The Weeknd has found himself to be the object of a copyright infringement lawsuit along with Nicolás Jaar, and Frank Dukes.
Producers Suniel Fox and Henry Strange have alleged the Weeknd’s 2018 My Dear Melancholy, track Call Out My Name is “strikingly and/or substantially similar, if not identical” to Fox and Strange’s 2015 track Vibeking.
The suit was filed September 17 in a California federal court and points out a number of compositional similarities between the songs. “Both works are in a minor key,” it reads. “Both works are in a 6/8 meter that is less common in popular music. Both works are played at a similar tempo. And both works use features of electronica, ambience, pop, hip-hop, rock, and R&B to achieve a particular atmospheric and melancholic sound.”
The complaint states that the Weeknd and his co-writers created the song “without a license, authorization, or consent from Plaintiffs,” and includes musical charts comparing the notation between the two songs.
“The Weeknd is no stranger to accusations of infringement, and this one is probably the most egregious claim against him and his team to date,” said Stephen M. Doniger, an attorney for Fox and Strange to Pitchfork.
He continued, “Epikker (Suniel and Henry) works with many artists in the industry, and was profoundly disappointed to discover the liberal copying of Vibeking, an original Epikker song that was shared with the Weeknd years ago in good faith, in Call Out My Name. We look forward to bringing these facts to light and securing reasonable compensation and credit for Epikker.”
The song Vibeking is not available to the public, however, it was reviewed by Billboard. Despite that, the duo seeks all profits Call Out My Name has amassed and all legal fees that will accumulate over the course of this suit. They also wish to block Abel Tesfaye, known by his stage name, The Weeknd, from performing the record until the lawsuit is settled.
The musician has announced the arrival of his “Dawn Era.”
the dawn is bright for me. no more dark for me. 🌅
— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) August 29, 2021