Justin Bieber was accused of stealing a melody, but it is actually a royalty-free sample that you can buy online
Justin Bieber recently dropped his latest album, Changes, and it took less than 24 hours for the pop star to be accused of stealing the melody used in one of his songs. Indie artist Asher Monroe pointed out that the soft and courageous hook in his 2019 song “Synergy” is the same as that in Bieber’s “Running Over”. However, it turned out that nobody stole anything because the melody was not played by either of the two artists. It is a royalty-free sample from producer Laxcity that can be purchased at online marketplace Splice.com.
Splice is an online marketplace where music makers can purchase samples to use royalty-free in their own songs, reducing licensing and copyright risks. The company works with renowned producers to create sample packages for the platform, including Andres and Mauricio, the duo behind the hit ‘Despacito’. Last year, Splice told CEO Steve Martocci The edge that people listen to more than 60 million examples on the site every week.
The example of Bieber and Monroe can be found in a package that the British musician Laxcity has made for the Splice website. Although both songs use the same melodic sample, nobody copies anyone. In fact, the sample can be used without any effect in any song that appears on the radio, as long as the artists have obtained it from Splice.
This specific sample also appears to be the backbone “Flight” of the Korean hip-hop artist YUMDDA. It probably also appears in many other numbers. Splice is perhaps the most popular royalty-free example platform that is active today, and most users view the sounds that are new, mapped or featured. It seemed an inevitable outcome that eventually a number of songs would use the same melodic sample around the same time.
A side by several people using the same melodic example: because the songs from Monroe and YUMDDA share the unchanged example and nothing else, Shazam gets confused. The app sometimes identifies Monroe’s track as YUMDDA’s and vice versa. But it is no problem to identify Bieber’s number, probably because other percussion elements are always placed on top of the sample.
Laxcity tweeted a video to clean up the entire debacle, with the MIDI and plug-ins he used to make the sample. He also made it clear that the monster could be released for everyone on Splice. Bieber then gave him one shout on Twitter for his involvement with Changes, saying: “Thank you … you’re part of it now.”
In a statement to The edge, Splice said: “Examples are pieces of inspiration. This sound (and millions of others) is available to everyone from beatmakers in the bedroom to top 40 hitmakers. This specific loop happened to inspire Justin Bieber together with other makers, and the internet noticed it. Laxcity has made a great example and we are happy that he receives a well-deserved recognition. “
In the meantime, Laxcity has changed its Twitter bio by saying: “View my Splice sample package for that sweet JB melody monster.” And you can do that here on the Splice site.