Everyone knows Calvin Harris, if not by his radio hits then simply by name.
But even if you live in Montreal, you may have never heard of Apashe... until recently, when he called out Calvin Harris on Twitter for ripping off countless scenes in his new music video.
We reached out to Apashe to get the details on his music video, how it felt seeing Harris' video and what outcome the Montreal DJ hopes to see. All the details and both videos are below.
TL;DR Montreal-based DJ Apashe released 'Majesty' featuring Wasiu in November of last year. Calvin Harris released his video this January. Receipts and both videos below.
In the tweet above you can see screenshots from both videos, which feature Adidas-clad youths on horses.
(If this is what Westerns look like in 2019, I'm in.)
Here's Apashe's music video for his track 'Majesty' featuring Wasiu. The song can be found posted on YouTube and Soundcloud as early as February 2018. The video was posted to Trap City's YouTube page on 21 November 2018.
When I asked Apashe how the concept for the music video came to life, he told me it all started when he was on tour in Moscow in August of 2018.
"We took a night off to go out with friends there. In the middle of the night on a terrasse downtown, we saw people riding horses, we got so excited we had never seen anyone riding a horse in the middle of the city so we asked if we could do a little tour. I was wearing an Adidas vest and Adrian took a picture that everyone found hilarious because of how contrasting it looked. Months later we wanted to do a music video and we thought it could be cool to take that concept and create a whole music video around it. Then all we did was add absurd ideas to fill in the blanks, the more absurd the better."
Calvin Harris released the music video for his song 'Giant' on January 25th of this year, less than a month ago, and the song was released on the 10th.
I took my own screenshots of the Calvin Harris video and the aesthetic is, indeed, similar.
Apashe's video, as you will appreciate if you've just watched it, has a sense of humour about it. That's why he's an honourary Canadian (he was born in Brussels).
Harris also takes the aesthetically pleasing and whimsically cool essence of hip youth riding through the forest on horses dressed in tracksuits.
Apashe was shown the video by another producer who had seen Harris' new release and was surprised by the similarities.
"We were all disappointed that there were so many things similar from not just the shots and horses and streetwear, but the whole part of the story about it being a (SPOILER) "trip," we knew Calvin or someone from his team copied us. We thought let's just post screenshots of similarities and see what happens."
In response to Apashe's tweet above, Calvin Harris had this to say for himself:
Well you know it’s nice that we like the same things, a happy coincidence— Calvin Harris (@CalvinHarris) January 31, 2019
Other DJs and music producers quickly started to chime in. Calvin Harris eventually began to refer to the issue as a "witch hunt."
After telling an unnamed DJ to "go back to [their] nazi headbanger music," he also lashed out at a fan saying they are the "reason people kill themselves."
You are, you absolutely are. The hate filled witch hunting twitter enthusiast. The absolute worst type of person! https://t.co/mKjq560raC— Calvin Harris (@CalvinHarris) February 1, 2019
I certainly hope that Harris is not in a position that he feels that way, fame can be very difficult.
Most notably, the Montreal musician Ten Graphs spoke out, not only of the alleged plagiarism but also the way the Harris chose to handle the whole situation.
@ me next time @CalvinHarris— ☠️ Father Ripper ☠️ (@TenGraphs) February 1, 2019
Or hop into my DMs and we'll talk. But you went from calling an entire community nazis to a single man. You want to make it personal? Fine, come talk to me like a man. Let's settle this with our heads. pic.twitter.com/qW083tqQqj
So this isn't to say that Harris has a bad music video on his hands, not at all. But the inspiration is hard to deny, according to fans and other artists.
Montreal rapper Wasiu had this to say:
-names himself the "racially ambiguous" @CalvinHarris 🧐— 🇨🇦🇳🇬Wasiu🇭🇹⚜️ (@AfroWasiu) February 1, 2019
-steals black & indian cowboys music video 🙇🏿♂️ [me & @Apashe_Music]
-releases white-washed version ✊🏻
-CALLS PPL NAZIS 🤣🤣💀💀#BlackHistoryMonth #theIRONY #theCAUCASITY pic.twitter.com/gKqwUzbqOo
Apashe isn't holding his breath that anything will come of these accusations, so all we can do is watch his video, appreciate the musicians we have in this amazing city.
In addition to 'Majesty,' Apashe has music out all over the place. Most recently he was featured in the new Fast & Furious trailer:
When I asked him if he had anything new coming out, he said, "Literally finished my EP right before answering these questions, so that is going to come out this month."
So there will be more Apashe right around the corner.
Good News: my new EP is 100% done! 🔥🏴— A P A S H E (@Apashe_Music) February 6, 2019
Watch the Calvin Harris video below.
I'm interested in your thoughts on the matter. Does it look like Calvin Harris was borrowing a little too heavily? Or am I crazy?
Sound off in the comments.