Japanese musician himself addressed the issue and defended the Korean singer-songwriter.

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Yoo Hee Yeol Did Not Plagiarize Ryuichi Sakamoto

The Korea Times shared the statement from Ryuichi Sakamoto’s agency, It Music Creative, which is responsible for his projects in South Korea.

According to the Japanese musician, he recognized Yoo Hee Yeol’s respect for his composition. But like the Korean artist, Ryuichi Sakamoto revealed that he also has obvious influences from Bach and Debussy but still does not put himself on the same level as the legendary musicians.

“Every creation is influenced by existing arts (the public domain). It would be great and appreciated if you could put 5~10 percent of your originality into it. I am still trying my best to raise my originality percentage on every music I create, which is challenging. But that makes the art beautiful, I think,” he said.

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Fans, however, told him that Yoo Hee Yeol is guilty of plagiarism as he reportedly copied his 1900 to create Time To Turn On.

While Antenna claimed that the singer had never heard the music before, Ryuichi Sakamoto urged the public to stop the comparison as he does not want the issue to worsen.

Despite the recent defense, music fans still call him for allegedly copying another Japanese musician’s song.

Fans Say Yoo Hee Yeol Also Copied Koji Tamaki

After the issue regarding Ryuichi Sakamoto emerged, fans also noticed the similarities between Sung Si Kyung’s Happy Birthday to You and Koji Tamaki’s song with the same title.

Yoo Hee Yeol wrote, composed, and produced the track. He also registered it under his name with the Korea Music Copyright Association (KOMCA).

Yoo Hee Yeol and his agency are yet to release a new statement regarding the latest issue.

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