13 Nepali Songs That Were Copied From Foreign Music

Pablo Picasso said that good artists borrow, while great artists steal. It is true that great artworks only stand on the merits of the works that came before their time. Artists have been stealing since the dawn of time, and apparently Nepali musicians are no different. 

There are numerous examples of Nepali musicians openly taking inspiration from foreign compositions. The ethicality of such an action is an eternal debate. On the one hand, taking inspiration from foreign genres is what allowed Nepali music to grow through the years. On the other hand, some artists lift catchy tunes from unusual sources just to craft a hit song. 

Whatever the situation might have been, here are 13 Nepali songs that you didn’t know were copied from foreign music. 

ORIGINAL: Quelqu'un m'a dit - Carla Bruni

Carla Bruni is a well-known singer-songwriter and model from France. Quelqu’un m’a dit was her debut album released in 2003. The main song of the album is a soft acoustic ballad that you can enjoy even if you don’t know the language. 

COPIED: Insta Ko Photo - Kali Prasad Baskota 

A whole 16 years later, hit singer Kali Prasad Baskota came out with the song Insta Ko Photo. The song was immensely popular, with highs and lows aided by Baskota’s powerful yet sweet voice. But take a second look at Bruni’s 2003 hit with Insta Ko Photo in mind, and you’ll realize that his song takes the melody from the French song in almost the same form. 

ORIGINAL: Parental Guidance - Judas Priest

Judas Priest is a pioneering heavy metal band from the later half of 1900’s. Their song Parental Guidance is quite an amped up number with a mellow, singable melody. Listen to the tune closely and you’ll realize that it sounds eerily similar to a Nepali song, an iconic one. 

COPIED: Bir Gorkhali - Mantra

Bir Gorkhali is the timeless patriotic anthem of all Nepalis by the band Mantra. It’s been performed in countless school events and will probably continue to be performed for another 50 years. Sadly, the song borrows a bit too heavily from Judas Priest’s Parental Guidance. But it shouldn’t stop us from enjoying the song any less.

ORIGINAL: Tujhse Naraz Nahi Jindagi - Masoom (1983)

This is one of the popular songs from old Bollywood movies that every Nepali knows and enjoys. You might not know the movie it’s from, but you sure know the song itself. 

COPIED: Timi Bina - Sudarshan Gautam

Timi Bina is a 2015 song by Sudarshan Gautam. The music video features a young Paul Shah and it has a staggering 6.8 million views on YouTube. The melody to this song, though, is a spitting replica of the classic Bollywood song Tujhse Naraz. The resemblance doesn’t seem to have stopped the 6.8 million people from enjoying this song. 

ORIGINAL: Margarita - Wilkins

Wilkins is a Mexican singer of pop and tropical music genres who was active in the later half of the 20th century. His song Margarita Salsa is a pretty upbeat singer featuring all the tropes of salsa music. 

COPIED: Oh Amira - Deepak Bajracharya

Deepak Bajracharya’s well-known song Oh Amira copies the above song to a great extent, down even to the title — the strange name “Oh Amira” sounds really close to “Margarita”. We imagine this was an exercise in composition that Bajracharya decided to release publicly! 

ORIGINAL: Hum Dono Do Premi - Ajnabee (1974)

Hum Dono is a classic Bollywood hit that follows in the tradition of old road trip songs, complete with a travel montage video and train whistles. It was performed by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar, with top acting talents of the time like Rajesh Khanna. 

COPIED: Dada Yo Katera - Jaba Jaba Maya Bascha (2011)

The 2011 film Jaba Jaba Maya Bascha, featuring Rekha Thapa, has a similar travel montage like Ajnabee. Listen closely to the song and you will recognize the famous tune to Hum Dono twisted a bit to fit Dada Yo Katera. Seeing as how even the video resembles the Bollywood flick, we can consider this as something of a tribute to the original song. 

ORIGINAL: Suzie Q - Creedence Clearwater Revival

Creedence Clearwater Revival is one of the most influential rock band of the 20th century. Their song Suzie Q has a pretty catchy main riff that feels somehow familiar, yet oddly amiss to the Nepali listener. 

COPIED: Mercedes Benz - Cobweb

Coming to Cobweb’s eternal hit Mercedes Benz, you will recognize a good deal of similarity between this song’s uberfamous main riff and the one from Suzie Q. But Mercedes Benz as a song is too beautiful a song to put it aside just because of this instance of true inspiration. Nepalis will continue to enjoy the Cobweb classic for years to come. 

ORIGINAL: Perfect To Me - Anne-Marie

Perfect To Me by Anne-Marie is a really likable song with a great message about body positivity. Released somewhat recently in 2018, this song formed the inspiration for a Nepali song by an amazing and inspiration Nepali musician. 

COPIED: Ma Dami Chhu - Samriddhi Rai

Samriddhi Rai is known to Nepalis for her many achievements. She’s an influencer, adventurer, musician, and wears a few more hats too. A year after Perfect To Me was released, Rai came out with her song Ma Dami Chhu. As it turns out, the song uses mostly the same lyrics as Anne-Marie’s song. 

ORIGINAL: Aisa Kyun Hota Hai - Ishq Vishq (2003)

Aisa Kyun Hota Hai is a well-known song from the 2003 movie Ishq Vishq, and it perfectly captures the vibes of movies in the 2000’s era. A few years later, the Nepali movie Dharma chose this VERY distinct song for one of its own musical numbers.

COPIED: Kina Kina Hijo Aaja - Dharma (2010)

If you keep the Ishq Vishq song in the back of your head, you will instantly recognize the very same tune used in Kina Kina Hijo Aaja. The Nepali song also gained a level of popularity, but it seems to have taken the tune without adding anything new to it. 

ORIGINAL: Too Much Love Will Kill You - Queen

Queen is probably one of the most legendary groups in modern music history. Although it’s certainly less popular than Bohemian Rhapsody, the song Too Much Love Will Kill You is familiar to every Queen fan. It’s an amazing song that will certainly take you to new emotional heights. 

COPIED: Mero Aasu - The Edge

The Edge band, a quintessential part of the Nepali pop era of the 2000’s lifted the tune from the Queen song for their hit, Mero Aasu. The chorus, which every Nepali has sang with spirit at some point or another, uses the exact same melody as the chorus from Too Much Love Will Kill You

ORIGINAL: Saibo - Shor In The City (2011)

This song from Shor In The City is quite different from any other Bollywood film and has its own following. The Nepali movie Manjari recreated pretty much the entire song, down to the instrumental track, for a song of its own. 

COPIED: Aaja Mann Ko Kura Suna - Manjari (2013)

Manjari is a Nepali romance drama and was the debut film of Gaurav Pahari. The movie also included Kali Prasad Baskota as the music director, who elected to recreate Saibo in its entirety for the song Aaja Mann Ko Kura. But we can definitely agree that the tribute is missing the magic of the original. 

ORIGINAL: Chalao Na Naino - Bol Bachhan (2012)

Chalao Na Naino became a popular party song after it came out in 2012. It’s upbeat tune and catchy lyrics made it a fun choice for everyone. 

COPIED: Dil Todera Najau - Padmini (2013)

Dil Todera Najau from the 2013 Nepali film Padmini appears to be heavily inspired from Chalao Na Naino. One might even go so far as to say that the tune itself sounds somewhat Indian, making the Nepali lyrics sound all the more odd. 

ORIGINAL: The Free Electric Band - Albert Hammond

The Free Electric Band is an old composition from 1973. Composed and performed by Albert Hammond, it is quite upbeat and a fun listen. Increase the tempo a little, and you will realize that the song is quite similar to a one-time hit song from Nepal. 

COPIED: Budeshkal ko Lathi - MT 8848

Mt 8848’s hit song Budheskal Ko Lathi borrows quite freely from Albert Hammond’s composition. The tune is distinct enough that you can easily recognize the similarities if you listen to them one after the other. 

ORIGINAL: Cemetery Gates - Pantera

Pantera is an iconic American band whose work was greatly responsible for the development of the heavy metal genre. For those in the know, Cemetery Gates is one of the best songs in their repertoire. Apparently, X-Mantra thought the same, and decided to take inspiration from the song. 

COPIED: Shaleek - X-Mantra

You definitely have to credit X-Mantra for this song for attempting a whole new type of music in the context of Nepal. Shaleek is one of the lesser-known songs of the mainstream band that stays heavy throughout. You can definitely recognize the similarities between the intro riff of Shaleek and that of Cemetery Gates

These are just a few Nepali songs that took inspiration from foreign songs to varying degrees. What are your thoughts on this musical trend? Do you think it’s okay, or do you oppose it? Let us know in the comments section of this post. 

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