Rising musician Andre Sims filed a $3 million lawsuit in New York federal court against H.E.R. (real name Gabrielle Wilson), music producer Darhyl “DJ” Camper, and Justin Love for her breakout single, “Focus”.
The Jasmine Brand reportedly obtained a letter saying that the musician and pianist is suing the trio for copyright infringement. Sims claims that DJ Camper was on Instagram live and admitted to using Sims’ “Endless Minds” composition for the Grammy-winning singer’s song.
“I just can’t believe she’s out her performing on TV, thanks to the benefit my original song brought to her first project -as if they didn’t use my song to get her there. So when I see her on tv singing about love and peace, it is amazing as you are a part of a team that unlovingly stole my music…unapologetically so…” Sims shared.
H.E.R. is fresh off her performance of America The Great at the Super Bowl.
Sims also added the album distributor, Sony Music Entertainment, in the lawsuit. “I am truly happy for H.E.R.’s success, but after months of trying to get the rights back to my song, neither she, nor DJ Camper or Justin Love have even apologized or tried to make this right. For decades, we as African-Americans and artists in general have had our music and copyrights stolen. We should never do this to each other. The damage is immeasurable and I will never get my due personally and financially, if they do not come clean and own up.”
Attorney James L. Walker, Jr., says, “whether H.E.R. or Love stole the music or went in the studio and wrote the Focus lyrics to the music, it is clear H.E.R. and her album benefitted from a musical bed and copyright that was not hers.”
Before taking it to court, Sims reportedly attempted to contact DJ Camper and the other writers but was unsuccessful in retrieving any helpful information. Now Sims is suing for “copyright infringement, injunctive relief, an accounting of all monies made and requests that the court require the defendants to create a constructive trust to hold royalties,” according to The Jasmine Brand.
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