A row between two German producers has intensified this week over their respective remixes of “Jerk” by California artist Oliver Tree.
According to the Official UK Singles Chart released on Friday 21 October, “Miss You” by Southstar is at number 23, while “Miss You” by Robin Schulz and Oliver Tree is at number nine.
“Jerk” by Oliver Tree, from his album Ugly is Beautiful, was released in 2020 and currently has more than 45 million streams on Spotify.
Both remixes of the track use the same vocal sample, while a number of fans online have commented on the perceived similarities in production style.
Southstar, real name Leon Kirschnek, has accused Schulz of releasing an “exact copy” of his “Miss You” remix, which he originally released on 9 May 2022.
He alleges that Schulz, who received a Grammy nomination for his 2014 remix of “Waves” by Dutch hip-hop artist Mr Probz, played the Southstar version during his set at La Garden Party in Paris on 14 July, three days after “Miss You ” entered the Spotify Top 200 chart in Germany.
Southstar’s remix was then re-released via Sony Music Entertainment on 30 July, before Schulz released his version, with the same title and using the same sample, five days later. Schulz and Oliver Tree are both signed to Warner Records.
“I reworked “Jerk” by Oliver Tree out of pure admiration for his track and vocals,” Southstar said in a statement released on October 15.
“We cleared the publishing rights with the three authors of ‘Jerk’, including Oliver Tree, allowing me to release my reworked version of ‘Jerk’ called ‘Miss You’. And Contrary to some rumors circulating online, I never sold this rework or my production.”
He continued: “It is disappointing for me to see that an exact copy of my rework Miss You is up under the name of another famous producer and is even being perceived as the original version instead of mine.
“I am happy though, that so many people across the world are hearing and loving my track – the original Southstar version.”
Southstar also appeared to address the controversy in the video for his version of “Miss You”, in a moment where the phrase “f*** copycats” is graffitied across a building.
A spokesperson for Atlantic Records US told The Independent: “Oliver Tree and Robin Schulz’s version of ‘Miss You’ is the definitive version of the song that uses both the recording and underlying composition from Oliver Tree’s original track ‘Jerk’.
“Southstar remixed ‘Jerk’ without permission and then released a version with re-recorded vocals to avoid fully compensating Oliver Tree and his label.”
The spokesperson did not address the similarities between Southstar’s production and Schulz’s.
Oliver Tree has yet to comment on the row.