Brave vs. Roar

Becca Damante ’17
Layout Staff

The moment Katy Perry’s new single “Roar” was released last month, music fans started making comparisons. The song’s upbeat and punchy chords are reminiscent of the ones featured in Sara Bareilles’ hit single “Brave,” which came out four months before “Roar” in April 2013. The issue blew up on social media almost immediately, with users claiming that Perry stole the Bareilles’ intellectual property by using such a similar chord progression. People started mashing up the two songs together, posting videos on YouTube, and sending out tweets to both of the artists. Fans of Bareilles started accusing Perry of stealing and even cited one of Perry’s tweets with a link to the “Brave” music video as proof that Perry copied Bareilles.

For a while, neither artist responded publicly to the accusations, although as soon as comparisons were made, Bareilles tweeted simply: “All love, everybody. All love.” Recently, Bareilles stated, “I don’t feel like anything was taken from me artistically. I wasn’t the one having any problems with it. I’ve known Katy a long time. We are friends and she and I spoke about it. I look at it as two female artists who are releasing a message of empowerment.” Plus, how could Bareilles be upset when the controversy caused such an increase in sales? After “Roar” was released, “Brave” skyrocketed to the top of the charts, peaking at No. 31 on the Billboard Charts and reaching gold status.

Just this week, Perry announced that she has organized a concert to benefit the Young Survival Coalition, an organization dedicated to young women facing breast cancer. The show is set to take place at the Hollywood Bowl on October 23.. Who else is joining her at this special event, you might ask? None other than Sara Bareilles, alongside music superstars Ellie Goulding, Tegan & Sara, and Kasey Musgraves. On choosing these artists Perry explained, “These are all very powerful women that I really respect and look up to and I wanted them to come together to promote this supportive message and have a fantastic night full of great music.” Does anyone see a Brave/Roar mash-up in store? I certainly wouldn’t be surprised. Bareilles claims that the two have joked about blending the two songs together just to show the public that they aren’t angry.

Meanwhile, fans are anxiously waiting to hear Perry’s new album Prism, which will be released on October 22. If you’re a fan of “Roar,” her second single “Dark Horse” feat. Juicy J is already available for purchase on iTunes. Luckily, no one has accused Perry of stealing this melody; this time, it’s catchy and completely original. At the same time, be sure to pick up a copy of Bareilles’ album The Blessed Unrest. With a combination of poignant lyrics, unique melodies, and references to her recent move to Manhattan, the album will surely impress you.

Do me a favor and support both of these talented artists on their musical journeys. Although it’s easy to get wrapped up in the drama of it all, no one was trying to hurt anyone. Both singers were setting out to achieve the same goal: to empower the youth of today to be brave enough for tomorrow.

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