Pharrell Williams said that he recognised the similarities between songs but did not copy Marvin Gaye's work.
Pharrell Williams says he did not have Marvin Gaye's song Got To Give It Up in mind when writing his pop mega-hit Blurred Lines though was "channelling...that late 70s feeling." Williams, Robin Thicke and rapper T.I are being sued by Gaye's family over similarities between the 1977 song and the 2013 pop hit.
Pharrell Williams testified in court, saying that although he recognised the likeness between songs, he did not copy Marvin Gaye
In court, Pharrell conceded that he recognised a likeness between his and Gaye's songs though that ultimately it was an entirely original composition.
"Sometimes when you look back on your past work, you see echoes of people."
"But that doesn't mean that's what you were doing," Williams testified in court in Los Angeles.
Williams, Thicke and rapper TI all deny copying Got To Give It Up though the former expressed his admiration for Gaye's music.
"The last thing you want to do as a creator is take something of someone else's when you love him. I respect his music beyond words," he told the court.
Williams was played extracts of both his and Gaye's compositions, stripped down their basic structures. Listening to the similar bass lines, Williams responded, "It sounds like you're playing the same thing," though claims the note progressions had been shifted in pitch so that they sounded more alike.
Blurred Lines generated more than $16 million in profits, making Williams and Thicke over $5 million each.
Marvin Gaye's children - Frankie and Nona - are seeking money from sales and touring, as well as damages of around $40 million.