The hype of Melfest competitor Frans and his song “If I Were Sorry” is growing bigger each day, and he seems the inevitable winner of Melodifestivalen 2016. But with that attention comes an accusation of plagiarism, with some saying “If I Were Sorry” is too similar to American singer-songwriter Matt Simon’s 2014 song “Catch & Release”.

“If I Were Sorry” is currently dominating YouTube with the the highest number of views of Melfest finalists, he is number one on all Melfest betting lists, and “If I Were Sorry” is the most played track on Spotify in Sweden, with 400,000 daily streams –  almost twice as much as SaRaha’s “Kizunguzungu”. It looks like Frans is unstoppable.

But as the Swedish newspaper Expressen reports, people have started to point out that Frans’ song is similar to singer-songwriter Matt Simon’s 2014 song “Catch & Release”.

Both songs have the same folk-pop sound and Frans sings in a similar style to Matt. But that in itself is not grounds for plagiarism. For that to happen, the songs would need to be proved to be structurally similar.

Henrik Nyström — the general manager for Matt Simons’ Scandinavian label Pias Recordings — says that the two songs are very similar to each other and that the label’s head office in London will investigate. Nyström told the paper that “It is too early to to say what will happen, but the songs are very similar to each other, that’s for sure.”

Frans’ record label Sony Music have not yet commented, but the head of press Tove Blum told Expressen that “My personal opinion, when I’ve heard both songs, is that I can’t hear the similarity.”

Last year Melodifestivalen winner Måns Zelmerlöw was similarly accused of plagiarism when people pointed out that “Heroes” resembled David Guetta’s “Lovers on the Sun”. But it did not prove to be an obstacle for Sweden, as the song was cleared and Måns went on to win Eurovision 2015.

This is also the third incidence of Mello-drama plaguing the Swedish song contest. In early February, Anna Book’s “Himmel för två” was disqualified as it had previously been entered in the Moldovan national contest. Then two weeks later a snippet of Molly Sandén’s song “Youniverse” was released early, prompting SVT to release snippets of all songs in her heat.

What do you think? Is “If I Were Sorry” too similar to “Catch & Release”? Or is it all an overreaction? Share your thoughts below.

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dutchie
dutchie
5 years ago

@mawnck I’m a composer myself, so I know how it works, thank you very much. But not only the chord structure is largely similar, the groove is the same as the remix. They’ve obviously tried to model it on the remix rather than the original. Now if you take the pre-chorus, the ‘I’d run a thousand miles’ bit, and then compare it to the part where Matt Simons sings ‘let it wash over me’, you have to be just about deaf not to hear that it’s a straight up copy. Of course they haven’t copied the whole song, that would… Read more »

Denis
Denis
5 years ago

Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Elvis Presley, Whitney Houston, Aerosmith, Kelly Clarkson, Frank Sinatra never or rarely write their own material either. Would you say they suck as singers?
Jut because someone doesn’t write own material doesn’t mean they are lesser singers. That’s a strange argument.

And as comment below me says, a remix isn’t a song. The original version is the actual song itself, that’s what should be counted. And the original version isn’t similar. Further more, the singing part is what makes the actual song, everything else is melody.

mawnck
mawnck
5 years ago

“tell me that Barei’s “Say yay!” is not similar to Calvin Harris’ “Under Control” when you listen to this”

Nope.

mawnck
mawnck
5 years ago

“The song is actually more similar to the Deepend remix of Matt Simons’ song. ”

A remix isn’t a song. Neither is a beat, a guitar riff, or a bridge to a chorus. The song is what he’s actually singing. COME ON, people.

This one is another non-situation. If you think these are the same song, please stop commenting on plagiarism. You’re just exposing your ignorance on the basics of how music composition works.

I find it especially interesting that the REAL plagiarism case this year, hook of Dona = hook of Karma Chameleon, is going ignored.

dutchie
dutchie
5 years ago

@nicky91
Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley didn’t write any of their own hits 😉

dutchie
dutchie
5 years ago

The song is actually more similar to the Deepend remix of Matt Simons’ song. That’s the version that is currently a hit all over Europe (except Scandinavia, strangely). The beat, the guitar riff, the bridge to the chorus, it’s really a carbon copy.

To me there is no question that this is plagiarism, I thought this from the first listen. The record company executive has to be deaf (or blissfully ignorant) not to hear this.

MGR
MGR
5 years ago

I want “Flame” with four backing singers in the middle!!!

Nicky91
Nicky91
5 years ago

if you can’t even write your own song, you suck as a singer

MGR
MGR
5 years ago

Of course Ivan also may be good if you look at all participants this year, but Alexey Gross was winner of ESC 2016!!!!!!!

MGR
MGR
5 years ago

PLEASE NOT TO WASTE “FLAME”!!!!!!

MGR
MGR
5 years ago

I HAVE SOLUTION!!!!

ALEXEY GROSS FOR ESC 2016!!!!!!

IVAN FOR ESC 2017!!!!! (internally selected)

PLEASE BELARUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

balkanllama
balkanllama
5 years ago

yes yes they are the same bye bye frans! wiktoria to Stockholm!!

Makea
5 years ago

@Esc Phanie and @Hector tell me that Barei’s “Say yay!” is not similar to Calvin Harris’ “Under Control” when you listen to this:
https://youtu.be/ImcZetEk47k

Denis
Denis
5 years ago

So basically nothing will happen with the song and Frans will still win is what I am getting from this news?
Let’s face it, ESC wouldn’t have been ESC without people throwing out accusations when a song gets to hyped and sucesfull. It was common back then too, but now people have Internet so it’s easier throwing stuff like that out-

I am sure Frans will still be the favourite tomorrow and the rest of the week, and win the whole thing despite everything.

Milla
Milla
5 years ago

If Frans gets massive support from the international juries (like Måns) then I won’t go on nagging about this song. But I have doubts because there are too many other good acts that can steel the spotlight.

Mello
Mello
5 years ago

oh come on, this always happens, doesn’t matter if u start humming randomly, people will always bring u down when u succeed with something.

musicfan
musicfan
5 years ago

True , there are few notes and accords that are similar.
Remember “Friends – Listen to your heartbeat” 2001 and BELGIUM “Liefde is een kaartspel” Lisa del Bo . THAT IS a copy!

Österrike
Österrike
5 years ago

When I was in Madrid last weekend, “Catch and release” was played on the radio and I was instantly excited about Frans on Spanish radio until I realised it was not his song.

Rich
Rich
5 years ago

Not quite sure what the fuss is about. Most songs have elements of similarity to other songs. This isn’t news. The only familiarity of the two songs are the vocals. Thats it in my opinion. Like I said I can’t see what some of comments are on about. I quite like both songs, I could see Frans being popular across Eurovision viewers its very current. Its kind of original sort of, especially at eurovision.

MGR
MGR
5 years ago

Still 5 days remains to final of Melodifestivalen. Today i’m smarter and more precise than I way yesterday, tomorrow I will be wiser than today, the day after tomorrow I’ll be smarter than tomorrow and so on.

Charles
Charles
5 years ago

It’s the chorus that to me screams a certain similarity .. and the fact that both songs have a common sound and vibe makes it a bit hard not to think otherwise. But this is Sweden … Russia or Azerbaijan (with Ukraine every now and then) act like the desperate seekers of Eurovision winning for the sake of political or cultural needs. We all know what happened in Moscow (and the amazing huge stage will never be huge enough to fool me) and in Baku (trying to act politically correct and fake on stage and throwing family members onto the… Read more »

Mendi
Mendi
5 years ago

Yep… This one I can say is very very similar. The only difference I could hear was Frans bit of a unique voice, but the song it self is really really similar…

Cathal
Cathal
5 years ago

Not trying to sound Like hater but I agree! I could tell almost instantly especially at the chorus. Surprised it took people so long to notice.

ct_greece
ct_greece
5 years ago

MGR are you excited about Samir & Victor’s titties? How can anyone be rooting for that???

Turbo
Turbo
5 years ago

This news article is a rip off. Plagiarism pure and simple. I am sure I read an almost identical article last year…

Laburnum
Laburnum
5 years ago

Both are terrible. If Frans could sing (or in this case speak) well, then maybe I would like it more…

MGR
MGR
5 years ago

If you believe in miracles, magic or stupidity of jury, you can also believe that Frans will win Melodifestivalen 2016. For me only this last thing is very possible. The rest doesn’t exist.

davve
davve
5 years ago

OMG.. the two sounds alike because the singers has the same type of voices.. the songs themselves has nothing in common….

Murray
Murray
5 years ago

There similar a little bit but not enough to disqualifie Frans

per
per
5 years ago

Denmark song 2011. New tomorrow, whit A freind in London. Was Andreas Johnsdons son from begining.

MGR
MGR
5 years ago

1-2 Samir & Viktor vs Frans
3-4 Boris Rene vs Wiktoria
5-7 Robin Bengtsson vs Ace Wilder vs Saraha
8-12 Molly Sanden vs Oscar Zia vs David Lindgren vs Lisa Ajax vs Panetoz

MGR
MGR
5 years ago

First and second place for Samir & Viktor and Frans, third and fourth place for Boris Rene and Wiktoria.

Esc Phanie
Esc Phanie
5 years ago

@ Makea seems like you are afraid of Say yay as for the nosense comparative of this song with Under Control, are you kidding??

Romy
Romy
5 years ago

I already was thinking this when I first heared the song, but I still like it though 🙂

jr esc nl
jr esc nl
5 years ago

I don’t hear it…

Denis
Denis
5 years ago

let’s not kid ourselves here. If anyone actually thinks this will get any kind of consequences you’ll be dead wrong. Nothing will happen, except from getting Frans even more exposure and attention. Same as Måns last year, maybe that gave him the win?
Whoever did this was a PR-genius and made Frans a huge favour by giving him more exposure.

He’s still the major favourite to win. It would be a huge upset to lose out.

MGR
MGR
5 years ago

My prediction before Andra Chansen were above million votes in this round for Samir & Viktor. They will finish for sure in top 3 in final and this expert from esctips knows it, but he hates me, because he is malicious.

Bouke
Bouke
5 years ago

Yes

Ljupco MACEDONIA
Ljupco MACEDONIA
5 years ago

Plagiarism or not, this song is WAY too overrated. There is absolutely nothing special about it, and 70% of the lyrics is just “If I Were Sorry”. I mean come on! There are dozens JESC entries far more original than this.

Ian
Ian
5 years ago

I really don’t hear this one.
Personally I think “If I Were Sorry” shares a lot more similarity with Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself”.

cheesecake
cheesecake
5 years ago

They are very similar indeed, especially their voices imo.
Shouldn’t face any serious consequences though.

YoungsterJoey
YoungsterJoey
5 years ago

Nah, I don’t really see it…well…hear it.

Unlike Mans. Once I heard Lovers of the Sun, it totally put me off Heroes.

ObmotESC
5 years ago

That wouldn’t be the first time that Melodifestivalen is won by a rip-off (“We might as well be lovers on the sun”)

Huh
Huh
5 years ago

Well, maybe the song structure of both songs are very, very similar.

tom
tom
5 years ago

Pleas disqualify Frans !
first the songs not only sounds alike ,its actually the same song!!
second it seems now that its the only way to make sweden choose a good song !

Huh
Huh
5 years ago

Given the latest comments below, plagiarism may be an understatement in this case. The case here could equal to following a particular trend like how we are familiar of elements from past Eurovision entries and applying it to the next (i.e. Loreen and Edurne), not the song structure, melody and lyrics per se. Still, it’s up to the people to compare those similar songs if they want to until they get bored of it.

Héctor
Héctor
5 years ago

@Makea Wow… that made my day!! hahaha. So “Say yay!” is a plagiarism of “Under Control” by Calvin Harris? How can we’ve missed it? Oh, yes… because they sound completely different and they aren’t even the same music style.

Pedro Chadid
Pedro Chadid
5 years ago

I don’t understand how the swedish people that have other GOOD songs by Robin, Ace, Molly, Wiktoria or Oscar Zia are thingking in Frans like a winner… The Frans songs is so similar to a lot of others and is cool but not special for to win Melfest!

Loo
Loo
5 years ago

OMG I’m so happy!! I finally got tickets for the final on saturday! Can’t wait! I guess the roof will take off when it’s time for Frans 😀