When Miguel realized his spiky guitar riff for Wildheart track “leaves” reminded him of Smashing Pumpkins‘ 1996 hit “1979,” he reached out to the band’s mastermind, Billy Corgan, and ended up giving the musician a co-writing credit. “Kind of after we finished the song, it was like, ‘You know what, this is reminiscent of this song,’ so we made sure that they heard it and made sure that it was all good,” Miguel told The Associated Press.
Miguel felt he needed to be extra careful following the game-changing guilty verdict in the “Blurred Lines” lawsuit, in which Robin Thicke and Pharrell were ordered to pay over $7 million (now reduced to $5.3 million) to Marvin Gaye’s estate after it was ruled that “Lines” borrowed from Gaye’s 1977 classic “Got to Give It Up.”
“We’re all standing on the shoulders of giants,” Miguel added. “There’s nothing that hasn’t been done… There’s going to be moments where you do things that are reminiscent of other things. And even if you’re not aware of them, I think it’s just best out of respect to reach out.”
Through a representative, Corgan declined to comment on the writing credit.
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The neo-soul singer previously touched on the “1979” credit in an interview with news.com.au, noting that “dreams” “literally wrote itself in minutes” after he channeled the guitar riff “in such a subconscious way.”
“It was kind of reminiscent of ‘1979,’ he said. “I was a fan of them growing up, but I never bought their albums or saw them live. It’s weird how some things just sink in…Towards the end of the song when the drum programming kicks in, it’s even more reminiscent [of ‘1979’]. You realize it in a more straight-on way. It’s cool they were cool about everything. It’s all about respect.”
Miguel recently spoke to Rolling Stone about his grand ambitions for Wildheart, his third studio album. “Nothing great ever happened because the person was antiquated or was completely by the book,” he said. “They had to be a little delusional, a little wild. They had to dream a little.”