A multimillion-dollar lawsuit has been filed against a Grammy-winning artist, two music producers, and a major record label.
Andre Sims, a songwriter and pianist, sued R&B songstress H.E.R (real name Gabrielle Wilson), producers Justin Love and Daryl “DJ” Camper, and Sony Music Entertainment for copyright infringement for the hit single “Focus.”
Sims filed the claim at the U.S. Federal Court – Southern District in New York. He alleged that the trio knowingly swiped his song “Endless Minds.”
The New Jersey resident also disclosed that Camper appeared in a 45-second video admitting that he saw Sims performing the tune on social media and that he slowed the melody down to create “Focus.”
“That was special. So, I was on Instagram, and I’m scrolling. And there’s this guy that I follow– a crazy piano player,” Camper reveals on the video. “He had this… Like a little warmup he had. He did, and I’m like, ‘Man, this is crazy!’ And it’s kind of similar to the ‘Focus’ melody.”
“So I took that, and it inspired me to play it. Like I changed a little bit, put a beat, slowed it down. Boom,” he continued.
— theJasmineBRAND (@thejasminebrand) February 9, 2021
According to the lawsuit, the seemingly damning footage of Camper discussing the creation of “Focus” is “so similar to ‘Endless Minds’ that the ordinary observer could easily determine that the songs sound the same in their essential compositional and other elements.”
The suit stated that Sims created the song in 2004, but he didn’t publish it until he performed it on YouTube and Instagram in October 2015.
The accomplished composer was so confident that H.E.R. and her camp jacked his song that he hired an expert who determined that “Focus” was a replication of “Endless Minds.”
He also alleged that the artist and her team “unlawfully exploited” his work without permission while earning “massive profits and fame.”
Sims disclosed in the lawsuit that in May 2020, he sent the defendants a cease and desist letter to halt all works of his project. He alleged that H.E.R, Camper, Sony, and Love were unresponsive.
He now seeks $3 million in damages, injunctive relief, and attorney’s fees.
The videos of both songs are listed below. Although H.E.R. has not responded publicly to the accusation, the similarities are uncanny.