The Weeknd’s 2018 song “My Dear Melancholy” has gotten him and his collaborators, Nicolás Jaar and Frank Dukes, in legal trouble with Suniel Fox and Henry Strange. Fox and Strange are electronica and alternative rock duo, accusing The Weeknd, Jaar, Dukes, and Universal Music Group of plagiarism, explaining that the opening to “My Dear Melancholy” was copied from their unpublished 2015 track “Vibeking.”
Fox and Strange are seeking an undisclosed amount, all of the profits from the song, as well as legal fees, along with a court order to prevent The Weeknd from publicly performing, publishing, distributing, and exploiting “Call Out My Name” until an agreement or verdict is reached.
Fox and Strange claim that The Weeknd and his co-writers created the song “without a license, authorization, or consent from the Plaintiffs.” The suit also includes musical charts comparing the notation between the two songs as well as plagiarized elements from “Vibeking,” stating that the song “contains quantitatively and qualitatively similar material in their respective lead guitar and vocal hooks, including melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic elements distinctive to “Vibeking.”
The suit alleges these specific similarities, “Both works are in a minor key. 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.”
– Excerpt from an article for the Dancing Astronaut by Austria Masim. Read the full article here.
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