Korean netizens slam dangdut star Via Vallen’s new music video over allegations of plagiarism from K-pop singer IU

Screenshots of IU’s ‘Above The Time’ music video (L) and Via Vallen’s ‘Kasih Dengarkanlah Aku’ music video (R).
Screenshots of IU’s ‘Above The Time’ music video (L) and Via Vallen’s ‘Kasih Dengarkanlah Aku’ music video (R).

Since K-pop took Indonesia by the storm over a decade ago, there have been numerous plagiarism allegations committed by Indonesian artists ⁠— be it similarities in their songs, music videos, and even down to their appearance. A fresh case of alleged plagiarism in a new music video by dangdut superstar Via Vallen has prompted harsh criticism from netizens in South Korea, which has brought shame to many Indonesians, especially the country’s K-pop fans.

Via recently released the music video (MV) for her latest single, Kasih Dengarkanlah Aku (Love, Please Listen to Me), in collaboration with Dyrga, the vocalist of pop band Dadali. Indonesian fans of K-pop singer-songwriter IU were quick to point out that Via’s video bears way too many similarities with the Korean star’s music video for Above The Time, which was released at the end of last year:

Below is Via’s music video, which unfortunately looks like a cheap remake of IU’s.

It’s glaringly obvious that Via’s video features similar beats to IU’s, down to the setting and scenes, such as Via peeking into a mockup of Dyrga’s room while holding a feather, or when Dyrga poured water into Via’s mug. A scene of Via and Dyrga (awkwardly) dancing in a room and looking into each other’s eyes at a garden surrounded by flower petals also bears similarities to IU’s video.

Last weekend, K-pop news outlet Allkpop reported that allegations of plagiarism in Via’s video had reached the ears of Korean netizens. Many of them posted screenshots of both videos for comparison, which you can see here.

K-netizens wrote scathing comments about Via’s video, such as:

“This is hilarious. They didn’t even try to hide the fact they copied the video.”

“It’s like the cheaper version of IU’s music video.”

“It’s funny because they copied it but made it worse.”

“I think they should just say it was a parody.”

In light of the controversy, Via and her label released statements apologizing to UAENAs, IU’s fanbase, but did not say that the similarities were intentional. 

“For IU, IU’s fans, and especially Vyanisty (Via’s fanbase), and the parties who felt that they’ve been harmed. I apologize for my latest MV, which turns out to be really similar with IU’s MV. There is absolutely no element of intent because I’m not a fan of K-pop in general, so I don’t know much about K-pop MVs,” Via wrote on Instagram.

“Had I known from the beginning that the MV for Kasih Dengarkanlah Aku would look the same, frame by frame, with another person’s MV, I would have 100 percent asked to change the concept. Honestly I am really ashamed when I found out. And I will ask for the video to be taken down.” 

The 29-year-old singer promised she will be more vigilant about avoiding plagiarism in the future.

Via’s video has been taken down from her label Ascada Musik’s YouTube channel and replaced by a lyric video. However, reuploads of the video can still be found on the video platform.

In its statement, Via’s label Ascada Musik claimed that they initially didn’t have any idea that the video’s director had copied the concept of another video.

“The management accepted all concepts or ideas for the video clip that was pitched by the director. There are similarities between the result of the video clip and another video clip. We, the management, didn’t know about it beforehand, and we have asked for clarification from the director,” the statement reads.

The label also mentioned that Via and Dyrga were not involved in the determining the video’s concept and only did their job as talents. 

At the time of writing, both IU and her management haven’t released any statements on the matter.

IU, real name Lee Ji-eun, has found major success as an entertainer since her debut in 2007 at the age of 15. IU has released four full-length albums, seven EPs, five single albums, as well as dozens of singles and collaborations with other artists. Since 2011, IU has embarked on an acting career in film and TV, which includes the hit series Hotel del Luna and Netflix’s anthology series Persona.

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