Renowned singer-songwriter Gia Koka has blown the whistle on DJ duo VIZE, who she claims ripped her original work and used it in a song—featuring another vocalist—without crediting or compensating her.
The blossoming Koka has emerged as one of the most highly coveted songwriters and collaborators in dance music. She has been featured on music by Afrojack and Imanbek ("Hey Baby"), Sam Feldt and Sigma ("2 Hearts"), and Yellow Claw ("Without You"), among many other artists in EDM's corps d'elite. After VIZE and Koka had connected earlier in 2020 to work on a track, the latter joined forces with a few of her own collaborators to write and ostensibly release a song for the former tentatively titled "1 2 3."
However, despite emails from VIZE's team wherein a release featuring Koka was explicitly acknowledged, the German duo went on to unceremoniously drop a song called "Devil's Cup," which Koka alleges is a slightly altered version of her original demo whereupon VIZE made a few minuscule changes and recorded a top-line with a new vocalist. It's important to note that VIZE's changes to Koka's original demo may have constituted a new audio recording, but its glaring similarities to her original work are conspicuous.
You can listen to the original demo from Koka, who is pursuing legal action, via her Instagram below.
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Koka's ordeal represents a sadly unwavering microcosm of a concerning issue in the music industry. Despite crucial contributions to a song, oftentimes dance music vocalists are offered laughable royalty splits or eliminated from the liner notes entirely. Regardless of their ubiquitous impact on the electronic music zeitgeist, they remain vastly under-appreciated. "I'm fed up with the power and abuse going on in this industry," Koka told EDM.com. "The stories I've been getting sent from other songwriters, artists, A&R's are heartbreaking and unacceptable. There are some beautiful amazing people in the industry, but there is a really scary dark side too. But everyone is too scared too speak up about it."
"This whole thing isn't even about my song anymore," she continued. "The power and abuse have got to stop. It's not right and I am not tolerating it anymore. I was taught to be respectful towards others and I demand the same respect back. So often really bad people are running the show and the good people have to take it. No more!"
At the time of this article's publishing, neither VIZE nor their management have released a statement regarding Koka's claims.