Who is Sami Chokri? Grime artist sues Ed Sheeran for copyright

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There was no escaping Ed Sheeran’s 2017 single “Shape of You”. Released as the lead single from the singer’s third studio album To dividethe song has flown away top of the UK charts and the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, where the track remained at number one for 12 non-consecutive weeks. “Shape of You” also became the first song to win three billion streams on Spotify.

But the fun stopped when Sheeran was taken to court by musicians Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue, who allege the Grammy winner ripped off their 2015 song “Oh Why” for his own hit. The case has been heard in court for the past few weeks, with Sami Chokri at the helm. But what do we know about the musician?

According to Guardian, Chokri is a grime artist who performs under the stage name of Sami Switch. Hailing from Caversham, Sami’s passion for writing music and lyrics started at a young age. “My parents were very into poetry, so I think I started writing poetry then,” Chokri said. The Reading Chronicle in 2012. Speaking to the publication, Sami also revealed that while attending Highdown Secondary School in his hometown, he met “a lot of people who were very into grime music, and I I started to see that I could go further”. Soon after, Chokri began 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 newest tracks on his official youtube channelincluding “Stay Ready”, “Favourite Song” and, the song at the center of Chokri’s lawsuit with Sheeran, “Oh why.”

As mentioned, Chokri and 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 songwhich the couple claim is “strikingly similar” to their own line-up.

According to Sky News, Chokri and O’Donoghue filed a claim for “copyright infringement, damages and profit account in relation to the alleged infringement” in 2018. Shortly after, Sheeran and his co-writers, Johnny McDaid and Steven McCutcheon, denied the allegations and filed lawsuits.

Speaking to the High Court in March 2022, Chokri explained that he felt like he had been ‘robbed by someone I respect or respect’ and in a written statement revealed the moment he first learned of Sheeran’s success in 2017.

“I was a passenger in my girlfriend’s car and ‘Shape of You’ played on the radio,” Chokri wrote. “She and I were shocked to hear the similarities.”

As the Guardian reported, Chokri also shared his belief that Sheeran may have met his “Oh My” track through the “many hotspots that me and my team shared”. However, Sheeran disputed Chokri’s claims in court, saying, “If I had heard ‘Oh Why’ at the time and referred to it, I would have taken steps to erase it.”

The ‘Perfect’ hitmaker continued in court: “I was as scrupulous as possible and even gave credits to people who I think may have been just an influence for a songwriting element. It’s because I want to treat other songwriters fairly.

Andrew Sutcliffe QC, representing Chokri and O’Donoghue, asked how Sheeran would feel if someone used one of his hooks in their songs. Sheeran replied that it “has happened many times” and that he usually “does nothing” about it, before adding, “I’ve never sued anyone.”

Sheeran’s solicitor, Ian Mill QC, noted that Mr Chokri had failed to register Oh why with the music rights organization the PRS until April 2017 – three months later shape of you has been freed. Mr Mill suggested that the real reason for recording the song was so Chokri could pursue his copyright claim.

“The fact that you weren’t registered indicates that you weren’t making money,” Mill said. “My main objective…was to get my name out there,” Mr. Chokri replied. “I didn’t think about money.” According to the BBC, a trial verdict awaits.

Details of Chokri and Sheeran’s case come amid new copyright infringement allegations regarding Dua Lipa’s hit song “Levitating.” By Billboard, songwriters L. Russell Brown and Sandy Linzer filed a lawsuit on March 4, accusing Lipa of copying their two songs “Wiggle and Giggle All Night” and “Don Diablo.” The complaint came days after the British pop sensation was accused by Florida reggae band Artikal Sound System of copying their 2017 release “Live Your Life”.

Elsewhere, Katy Perry recently celebrated a copyright infringement appeal victory after being accused by rapper Flame of having copied his track “Joyful Noise”, NME reported. “So be sure before you sue me, ’cause I’m a Scorpio, b****,” Perry sang during his Las Vegas residency in March 2022, referencing his court victory.

With contributions from Charlotte Moore.

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