Ed Sheeran revealed that he films all of his song-writing sessions, after winning a bitter High Court fight over Shape of You.
The Suffolk singer, 31, said that he films all of his songwriting sessions to protect against future plagiarism claims.
In a preview of tonight’s Newsnight interview, Sheeran spoke about a previous claim made in 2017 in the US about his song Photograph.
The artist said he ‘personally’ regretted settling over Photograph, saying he did not play the song for a long time.
Ed Sheeran said that his song-writing has changed after his first plagiarism claim in 2015, and often finds that he is ‘second-guessing’ himself
‘I just stopped playing it,’ he said. ‘I felt weird about it, it kind of made me feel dirty.’
Sheeran added: ‘Now I just film everything, everything is on film.
‘We’ve had claims come through on the songs and we go, well here’s the footage and you watch. You’ll see there’s nothing there.’
He said that song-writing in the studio has changed since the first plagiarism claim, and often finds that he is ‘second-guessing’ himself.
He said: ‘There’s the George Harrison point where he said he’s scared to touch the piano because he might be touching someone else’s note. There is definitely a feeling of that in the studio.
‘I personally think the best feeling in the world is the euphoria around the first idea of writing a great song.
The singer-songwriter, pictured yesterday in London, now records his sessions so that the video can be played back — should there be a plagiarism claim
‘That feeling has now turned into “Oh wait, let’s stand back for a minute”. You find yourself in the moment, second-guessing yourself.’
In 2018, Sheeran, along with Snow Patrol’s John McDaid and producer Steven McCutcheon, was accused of ripping off the 2015 track Oh Why by Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue.
On Wednesday, they won their 11-day High Court battle, with the judge concluding that Sheeran ‘neither deliberately nor subconsciously’ copied a phrase from the 2015 song when writing his number one hit.
The 2017 song is the most streamed track on Spotify with 3,091 million plays.
Following his win, Sheeran told BBC’s Newsnight the case had been about ‘honesty’ and not money.
He said he was ‘happy it’s over, I’m happy we can move on, and get back to writing songs’ but that the episode had made him ‘sad’ and changed how he views songwriting.
Seated alongside him, multi-instrumentalist McDaid spoke of the toll the case had taken on their mental health.
He said: ‘In the last year, it got really heavy and it was consuming. The cost to our mental health and creativity was really tangible.’
Sami Chokri (left) and Ross O’Donoghue (right) arriving at the the Rolls Building in central London, where Ed Sheeran brought legal action over his 2017 hit song Shape of You after the duo claimed the song infringes parts of one of their tracks
Sheeran and his co-authors originally launched legal proceedings in May 2018, asking the High Court to declare they had not infringed Chokri and O’Donoghue’s copyright.
Two months later, Chokri – a grime artist who performs under the name Sami Switch – and O’Donoghue issued their own claim for ‘copyright infringement, damages and an account of profits in relation to the alleged infringement’.
The pair alleged an ‘Oh I’ hook in Shape Of You is ‘strikingly similar’ to an ‘Oh why’ refrain in their own track.
All three Shape Of You co-authors denied allegations of copying and said they did not remember hearing Oh Why before the legal fight.
During last month’s trial at the Rolls Building in London, Sheeran denied he ‘borrows’ ideas from unknown songwriters without acknowledgement and insisted he ‘always tried to be completely fair’ in crediting people who contribute to his albums.
Chokri told the trial he felt ‘robbed’ by Sheeran and was ‘shocked’ when he first heard Shape Of You on the radio.
The Oh Why co-writers’ lawyer, Andrew Sutcliffe QC, alleged Sheeran is an artist who ‘alters’ words and music belonging to others to ‘pass as original’.
Ian Mill QC, for Sheeran, McDaid and McCutcheon, said the allegations against them were ‘impossible to hold’, with the evidence pointing to Shape Of You being an ‘independent creation’.
Sheeran was present throughout the trial and frequently burst into song and hummed musical scales and melodies when he took to the witness stand.
His full interview is on Newsnight at 10.30pm this evening on BBC Two.