Tennan

Tennan’s recent reveal has sparked a number of producers to come forward and call out Mihalis Safras for allegedly ripping off their tracks. We get the low down on what’s gone on.

Hi Tennan, you publicly accused Mihalis Safras of sampling a part from a demo you sent him. How did you find out about the alleged infringement and how can you be 100% sure that he sampled your track?

Tennan: I sent Mihalis Safras a few demos 6 months ago via SoundCloud which he downloaded, along with Steve Lawler, Michael Bibi and Hector Couto. The tracks I sent were called “Comerta” and the other one “Hypergroove”.

I was browsing around Beatport recently and came across a new remix from Mihalis Safras which was available for pre-order. I played the track and immediately recognised my loop. Safras sampled and looped “Comerta” and named this new sample loop as Hypergroove (so he switched names) and made a mashup of my track by just adding a 4×4 loop on top of it. The remix has now been retracted from the release though which says it all really…

Did you contact Mihalis Safras about this and what was his reply?

Tennan: As soon as I heard my track playing back on Beatport with Safras’ name on it I panicked! Music to me is sacred. I’ve been spending countless hours in the studio trying to get my sound right, so I impulsively made a video comparing the two tracks and uploaded it on my page.

After I confronted Safras with my video, he sent me a voicemail (in Greek) admitting that he extracted the loop from my demo track, because apparently it wasn’t named properly and offered to add my name on the remix and give me some credit too.

Obviously, I knew exactly what was happening at this point, he had stolen my track thinking that he’d get away with it but he got caught and was trying to cover it up. After that, a bombardment of hectic replies followed on my video by Mihalis Safras, only to be removed afterwards.

In the meantime, his management got in touch asking me to remove all posts involving him.

I offered to settle this in a peaceful manner and asked Safras to provide a short apology for his mistake and I would have taken down all posts involving him.

At first they agreed to provide this public apology and told me that they’ll start working on a draft which will then send to me for a review. Obviously this never happened, Mihalis put his ego first, abruptly changed his mind and uploaded a video of himself trying to break down my “Hypergroove” loop, misleading people in the process and claiming that it was his own production.

The bass Mihalis showed in his breakdown video clearly wasn’t the bass that he originally had in the track. He changed it for the purpose of making his video seem genuine.

What about all the people who say you did this for money and attention? Plus that you were wrong not to speak to Mihalis first before going public? Obviously you felt he had ripped off your track but knowing how things work in the industry, is publicly outing him and forcing him in to a corner, really the best way to get the apology you wanted? Or were you just trying to hurt him because he is a big name and was abusing his position? Or is there actually more to this story that you’re not telling us?

Tennan: That’s complete horse shit. Nobody is complaining about me going public especially after all these producers came forward, except Safras’ work circle and friends. I am the first one to apologise when am in the wrong but in this case they were the ones who should have apologised about the situation.

After I went public, Safras left me a voice message basically saying “I must have ripped off your track, no worries. We can either release it together or I can replace it just please don’t go public”. The word “sorry” can’t be heard on that message so I don’t think I would have gotten one if I didn’t go public.

As for seeking attention etc that’s also absurd. I’ve had tracks released on Repopulate Mars, VIVa MUSiC, 20/20 Vision, Sanity and lately Moon Harbour and I also have more EP’s that I’ve already signed and I am about to sign on great labels! I will get attention from my music and not from arguing.

They keep saying its personal but I have never met Mihalis in person, just sent him an email with my music which he sampled and that made me furious. He keeps saying beef. There is no beef here except from stealing.

Mihalis is using his label as a platform to rip people’s hard work off. I am the victim here. If I hadn’t talked this thing would have happened again and more artists would suffer in silence. I have received the full support of the people through this and that’s the one and only truth.

We downloaded the mp3 of the demo you sent to Mihalis and found that it doesn’t contain any artist information. Given he probably receives hundreds of demos and has them sat on his studio computer – can you see the error you’ve made in not tagging your work? How was he meant to contact you when he sampled this if he didn’t know you were the artist?

Tennan: First of all, there is this unwritten rule that it’s unethical to sample a completed and full modern production and use it as your own, especially if it’s a demo track and as you said his computer must be full of them. Because the tracks sit on his computer doesn’t mean that he owns them. I am not against sampling a snare, kick, hi-hat etc from someone else’s production but in this case my whole track was lifted.

Now regarding this being a mistake, the fact that he renamed this new loop as my other track it sure looks suspicious.

Also, regarding him contacting me about the track, there is always history search in browsers and emails, by simply trying to search the file name he could have easily found the owner and the origin of the track.

A lot of well known dj’s are backing his case but you have revealed there is proof and previous incidences appearing from other producers?

Tennan: There’s only been a handful of people really who expressed their opinion and supported Safras to be honest, which is okay. He’s been in the industry for years and it’s only logical to have a few friends in high places who’d back him up and support him in cases like this. And yes, it’s not surprising to see that more people are coming forward really. I cannot speak on behalf of the rest of the artists that are coming forward but I do appreciate the support that I have received from everyone and hope that justice will prevail.

Well if this is all true, then it sucks. How can we stop this kind of shit happening in future and what needs to happen?

Tennan: You actually can’t stop this thing from happening, but fortunately most artists are honest and this is just one of the few exceptions. When it does happen though people should put their fear of going public aside and make themselves heard because it is the only way to stop such actions and get the justice that they deserve.

STOP PRESS: Mihalis Safras now receiving death threats following his public statement (click here to read)

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  • Edit Smith
    Edit Smith

    Editor

    Andy Leavy aka "Edit Smith" has spent the majority of his life fleeting between writing and taking photos for hard copy dance music magazines (M8, Wax, Mixmag and Muzik), DJ'ing at underground music events and producing, since the late nineties. He was formally one-half of breakbeat-progressive house duo, Dirty Thieving Mongrels. After taking a music production hiatus, he came back with releases on Gee Moore's Bora Bora Music Group and Bonzai Progressive/Green Martian. He’s now working on new material.

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