The digital age has made it easier than ever for fans to spot similarities between their favorite songs and potential copies. Recently, the K-Pop world was abuzz with allegations that rising girl group TripleS plagiarized one of IZ*ONE’s hit songs: “Fiesta.” The claims spread like wildfire after the release of TripleS’s b-side track, “Rhodanthe.”
Fiesta, which was released on February 17, 2020, took the music charts by storm, serving as the title track for IZONE’s first studio album Bloom*Iz. In South Korea, it soared to number three, marking IZ*ONE’s debut in the country’s top 10 hits. The song also achieved impressive feats on other charts, hitting No. 2 on the K-Pop Hot 100 and peaking at No. 13 on the US World Digital Song Sales chart. It even graced the Billboard Japan Hot 100 at a commendable sixth spot, showing its global appeal.
However, despite these accolades, “Fiesta” has been gaining attention for another reason today as it found itself at the center of controversy due to TripleS’s “Rhodanthe” having distinct similarities. A trending topic on the popular community site, TheQoo, drew more than 56,200 views, with over 560 comments debating the legitimacy of the accusations. Twitter was similarly abuzz, with fans pointing out distinct resemblances between the tracks. Given the stark resemblance, many began to assume that IZ*ONE’s track was sampled.
WE ARE GETTING IZONE FIESTA VER 2 STREAM RHODANTHE BY TRIPLES pic.twitter.com/8xqcqabX9g
— jl (@yeethyewon) October 7, 2023
fiesta’s sister pic.twitter.com/D6DHmxNEc6
— mgns🐸 (@mingkigen) October 11, 2023
But as the investigation deepened, an unexpected revelation came to light. It turns out that both tracks were crafted by the same composer, Choi Hyun Jun. Not only did he lead the production, but he also took charge of the arrangement of the instrumentals for both songs. This revelation dissolved the plagiarism accusations — after all, how could it be plagiarism if it’s from the same creator?
However, while the plagiarism issue was laid to rest, a new concern emerged. Fans began to question the ethics of a composer delivering strikingly similar tracks to two different girl groups. Isn’t it unfair to both groups? Especially to TripleS, who might be inadvertently opening themselves to potential backlash from IZ*ONE’s dedicated fanbase and the general public.
While TripleS’s “Rhodanthe” might not be aiming for significant accolades as it is a B-side track, the purpose of such tracks is often to solidify a group’s image and appeal to their fanbase through diverse music. The song, designed to appeal and add more loyal fans, may now be overshadowed by this controversy.
In the music industry, where originality and identity are paramount, it raises questions about the responsibilities of composers and producers. Should they be more vigilant in ensuring that their creations for different artists maintain distinct identities? As the debate rages on, fans are left to wonder if there will be an official statement released by TripleS’s company or Choi Hyun Jun.