Israel: Toy vs. Seven Nation Army; Universal threatens lawsuit against Eurovision song composers

by Jessica Weaver 12,178 views

An alternative rock hit and an electropop-dance entry: two songs you probably wouldn’t expect to sound alike. However initial impressions could be wrong, as the American music corporation Universal Music has allegedly filed a warning letter to the composers of the winning Eurovision 2018 entry, with plagiarism in question.

It has been almost 2 months since Israel’s win at the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon, in which the country’s representative – Netta – managed to win the hearts (and ears) of the continent with her winning entry, Toy.

Preparations for the upcoming event in Israel are already underway, with the bidding process having kicked off with the official host city and dates expected to be determined in September.

With plenty of rumours and uncertainty hitting the press in recent weeks regarding the potential host city (and even the country) for 2019, problems have perhaps arisen regarding the winning entry of Eurovision 2018 itself. But what is the issue?

Universal Music files warning

In a recent report by Walla! Culture, it has been revealed that the major American record label – Universal Music – has filed a letter of warning to the 2 composers of Toy ahead of a potential lawsuit, with the company claiming that the winning Eurovision entry has a strong resemblance to the 2003 song by The White Stripes, Seven nation army.

Universal claims that the song Toy includes a similar rhythm and harmony to Seven nation army, as was revealed during the television show, Good Evening with Guy Pines.

Toy was written and composed by duo Doron Medalie and Stav Beger, with Medalie having composed 2 other Israeli Eurovision entries prior to 2018 (both in 2015 and 2016).

Speaking on Good Evening with Guy Pines, Medalie stated:

We were surprised to receive such a letter and we are handling it. I believe that in the next two weeks the issue will be resolved to the best of satisfaction of all sides.

Questions have arisen as to whether, if the claims are taken any further, whether Toy and Israel would be disqualified, meaning that the nation would lose hosting rights for the 2019 competition. However currently, there is no sign of any changes taking place.

What are your thoughts? Can you hear the similarities between the 2 songs?