- BELatina News spoke to Majnoon, Rosalía Motomami Tour’s movement designers
- Peruvian YouTube, iOA, recreated Rosalía’s Motomami Tour to the ‘t’
- Majnoon wants an apology from iOA, but he has yet to send one out.
- The YouTuber continues to promote the event, which is taking place in Lima, Peru
- Majnoon is contemplating whether or not to sue
They say that imitation is the truest form of flattery. But can imitation be taken too far? Some people would say that it can.
One of those people is the Grammy-award-winning choreographer and movement designer Metznoun Mecnun Giasar, 30, otherwise known as Majnoon. You are probably familiar with his work as it has been featured in many mainstream events. Most recently, you can recognize his art in Rosalía’s Motomami Tour; he was the mastermind behind its impeccable choreography.
Majnoon has a long list of talents. Aside from being a choreographer, he’s also a musician, producer, director, mentor, and fashion icon, among other things. On his Instagram bio, he writes that he’s a chameleon to explicate the many hats he wears. He has done the work and knows his worth. Because of his experience, he is considered a leader in the respected industries.
The moment the Hispanic superstar, Rosalía, showcased the dance moves she learned from Majnoon, they went viral. People began adapting it on TikTok trends and, overall, having fun with it.
Did someone take it too far?
However, the Peruvian YouTuber, iOA, (also known as Ioanis Patsias), took it a step further and decided to copy the entire set. Not only did he copy the entire set, but he also copied the dance moves and the likeness of Giasar’s dancers. He has since put out several shows in Lima, Peru. He and his dancers call themselves the “Motopapis.”
The Peruvian performer has everything down to the ‘t.’ From the lighting to the dancer’s facial expressions, it is almost identical to what Rosalia’s audience witnessed during the Motomami tour.
Though some could argue that this was a mere tribute, credit was seemingly not given to the original brains of the performance.
In an interview with Dazed Digital, iOA spoke about how he had decided to recreate Rosalia’s entire concert after he noticed that his native home was not included in the tour. During the Q&A, however, he did not mention Majnoon or his dancers – and if he had gotten clearance from the award-winning choreographer’s standpoint.
Instead, iOA told the aforementioned publication that in order to “dodge a lawsuit,” he decided not to mention the words “Rosalía” or “Motomami.” His hope was that people would understand that this was a tribute to Rosalía and her team, similar to the foundation of a drag show.
Even though iOA stated that Rosalía had liked and followed him back on TikTok, a formal conversation hadn’t taken place about the recreation of the performance.
What Rosalia’s Motomami tour choreographer, Majnoon, is saying about iOA’s performance
“We’ve seen it before. And it was weird because seeing that your identity is being cloned is a bit odd, but you still go ‘aw, that’s cute,’” Majnoon tells BELatina News when we reached for a comment.
“But recently, when I was in Miami, I see this Dazed magazine cover and there are no credits for my dancers, nor me. I bust.”
Born and raised in Germany to Turkish parents, Majnoon has been traveling and dancing around the world for years. Aside from his art, he told us that he is known for his impulsive, very straightforward, forthcoming, and honest way of fighting for people.
“I literally walk out on artists or I pull out of shoots when they disrespect women, when they disrespect Black people, when they disrespect gay people.”
“I am known as a threat in the industry.”
Being that he is so outspoken, he reached out to iOA himself via Instagram DMs in the hopes that he could make the Peruvian YouTuber understand the gravity of the situation, but Majnoon was met with resistance.
“So, I reached out. There was no formal apology. In fact, there were trigger points being put on top of his actions – in terms of him removing my credits, him sending off all of his fans onto my page, and all of that shit, and he declared war – while I could just sue him in a second.”
After his initial attempt to reason with iOA, he continued to talk about the issue on his personal social media. He posted a few stories about it and has even replied to comments on Instagram about the situation.
Nonetheless, he hopes it doesn’t get to the point where he has to sue. He explains that he is trying to teach a fellow gay man the importance of accountability.
“I don’t want to sue artists, but I do see myself responsible because he’s from my coven. He’s a gay person that is trying to make a change and trying to tribute people. I’m living for tributes unless they’re done wrong like that.”
“My responsibility is to teach him since this is his only profession.”
On the other hand, iOA hasn’t stopped promoting his events. According to Majnoon, the same day that he reached out to him, iOA shared links to his performance.
Majnoon stated that he would’ve worked with iOA if he had reached out properly. He mentioned that he would’ve helped him carry out the performance.
“I love this work. I’m an influencer. I would be on a flight right now teaching him, performing with him, being in the front row, crying, and applauding him,” he says.
“This is what I would have done if he would have asked. But he didn’t and he didn’t ask the dancers.”
This predicament has been ongoing for a few weeks. So, fans are naturally stepping into the discourse. On one end, iOA followers are defending him because they say his tribute is harmless, while Majnoon’s followers are urging iOA to give the proper credit and saying that appropriating someone else’s art is not okay.
Some of iOA supporters are going as far as saying that Majnoon is against Peruvians, but when asked about this, he said that was untrue. He mentioned that he has colleagues and friends in Peru and that he has taught classes in Peru before.
“I’m going there in May to teach the community again. I’m not against Peru.”
Yet, he is uncomfortable knowing that his hard work is being monetized without his permission. His team allegedly ran an analysis on iOA’s event and found that his performance is amassing $240,000 dollars. Still, iOA told Dazed Digital that he is in debt because of the show.
“So right now, I’m the bad guy online, but he’s running a company and paying his employees and getting $240,000 on my behalf. And on my people’s behalf.”
What are the next steps?
When BELatina News asked him what the ideal scenario would look like to allow both artists to move forward, he said that he wanted a formal apology.
“I want a formal apology before I change my mind. And a public apology to my dancers, so I can understand how to move forward. But he’s not doing so.”
He’s also not comfortable with iOA continuing his act with the likeness of his performance, even if he does apologize.
“None of [the dancers] are happy about it. Either he changes the show and just does Rosalía on his own, or he changes the likeness of the people, the hair, the everything else.”
As per Majnoon, the best route would be just tributing Rosalía.
“He can do Rosalia’s track because she’s a megastar. She’s my sister. I love this woman.”
“She respects everybody. We’re really good friends. She’s touring with my choreography stuff you know. But I’m not okay with him tributing my dancers because none of them signed up for this. None of them knew about it.”
Being that he is constantly advocating for people, he is saddened by the way the situation is unraveling.
“I’m heartbroken that this has to happen. But I also feel like I’m responsible. It doesn’t add up if I don’t put up to the actions that I’m preaching.”
Majnoon comes from nothing and understands the value of his art and the courage it takes to stand up for himself – and for others.
Now, he’s only wondering what iOA is going to do next.
“Is he going to formally apologize this year?”
BELatina News reached out to iOA for a comment, but he didn’t respond in time for the publishing of this article.