The song, personally composed as a present to her beloved soccer-stud—Cong Vinh–who is currently workin’ the field in Portugal as a Leixoes player, was recently accused of plagiarism.
With this new single, Tien shared, “Anyone in love would usually have the sudden urge to write a song about their feelings. I am currently very happy with Vinh, and it was also that same feeling that was construed into “December Boy”…Because many people have been asking me about the meaning of the song’s unusual title–December Boy was the name of the magazine edition that Vinh and I both appeared cover-page on for the very first time together. (Not to mention, Vinh’s birthday is also in December) I’ve always been calling him by that nickname.”
But when young netizens (people notorious for their extra keen senses) first took a listen, a sudden wave of back-lashing comments surged online forums and music sites. Apparently, the girl, famous for her self-compositions, “stole music” from a popular Korean boyband member.
In defense, Tien confirms that she did not “plagiarize”. Personally, the only similarity we see between the two songs (after actually trying to link a connection) is that both were based on the same very generic beat. Heck, we might as well throw in Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back”, since it was, after all, the prototype.
Amidst this scandalous brouhaha, 2 famous musicians were consulted and here’s their take on the matter:
Nguyễn Văn Chung:
After listening to “December Boy” and “Strong Baby” , it’s noticeable that the 2 do share an akin beat, although the melodies are completely different. But, in the vast genre of pop music today, it is not unusual to later find out that someone else has already beat you to that same ‘beat’ you originally thought was authentic.
Đằng Phương (Dong Nhi’s manager):
I’ve worked together with Thuy Tien on the Dep Tung Centimet/Beautiful by Every Centimeter soundtrack where she composed all of the songs and I know very well what she is capable of, so it was definitely surprising to hear this news. But of course, I can guarantee that Tien did not ‘steal’ music’ because if you listen to all 3 songs (Sexy Back, December Boy, & Strong Baby), that very trendy RnB mixed Techno beat is in fact more common than most audiences are aware of if each song was to be stripped down to only its infrastructure. We can’t clearly judge from just that.
So what do you guys think? Plagiarism or coinky-dink?
PS: “December Boy” was also unexpectedly chosen by director Vu Ngoc Dang to be Ngoi Nha Hanh Phuc‘s opening theme song. I’d bet Cong Vinh must be feeling pretty esteemed right now knowing that the rest of the nation will be listening to a song written specifically for him.