A settlement has finally been reached following the filing of a lawsuit against H.E.R. (Gabriella Wilson), DJ Camper, Justin Love, and Sony Music Entertainment. The case was first filed in 2020, alleging that H.E.R. intentionally infringed on Andre Sims’ original composition “Endless Minds” without authorization or compensation in her 2016 song “Focus” (from her 2017 self-titled album).
Andre Sims, a pianist and composer, has collaborated with artists such as Stevie Wonder. Sims filed the claim in the Southern District of New York of the United States of America. He alleged that the trio copied his song “Endless Minds” on purpose. According to the lawsuit, Sims wrote the song in 2004, but did not release it until October 2015, when he performed it on YouTube and Instagram.
Camper, in an Instagram live broadcast confessed that Sims’ original song, ‘Endless Minds,’ was a significant impact on the melody for ‘Focus’. H.E.R. (actual name Gabriella Wilson) and Love (real name Justin Anthony Barroso) collaborated on the track. H.E.R. was also involved in the production.
He further claimed that the artist and her team “illegally exploited” his work without his consent, profiting “massively” and gaining “fame.” Sims stated in the lawsuit that he issued the defendants (the trio and the track’s distributor Sony) a cease and desist letter in May 2020, requesting that all development on his project be halted. He said that Camper, Sony, H.E.R, and Love were unresponsive. He is now seeking $3 million in damages, as well as injunctive relief and legal expenses.
“To write and record ‘Focus,’ and ultimately to produce, perform, distribute, and otherwise exploit ‘Focus,’ Defendants [H.E.R., Camper, Love, and Sony] copied ‘Endless Minds,’ to which they had prior access, resulting in the song ‘Focus,’ which is so similar to ‘Endless Minds,’ that the ordinary listener could easily determine that the songs sound the same in their essence,”.