Singer Ed Sheeran is still facing his trial over claims that he lifted the hook of his 2017 single “Shape of You” from another artist.
Songwriter Sami Chokri took the stand to allege that “Shape Of You” steals the “Oh, I, Oh I, Oh I,” hook from his 2015 single, “Oh Why,” which he previously claimed he had sent to Sheeran in the hopes of a collaboration.
Sami Chrokri Says Ed Sheeran ‘Belittled’ Him During ‘Shape Of You’ Copyright Trial
The “Shape of You” copyright trial at London’s High Court convened for another day, when Sami Chokri, who performs under the name Sami Switch, claimed that he was “belittled” by the “Bad Habits” singer, as reported by the BBC.
During his testimony, he said that “I feel like I’ve been robbed by someone I respect, or respected.”
“This is years of a cloud over my head. All I heard and read was emails belittling me and my questions,” he continued. “All I wanted to do was ask for an explanation. If I’d had one we wouldn’t have had to go through with this rubbish.”
He has also called the trial one of “the most horrible few weeks of my life.”
Sami Chokri Alleges That Jamal Edwards Posted A ‘Shifty-Eyes’ Emoji Prior To His Death
Chokri claims he first heard the song “Shape of You” when he was driving in the car with his girlfriend and the song came over the radio. “She and I were both shocked to hear the similarities,” he recalled.
He testified that he created a Facebook post asking, “Anyone else think Ed Sheeran’s new song ‘Shape Of You’ chorus sounds familiar lol?”
Chokri testified that he “had lots of responses,” including one from the late SBTV found Jamal Edwards, who helped jumpstart Ed Sheeran’s career. Chokri claims that Edwards posted a shifty-eyes emoji that was later deleted.
“I thought maybe h had played a part in showing [my song] to Ed,” Chokri said on the stand. “I had no reason to ever consider it coming to circumstances like these.”
However, Edwards had written a witness statement in September 2021 – months before his death – claiming that he had never posted a shifty-eyed emoji and did not recall ever thinking that there were similarities between “Shape of You” and “Oh Why.” He also claims that he never send Ed Sheeran a copy of the song.
“Even if I was sent a copy, I did not share it with Ed,” he wrote at the time.
However, Chokri remained adamant that it was likely that Edwards showed Sheeran his song. “I respect what Jamal says, but I also believe that Jamal would share music with Ed Sheeran,” he said.
Sami Chokri Insists That Ed Sheeran Heard The Song, Suggests That He Is Lying Under Oath
Last week, the “Tenerife Sea” singer took the stand in his own defense and told the courts that the hook in question was “very short” and both songs had very similar melodic beats that were frequently used in music.
“Even so, if I had heard Oh Why at the time and had referenced it, I would have taken steps to clear it,” Sheeran said, noting that they had also given TLC’s “No Scrubs” songwriting credit on the song after drawing from its influences.
“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,” Ed Sheeran insisted on the stand. “This is because I want to treat other songwriters fairly.”
However, Chokri rejected Ed Sheeran’s claim that he had never heard the song before. “I believe Ed Sheeran heard it,” he insisted. “That’s my truth.” When he was asked if he was accusing Sheeran of lying under oath, Chokri replied, “I’m not sure if he lied or he just doesn’t remember.”
Sami Chokri Says That He Sent The ‘Oh Why’ EP To Many In Ed Sheeran’s Circle
Chokri revealed that he tried to get the “Overpass Graffiti” singer to listen to his song “as I was inspired by his success and stardom and his endorsement would be a significant boost.”
As a result, he claims he sent that EP to several people in Sheeran’s circle, including producer Adam Coltman, musician Jake Roche, and Jamal Edwards. Chokri insisted he was “certain” that one of them would have shown the song to Sheeran but “I can’t tell you exactly which because I don’t know.”
However, Ian Mill, who is representing Sheeran, turned the tables on Chokri when he pointed out similarities between “Oh Why” and Ed Sheeran’s cover of the Johnny Cash song “The Wayfaring Stranger,” which was recorded prior to 2015. When asked if “Oh Why” could have been inspired by “The Wayfaring Stranger,” Chokri replied, “I doubt it” although he did admit to being a fan of Sheeran’s cover of that song.
“I definitely appreciated his work,” he said. “But I’ve got a bitter taste in my mouth since he stole a part of my song.”