According to various reports, Sam Smith and Normani are being sued for copyright infringement for a 2015 track titled Dancing with a Stranger by Jordan Vincent. As per Rolling Stone, a legal complaint was filed in Los Angeles federal court on Friday, March 4.
In the lawsuit, artists Jordan Vincent, Christopher Miranda, and Rosco Banlaoi alleged that Smith and Normani had infringed upon their song’s chorus and composition. Furthermore, as per Rolling Stone, the documents also claimed that the music videos of both songs had similarities.
This is the second time Smith has been sued for alleged copyright infringement over musical similarities. In 2015, it was reported that the singer reached a settlement with Tom Petty, who claimed that Smith’s song Stay With Me had compositional similarities to the latter’s 1989 song I Won’t Back Down.
What are the allegations against Sam Smith and Normani’s ‘Dancing with a Stranger’ track?
As per the copyright claim lawsuit, Vincent and his associates alleged that Sam Smith and Normani’s song had plagiarized some facets of the 2015 track. These parts included the chorus, composition, and setting of the music video.
In the document, the group claims that Smith’s song has the lyrics “Dancing with a Stranger,” which is repeated in the track multiple times. The suit alleges that the chorus’s melody is “nearly identical.” Furthermore, they claim that the musical composition of the tracks is also similar.
The controversy ignited further with the allegations of Sam Smith and Normani’s version of the song having a similar idea for the music video. In the video, Normani dances and sings to the track, which is spliced together with Sam Smith’s vocal parts and scenes. The video’s premise in Vincent’s video is similar, with a dancer’s performance alongside the artist’s appearance.
Jordan Vincent’s lawsuit states:
“Both videos consist of a girl performing interpretive dance alone in a minimalist studio, interspersed with shots of the male vocalist.”
The suit also claims that the plaintiff tried to establish contact with Smith. However, assurances of a reply along with a musical analysis comparing the two songs were never reportedly given to Vincent. The document states that the suit is a “last resort.”
Following the application of this lawsuit, Vincent is seeking compensation for the damages caused by the infringement of his intellectual property. The suit targets Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, and EMI Music Publishing. Thus, it remains to be seen if the artists will settle outside of court.