Jason Derulo has incurred the wrath of our Kiwi friends on social media after many believed he sampled a piece of music by New Zealand musician Joshua Stylah (aka Jawsh 685) without crediting the 17-year-old up-and-coming artist.
Stylah’s song ‘Laxed (Siren Beat)’ exploded on TikTok after he used the track as a means to pay tribute to his Samoan and Cook Island heritage, including by referencing “685” (the calling code for Samoa) in the middle of the song. The unusual instrumental reportedly comes from a New Zealand/Pasifika trend of creating beats to play through siren speakers, generally attached to cars or bikes, with a sound that is derived from dembow and reggae music.
The track has since gone viral across the video-sharing platform, turning into what would soon be known as the ‘Culture Dance’ challenge where users around the world joined Stylah in posting clips of themselves dancing to the island song in celebration of their own various cultures. While Stylah first uploaded the track back in July 2019, it has taken TikTok by storm, with the song appearing in more than 750,000 TikToks a day and garnering more than 43 million total views at the time of writing.
So where the hell does Jason Derulo come into all this, you may ask? Well basically, the ‘Mamacita’ singer recently dropped a sneak peek of his upcoming track ‘Savage Love’ – which uses the ‘Laxed’ melody as the hook – and posted the clip to his 20 million-plus TikTok followers, initially failing to give credit to Stylah.
Jawsh 685 fans ripped into him for not giving a shout out to the rising star, with one writing in the comments: “Give credit to the NZ producer that made the original beat,” was another said: “You not slick Jason Dorito, we seen you delete it the first time cos it was getting flooded with hate,” wrote another.
“Make sure you give love ($) to jawsh365 for the beat you ripped,” a third said.
Derulo quickly deleted and reposted the dance, albeit with a credited post that read: “Had fun remixing @jawsh_685 siren beat #SavageLove 🔥🔥🔥 summer vibes,” Derulo said, while also tagging Stylah in response to a comment saying, “@jawsh_685 killed this beat.”
After doing a bit of a deep dive, however, it seems that Jason Derulo never “stole” or “ripped off” the song in the first place, with the track appearing on popular music production site Beatport as being licensed to Sony and available for download.
NZ Herald has confirmed that the young star has even scored a major record deal.
Stylah said he was “feeling thankful for all of the support so far” and planned to “get Manurewa 67 on the map”.