Billboard - Dua Lipa was sued for copyright infringement Tuesday (March 1) by a Florida reggae band that claims the British pop star stole her smash hit song “Levitating” from a lesser-known 2017 track.
In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles federal court, the members of a band called Artikal Sound System claim that Lipa’s “Levitating” – which spent 68 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart and was the No. 1 Hot 100 song of 2021 – was ripped off from the band’s “Live Your Life.”
The complaint was very short and contained mostly boilerplate claims of copyright infringement, with little detail about how or why Lipa allegedly copied the song. But it said that the two tracks were so similar that it was “highly unlikely that ‘Levitating’ was created independently.”
Artikal Sound System is a reggae band based out of South Florida, founded in 2012 as a duo before later adding additional musicians and vocalist Logan Rex. The band released “Live Your Life” on its 2017 EP Smoke and Mirrors.
At first I wanted to joke and say this is just another case of a British pop superstar ripping off your common Floridian Reggae band.
But then I listened to "Live Your Life" all the way through and….
I mean… Dua Lipa has been my #1 for quite some time now. I love her and all. But I think Arkital got ripped off here…
Dua released her last album, Future Nostalgia, in 2020 but the award-winning star previously shared she never anticipated that "Levitating" would become such a big hit (which was mostly due to its popularity on TikTok and Instagram over the pandemic).
There's a shadowy underworld in the production game, one we discuss on a regular basis on "On The Guest List" where a lot of the biggest producer names you know in the world, are actually teams (or armies) of ghost producers. They are on salary or hired on commission. And they literally pound out beats all day and night for the big dogs. If they make it up the ladder all the way to the top, they get paid. No publishing, no royalties, bing bang.
If I had to venture a guess here as to what happened, I would say one of these two Canadian producers of the track, Stephen Kozmeniuk or Stuart Price, were given this beat from some lower-level ghost who probably came across the Arkital song while scouring the internet for inspiration from songs flying under the radar.
Might be wrong and it may just all be a random coincidence and I'm crazy.
What do you think?