Author of great samba and pagode hits, Toninho Geraes is preparing a lawsuit against Adele. He accuses the British singer and songwriter of plagiarizing “Mulheres”, a song of his immortalized in the voice of Martinho da Vila, in “Million Years Ago”, a track that is part of the album “25”, released in 2015.
Responsible for the case, lawyer Fredímio Trotta says that, in technical terms, 87% of Adele’s production is identical or very similar to that of Toninho, who wants to receive everything that the singer profited from “Million Years Ago”, a value that he himself unknown, besides being credited as the author of the song.
The analyzes that point to plagiarism are by three musical experts hired by the lawyer, who also commissioned the production of a file in which he superimposes “Million Years Ago” over “Women” in the voice of singer Juliana Viana.
The choice of re-recording the music to produce the overlay was made because, in a samba arrangement like Martinho da Vila’s, the perception of similarities would be impaired.
The lawyer also collected testimonies on video from 50 Brazilian musicians who attest to the plagiarism. All material is being translated to be attached to the process, which will be filed with the British court in early October through a correspondent in Trotta’s London office.
For not being close to pop music, Toninho discovered the supposed plagiarism only at the beginning of last year, five years after the release of Adele. The one who warned was keyboardist Misael Hora, son of conductor Rildo Hora, who orchestrated the original composition, also recorded by Chitãozinho & Xororó, Mart’nália and Zeca Pagodinho.
It was then that Toninho sought out Trotta, who started producing the proofs and, about a year later, in May, sent two extrajudicial notifications to Adele, her producer, Greg Kurstin, and her international label, XL Recordings.
He says that the artist’s legal representatives read the emails dozens of times, but did not respond, which is why he decided to go to court. “We wanted to keep it a secret, to preserve Adele’s reputation, but she was silent. She has this right, but it is regrettable”, he says.
Trotta says that Adele may have had contact with “Women” years ago, when approaching a personal trainer in São Paulo in search of weight loss, or through Kurstin, who, according to the lawyer, has already produced works inspired by Brazilian rhythms such as bossa nova.