Ed Sheeran’s hit Shape Of You was created “from scratch” with “extraordinary speed”, producer Steve Mac has claimed in a Supreme Court dispute over the song’s copyright.
The record producer – whose real name is Steven McCutcheon – joked that he had a “headache”, which was the intensity of the session the song was written in October 2016.
Mr. McCutcheon, Sheeran and Shape Of You’s third co-writer, John McDaid, are locked in a legal battle with two songwriters, Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue, who claim the 2017 song has been severed. parts of the 2015 track Oh Why – which they all deny.
Mr Chokri, a grumpy performer performing under the name Sami Switch, and Mr O’Donoghue assert that the “Oh I” verse in Shape Of You is “very similar” to the chorus “Oh Why” in his composition. themselves.
They refuted claims that Shape Of You was created from scratch in about two hours at Mr McCutcheon’s west London Rokstone Studios, arguing that it was unlikely Sheeran arrived without “a preconceived idea”.
Before the witness box at the High Court in London on Thursday, Mr McCutcheon echoed previous evidence from Sheeran and Mr McDaid by saying the case was “not about money” but “to clear my name”. .
He told the court that working with Sheeran on Shape Of You was an “extraordinary experience”.
“I have a headache at the end of the day,” he said, adding: “This is the first time I have written to anyone like this. It’s unbelievable. ”
Andrew Sutcliffe QC, representing Mr. Chokri and Mr. O’Donoghue, gave an explanation for the October 12, 2016 recording session that Sheeran was “unlike any musician you’ve ever worked with”.
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It’s such a fast process, it’s hard to keep up. No melodic, musical or lyrical elements existed before we started working in the studio together.Steve Mac
But alternatively, he suggests, it’s because the singer has “figured out how he wants this song to sound” and “already had the lyrics and ideas in place that he could implement quickly.”
Mr. McCutcheon said he disagrees with Sheeran: “His writing speed is so extraordinary that we can write 26 songs in a week.”
In his written witness statement, the producer, who has worked with artists including Boyzone, Westlife, JLS, Clean Bandit, Pink and Bastille, said the creation of Shape Of You was a “process fast process”.
He said he had a “clear recollection that Ed, Johnny, and I created Shape of You from scratch at Rokstone Studios the day we first met.”
Mr. McCutcheon told Thursday’s hearing he initially provided the marimba sound on the track and also “melted into the lyrics and melody of the day.”
He disagreed with a suggestion Sheeran led the session on, later adding: “He’s coming up with an entire song with Johnny and me at phenomenal speed.”
In its written statement, the producer described the singer as “singing spontaneously a melodious and lyrical stream of ideas” and as “a whirlwind of ideas”.
“It was such a fast process, it was hard to keep up,” he said, adding: “There was no melodic, musical or lyrical element that existed before we started working in the studio. together.”
He said he hadn’t heard the song Oh Why before the lawsuit and had no reason to believe any elements of it were copied in Shape Of You.
Sheeran has stated that it was Mr. McCutcheon who suggested changing the original “Heya” phrase to “Oh I” on the track.
But the producer told the court he didn’t originate the phrase “Oh I” and couldn’t remember who did.
In his written witness statement, Mr. McCutcheon, who said he has had about 190 worldwide hit singles during his career, noted that substantiation had previously been sought because of the similarities between Strip That Down – a song he and Sheeran wrote – and Shaggy’s It Was Not Me.
Earlier, the court announced the liquidation request due to a later altered reference to the song TLC No Scrubs on Shape Of You.
Mr. McCutcheon said in his written statement that he “completely disagrees with a clear suggestion that twice indicates he has a “habit of plagiarism of other writers”.
He writes: “I always try to make songs completely original unless I feel, in a particular case, it would enhance a song to use a reference to another work.
“If I do, I will credit when it’s due and notify my publisher so clearance can be arranged.
“There is nothing wrong with referencing other songs that way if cleared.
“I have been a successful international writer for many years – it is completely unacceptable to me to copy other people’s work in the way suggested, and I will not achieve success by doing so. so.”
Legal proceedings were initiated by Sheeran and his co-authors in May 2018, with them asking the Supreme Court to declare they did not infringe the copyrights of Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue.
In July 2018, Mr Chokri and Mr O’Donoghue made their own claims for “copyright infringement, damage and profit accounts related to the alleged infringement”.
Mr. McCutcheon’s direct evidence was concluded on Thursday, with the trial before Mr. Justice Zacaroli continued.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/sheerans-shape-of-you-was-made-from-scratch-at-extraordinary-speed-producer-41432391.html Sheeran’s Shape Of You was made ‘from scratch with extraordinary speed’ – producer