Skrillex and Justin Bieber may be on the hook for millions in damages based on a new plagiarism claim by an artist who says they ripped off one of her riffs for their song "Sorry". White Hinterland says that the opening vocal loop from her song "Ring The Bell" was directly lifted and sampled for the Bieber track.
In a Facebook post, Hinterland explains that she attempted to contact Bieber and his team about the alleged plagiarism but was completely ignored.
"Justin Bieber is the world's biggest artist, and I'm sure that he and his team will launch a full attack against me." Hinterland warned. "But, in the end, I was left with no other option. I believe I have an obligation to stand up for my music and art."
The sound in question is a female vocal riff which is sampled and processed electronically to sound more like an instrument, and the two samples do sound remarkably similar, although Hinterland's riff consists of four notes to Bieber's five. However, in response to the charges, Skrillex posted a video on Instagram of the recording session in which the vocal loop for "Sorry" was created, in order to prove it was not stolen from Hinterland.
In the video, Skrillex is seen creating the riff from the vocals of another female, who is also one of the writers of "Sorry". While this may prove it is not actually Hinterland's voice in "Sorry", that doesn't mean that Skrillex and his collaborators didn't attempt to recreate the riff after hearing Hinterland's song. Her case was bolstered by the revelation that Diplo, a frequent production partner of Skrillex, actually had the Hinterland song on his hard drive. When Diplo was asked about the controversy, he seemed to agree.
"I thought they sampled it, but I thought they cleared it," he stated , guessing that it "must have been an oversight. I'm sure they'll work out a deal with her. They don't want to go to court with it."
Do you think the vocal riff in question was stolen from White Hinterland to use in "Sorry"? Compare the two songs below and let us know in the comments section.