Grime artist Sam Chokri accused him of plagiarism.
In 2017, there was no escaping Ed Sheeran’s smash hit single “Shape of You.” Released as the lead single from Sheeran’s third studio album Divide, the song soared to the top of the UK charts and the Billboard Hot 100 over in the U.S., where the track remained at number one for 12 non-consecutive weeks. “Shape of You” also became the first song to earn three billion streams on Spotify.
Although, in March 2022, Sheeran was taken to court by musicians Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue, who alleged that the Grammy award-winner’s 2017 hit rips off parts of their 2015 song “Oh Why.” But, who is Sami Chokri?
As per the Guardian, Sami Chokri is a grime artist who performs under the stage name of Sami Switch. Originally from Caversham, Sami’s passion for writing music and lyrics began at a young age. “My parents were very into poetry so I think I started writing poetry then,” Chokri told The Reading Chronicle back in 2012. Speaking to the publication, Sami also revealed that while attending Highdown secondary school in his hometown, he came across “a lot of people who were very into grime music, and I started seeing that I could take it further.” Soon after, Chokri started making his own music and began gaining traction on the Berkshire and London rap scenes as a teenager.
Fans can find some of Sami’s most recent tracks on his official Youtube channel, including “Stay Ready,” “Favourite Song,” and, the song at the centre of Chokri’s court case with Sheeran, “Oh Why.”
As mentioned, Chokri and his co-writer Ross O’Donoghue alleged that Sheeran’s “Shape of You” copies “particular lines and phrases” from their 2015 track “Oh Why” — specifically the “Oh I” hook in the BRIT Award-winner’s song, which the pair claimed is “strikingly similar” to their own composition.
As per Sky News, Chokri and O’Donoghue issued a claim of “copyright infringement, damages and an account of profits in relation to the alleged infringement” back in 2018. Shortly after, Sheeran and his co-writers, Johnny McDaid and Steven McCutcheon, denied the allegations and kicked off legal proceedings.
Addressing the High Court in March 2022, Chokri explained that he felt as if he had been “robbed by someone I respect, or respected.” As the Guardian reported, Sheeran disputed Chokri’s allegations in court, stating that he wants to “treat other songwriters fairly” and has “given credits to people who I believe may have been no more than a mere influence for a songwriting element.”
Per BBC News, High Court Judge Antony Zacaroli ruled on Wednesday, April 6, that Sheeran “neither deliberately nor subconsciously copied” Chokri’s 2015 song — but did acknowledge there are “similarities.”
In the wake of the ruling, Sheeran said that “baseless” claims in the music industry are “way too common.”
Speaking on Instagram, the “Bad Habits” hitmaker continued, “It’s really damaging to the songwriting industry. There’s only so many notes and very few chords used in pop music.” The BRIT Award-winner went on to claim that “coincidence is bound to happen if 60,000 songs are being released every day.” He added, “That’s 22 million songs a year and there’s only 12 notes that are available.”
The Chokri and Sheeran court case took place after fresh copyright infringement allegations surrounding Dua Lipa’s hit song “Levitating.” Per Billboard, songwriters L. Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer filed a complaint on March 4, accusing Lipa of copying their two songs “Wiggle and Giggle All Night” and “Don Diablo.” The complaint arrived a matter of days after the British pop sensation was accused by the Florida reggae band Artikal Sound System of copying their 2017 release “Live Your Life.”
Elsewhere, Katy Perry recently celebrated a copyright appeal case win after being accused by rapper Flame of copying his track “Joyful Noise,” NME reported. “So just be sure before you take me to court, ’cause I’m a scorpio, b****,” Perry sang at her Las Vegas residency in March 2022, referencing her court victory.
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Who Is Sami Chokri? Grime Artist Sued Ed Sheeran Over Copyright Claims – Bustle