Ed Sheeran sings in court to prove he didn’t copy parts of ‘Shape of You’ | THE DAILY TRIBUNE


Agencies | London

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

UK chart-topper Ed Sheeran sang part of his 2017 mega-hit ‘Shape Of You’ outside court on Tuesday during a copyright lawsuit over the song, and said the tunes may sound similar without being copied.

The chart-topper is in a legal battle with grime artist Sami Chokri, who plays Sami Switch, and music producer Ross O’Donoghue, who argue that “Shape of You” breaks “lines and phrases.” special” from their 2015 song “Oh Why”.

On his second day of interrogation by Chokri and O’Donoghue’s attorney, Andrew Sutcliffe, Sheeran sang the “Oh I” hook to songs including Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good” in the same key to show how the melodies may resemble each other.

Chokri and O’Donoghue say the “Oh I” hook in “Shape Of You” is “strikingly similar” to the “Oh Why” hook in their song and that it was “extremely likely” that Sheeran had heard their track before. Sheeran and his co-authors denied this.

Asked about the similarities between the “Oh Why” and “Oh I” brackets, Sheeran repeatedly told the High Court in London: “They’re both pentatonic scales and they both use vowels.”

Sutcliffe interviewed him extensively about writing the song in October 2016 with co-writers Steven McCutcheon and John McDaid, and changes were made as it developed.

The court played recordings of Sheeran singing the hook in different pitches, called stacking.

“It sounds like you were singing ‘Oh Why’,” Sutcliffe told Sheeran, who replied, “I was singing ‘Oh I’.”

“The lyrics are ‘Oh I, I’m in love with your body. The lyrics ‘Oh why, I’m in love with your body’ don’t make sense.”

Sheeran said an early version of “Shape of You” had “Heya” as a hook, but that was changed after it sounded like a line in Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.”

He was also asked that he originally wanted to reference a tune from TLC’s “No Scrubs”. In his witness statement, Sheeran said an attempt at clarification was made, but the relevant part of his song was ultimately changed. The “No Scrubs” writers then received a credit on “Shape of You”.

A legal proceeding between the two parties dates back to 2018 when Sheeran, McCutcheon and McDaid asked the High Court to declare that they had not infringed Chokri and O’Donoghue’s copyright for ‘Oh Why’. Chokri and O’Donogue then filed a counterclaim alleging infringement.

Sutcliffe said the initial decision by Sheeran, McDaid and McCutcheon was intended to deter later claims over large legal fees.

Sheeran denied this, adding, “Me, Johnny and Steve are here to clear our name.”

He said he had “disappeared for the whole year” in 2016 and was not actively following the UK music scene.

“You’re an excessive music squirrel. You consume music voraciously,” Sutcliffe told Sheeran. “I’m a music fan, I love music, I listen to music,” Sheeran replied.

On Monday, Sheeran said he was unaware of Switch at the time he was accused of stealing parts of “Oh Why,” and that he had never heard the song before the trial.

Sheeran was briefly upset when a piece of his unreleased music was played. The court was told that the wrong folder on McCutcheon’s laptop was accidentally opened.


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