It may be too late now to say sorry – but don’t expect Skrillex or Justin Bieber to be the ones issuing an apology over indie pop singer-songwriter Casey Dienel suing them both over a striking similarity of a sample in Dienel’s 2014 song ‘Ring the Bell‘.
The sample in question, Dienel alleged in a lawsuit, was taken from her track “Ring the Bell,” and appears as an ascending vocal throughout Bieber’s hit “Sorry.”
Now Skrillex, who produced the track, posted a video showing how he created the sample independently of Dienel’s work. Skrillex tweeted “SORRY but we didn’t steal this,” posting a video in which he explained how he sampled co-writer Julia Michaels’ a cappella vocals for the “Sorry” writing session, pitch shifting the vocals down 4 then up 12 steps to produce the desired effect.
“All right, so here’s the a cappella from the writing sessions of ‘Sorry,’” he narrates, as he plays a track of the unmodulated voice of singer Julia Michaels.
Justin Bieber has since retweeted Skrillex’s tweet adding the hashtag #wedontsteal.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) May 28, 2016
As well as Bieber and Skrillex, Sorry was written by Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter and Michael Tucker – all of whom are reportedly included in the lawsuit.
Diplo said he did think that Dienel’s allegations were probably true that the Bieber song, which was produced and written in part by Skrillex, did sample the indie musician’s “Ring the Bell.” But he was surprised that they didn’t clear it in advance. Diplo said it must have been an oversight caused in part by having so many writers on the track, which he estimated as being between 5-10. He said he was nearly in a similar situation with Beyonce’s Lemonade track “All Night,” but he caught it in the studio before things got away from them.
“Somebody added it and then didn’t tell anybody, so it’s just they should have fact checked it,” he said. As the case continues to unfold, Diplo only said – “I’m sure they’ll work out a deal with her,” he says, referring to Bieber’s legal team.