In the past year, we’ve seen a handful of artists get backed into a legal corner for making music that sounds very similar to other songs without giving any sort of necessary credit. Last year, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams found themselves in hot water for their massive hit “Blurred Lines” after Marvin Gaye’s family accused them of taking elements of Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got To Give It Up.”
In order to avoid another messy situation like the one Pharrell and Thicke are currently still going through, Miguel is taking a more proactive approach like Sam Smith. Earlier this year, Sam Smith shared songwriting royalties with Tom Petty because of how similar the melody of “Stay With Me” sounded to Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.”
Miguel admitted that when he wrote “Leaves” for his latest album Wildheart he immediately thought the riff sounded too similar to the Smashing Pumpkins’ 1996 single “1979,” so he decided to give writing credit to Billy Corgan.
Miguel told News.com.au, “The guitar riff just came to me in such a subconscious way, the song literally wrote itself in minutes… It was kind of reminiscent of ‘1979.’ I was a fan of them growing up, but I never bought their albums or saw them live. It’s weird how some things just sink in… Towards the end of the song when the drum programming kicks in, it’s even more reminiscent. You realize it in a more straight-on way. It’s cool they were cool about everything. It’s all about respect. We’re all standing on the shoulders of giants at this point.”
Listen to both songs below and judge for yourself.