Kwesta urges BMW SA to 'do the right thing' after 'Spirit' sampled in latest ad

'We did the right thing because we understood the value of the art! This ad cheapens all of those efforts'

25 September 2020 - 07:00
Kwesta tagged BMW SA on Twitter and asked them to do the right thing by him and his team.
Kwesta tagged BMW SA on Twitter and asked them to do the right thing by him and his team.
Image: Instagram/Kwesta

Rapper Kwesta has joined the masses in challenging car manufacturer BMW SA to do better. This is after BMW SA used a “recreated” version of a song similar to Kwesta's hit Spirit in their latest advert.

BMW SA came under fire on social media after clips of the advert started circulating and fans noted that Kwesta was not credited. They questioned why BMW SA decided to recreate the track instead of working with Kwesta.

Fans accused BMW SA of seemingly going to such lengths to "avoid" paying an artist. 

In the wake of the outrage from fans, Kwest took to Twitter to address the debacle. He said the advert's aesthetic and usage of the recreated song “cheapened” the effort put into making Spirit. 

Do the right thing! It took so much effort from so many people to get the rights to sample that song. We did the right thing because we understood the value of the art! This ad cheapens all of those efforts. Do the right thing for 'The Grootmans' @BMW_SA,” he said.

The ad has a remake Spirit, featuring US rapper Wale, playing in the background. The song, which is one of Kwesta's biggest hits, is sampled from South African house group Spiritchaser's song These Tears.

In a statement to TshisaLIVE, BMW Group SA spokesperson Sibusiso Mkwanazi said the car manufacturer had outsourced a number of creative agencies for the creation of the advert in question and therefore didn't immediately know the details surrounding the rights of composition.

He added that the agency has since reached out to Kwesta and his team to work something out.

“We make use of a number of creative agencies and the usage rights of the composition were handled through these agencies. We immediately contacted Kwesta’s team upon learning of the topic. Our agency is currently engaging with Kwesta and his team to discuss the matter,” he said.

Here is some of the criticism from tweeps that BMW SA received:

In their adverts, the manufacturer says they are paying homage to the OG "Grootman" in the kasi that gave the gusheshe it's local fame and vice versa.

“This #HeritageMonth, we celebrate the life of the iconic #Gusheshe, the ‘Grootman’ of BMW that will always be a mark of inspiration in Mzansi. #TheLegacyLivesOn with the new #BMW330isEdition. Iyeza. #BMW325is,” wrote BMW.


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