Wajid, of the composer duo Sajid-Wajid, confesses that a part of the music in their Rowdy Rathore score is borrowed from the original Telugu film Vikramarkudu.
Directed by Prabhu Deva, Rowdy Rathore, that has Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha in the lead roles, is set for a June 1 release.
"There is a signature tune in Vikramarkudu, which we couldn't avoid. It was an integral part of the theme in the Telugu film. Our producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who is very music-minded, our director Prabhu Deva and my brother Sajid decided that we needed to incorporate that refrain in the Hindi remake, so we did," said Wajid and adds tongue-in-cheek that there is nothing underhand about the appropriation.
"We've taken the rights of the original music and then we've used it. We've also changed the original tune completely. But we still want to draw attention to the borrowed bits before others jump in gleefully and accuse us of plagiarism," he added.
Wajid says that the right to use the original music has been officially bought.
"We didn't have to do that because we changed the original tune completely. But we didn't want to rob anyone of their rightful dues," he said.
There's an added reason why Sajid-Wajid decided to take the derivative root for Rowdy Rathore.
"The Vikramarkudu score is by M.M. Kreem. We're big fans of Kreem Saab. And we agreed to borrow his tune only because it's an honour to associate with him. Otherwise we maintain we'll never borrow let alone copy anyone's music. If anyone catches us doing so we are willing to apologize publicly," said Wajid.