Ed Sheeran has given testimony in an ongoing court case surrounding his Number One 2017 single, ‘Shape of You’.
As reported last week, Sheeran is currently in a legal battle that has been taken to High Court by two songwriters, Sami Chokri (AKA Sami Switch) and Ross O’Donoghue. The pair have claimed ‘Shape of You’ is similar to their 2015 song ‘Oh Why’, pointing to “particular lines and phrases” that draw parallels between the two.
At a previous hearing, Sheeran was branded as a “magpie” by Chokri and O’Donoghue’s lawyer, Andrew Sutcliffe QC, with regards to his approach to songwriting. “He borrows ideas and throws them into his songs,” said Sutcliffe. “Sometimes he will acknowledge it, but sometimes he won’t.”
As The Guardian reports, Sheeran has denied Sutcliffe’s accusations when taking to the stand on Monday (March 7), adding that said accusations would have been found to be false “if Mr. Sutcliffe would have done his research”.
“I have always tried to be completely fair in crediting anyone who makes any contribution to any song I write,” he said. “If there is a reference to another work, I notify my team so that steps can be taken to obtain clearance.
“I have been as scrupulous as I possibly can, and have even given credits to people who I believe may have been no more than a mere influence for a songwriting element. This is because I want to treat other songwriters fairly.”
Sheeran, as well as his ‘Shape of You’ co-writers Johnny McDaid and Steven McCutcheon, have all “vehemently den[ied]” having heard ‘Oh Why’ prior to the writing of ‘Shape of You’. Sheeran has also since credited songwriters Kandi Burruss, Kevin Briggs and Tameka Cottle – who wrote TLC‘s 1999 hit ‘No Scrubs’ – on ‘Shape of You’, due to perceived similarities between the two songs.
During his testimony this week, Sheeran also revealed that he has recently written some 25 songs with The National guitarist Aaron Dessner, who recently worked with Taylor Swift on her ‘Folklore’ and ‘Evermore’ albums.