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Ed Sheeran wrote 25 songs in a week with The National’s Aaron Dessner

The revelation came during Sheeran's ongoing 'Shape Of You' copyright trial

By Will Richards

Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran (Photo: Press) / Aaron Dessner (Photo: Josh Goleman).

Ed Sheeran says that he recently wrote 25 new songs in the space of a week with The National’s Aaron Dessner.

The revelation came in Sheeran‘s ongoing copyright trial regarding his 2017 song ‘Shape Of You’. The singer is facing a dispute with two musicians, Sami Chokri and Ross O’Donoghue, who allege that Sheeran’s 2017 hit ‘Shape Of You’ plagiarises parts of their 2015 song ‘Oh Why’.

According to the BBC’s Mark Savage, Sheeran appeared at the High Court yesterday (March 7) and told the court that he recently wrote a huge amount of new material in a short space of time with Dessner, who plays in The National and produced and co-wrote Taylor Swift’s two 2020 lockdown albums, ‘folklore’ and ‘evermore’.

No further information about the collaboration is currently available.

In his copyright trial, Chokri and O’Donoghue claim that the ‘Oh I’ hook of ‘Shape’ Of You” is “strikingly similar” to their track, which was released under the name Sami Switch.

Sheeran and co-writers Steven McCutcheon and John McDaid were barred by music licensing body PRS for Music from collecting an estimated £20 million in royalties from performances or broadcasts of the track.

On Friday (March 4), barrister Andrew Sutcliffe QC asked how Sheeran wrote his songs and if he “makes things up as he goes along”.

He continued: “Or is his songwriting process in truth more nuanced and less spontaneous … involving the collection and development of ideas over time which reference and interpolate other artists. This is the defendants’ case.

“Mr Sheeran is undoubtedly very talented, he is a genius. But he is also a magpie. He borrows ideas and throws them into his songs, sometimes he will acknowledge it but sometimes he won’t.”

Ed Sheeran wears a blue velvet suit and dark blue tie against the BRIT Awards backdrop
Ed Sheeran at the 2022 BRIT Awards last month. (Photo: Rolling Stone UK)

Yesterday, Sheeran gave evidence to suggest he had cleared parts of the songs with lesser-known artists, according to the BBC.

Sutcliffe told Sheeran: “The evidence is overwhelming that at the time of writing ‘Shape of You’, your songwriting process involved collecting ideas.”

Sheeran replied: “You say it’s overwhelming, I don’t agree with that.”

After the release of ‘Shape Of You’, the singer gave credit to the writers behind TLC’s 1999 hit ‘No Scrubs’ after comparisons were drawn between the two tracks.

Elsewhere, Sheeran’s plan for a burial crypt on his Suffolk estate have been approved by council officials.

The singer applied in January to build a 9ft by 6ft chamber underneath a boat-shaped church, where two bodies would fit under a slab in the floor.