Very often we hear our singers sing very familiar songs. We sometimes try to think of the actual title of the songs we have heard of recently. And yes, you recognize sooner that they are mostly from the hit songs from the US, Thailand, China, and South Korea’s KPOP. Of course, instead of feeling ashamed for singing somebody’s original songs, may Khmer singers seem to feel ‘wrongful and shameful’ proud that they can sing songs belong to others.
The shameful practice is critiqued well over the country and outside. Just go to Google and type ‘Cambodia’ ‘copy’ Thai, Korean, Chinese, and US, you can feel people’s frustration and angry about the stealing of other intellectual properties. In his expression, a Cambodian blogger wrote in 2011 that “this copy culture become bigger and bigger as well as more and more people know that Cambodia is a music copycat in Asia”. He is right. Moreover, he cited 10 reasons why Cambodian singers copy music from other countries. They are ranked from lacking of music composing knowledge, shameless, losers, selfish…and lots more. Another website wrote “I can see Khmer song copy Thai song in Youtube more than 100 songs”(Asian Finest.com). These critiques are very correct and I believe that many Cambodians are very shameful on this.
I think that there are many ways to address this issue. One particular solution can be that Khmer singers should go and learn how to make music by themselves. Many of them are in their early 20s and 30s. They are very young and rich. So, they have a lot of opportunity to study to become professional composers. Is it not beautiful to sing their own song?