The brothers who make up Right Said Fred are ticked off at Beyoncé, who they said didn’t ask permission before using the melody of their biggest hit, “I’m Too Sexy,” in her tune “Alien Superstar.”
“Normally the artist approaches us,” the duo told the Sun on Monday at the 2022 BMI London Awards, “but Beyoncé didn’t because she is such an arrogant person she just had probably thought ‘come and get me’ so we heard about it after the fact when you did.”
Brothers Fred Fairbrass and Richard Fairbrass — who either spoke in tandem to the British news outlet or were indistinguishable from one another in the eyes of the reporter — said the likes of Drake and Taylor Swift came to them to ask for an OK ahead of sampling the song or interpolating (where the new artist rerecords the melody of the original artist’s song and uses that in the new composition).
Swift used the melody in her track “Look What You Made Me Do,” off 2017’s “Reputation.” Drake sampled the tune and interpolated the melody for his song “Way 2 Sexy,” featuring Future and Young Thug, off 2021’s “Certified Lover Boy.”
“To use our melody they need our permission so they send us the demo and we approve it and if so we get a co-write credit. With this Beyoncé thing there are 22 writers, it’s ridiculous, so we would get about 40p [about 45 cents],” they said.
The Fairbrass brothers are, according to Billboard, two of the 24 people credited as writers on “Alien Superstar.” Robert Francis Anthony Manzoli, the third “I’m Too Sexy” songwriter and guitarist along with the duo, is on the list as well.
The others credited as writers on “Alien Superstar” are Beyoncé, Honey Redmond, Christopher Lawrence Penny, Luke Francis Matthew Solomon, Denisia “@blu_june” Andrews and Brittany “@chi_coney” Coney of Nova Wav, S. Carter, David Debrandon Brown, Dave Hamelin, Timothy Lee McKenzie, Danielle Balbuena, Rami Yacoub, Leven Kali, Atia Boggs p/k/a/ Ink, Levar Coppin, Saliou Diagné, Mike Dean, John Michael Holiday, the late Barbara Ann Teer, Kim Cooper and Peter Rauhofer.
“We can’t stop it,” they said about the “Renaissance” singer using their melody. “There is nothing we can do. … You are going to get into a conversation with someone who has a lot more presence and power and money than we do. And that won’t go well.
“It’s best to let it go,” the duo said. “If you’re not careful you spend your life looking back.”
For what it’s worth, songwriter-guitarist Manzoli appears less miffed about his one-hit-wonder song being used on Queen Bey’s newest album.
“Drake has just had a huge hit with his cover of it; ‘Way Too Sexy’, as did Taylor Swift a couple of years ago ( with her song ‘Look What You Made me Do’) and so has Beyoncé !,” he wrote on his SoundBetter profile page. “That song has now been number one in the USA three separate times!!”