Portishead’s Geoff Barrow accuses The Weeknd of using sample without permission

Canadian singer's new track 'Belong To The World' uses sample of 2008 song 'Machine Gun'

Geoff Barrow of Portishead has accused R&B singer The Weeknd of using a sample without permission.

The singer, real name Abel Tesfaye, revealed the video to his latest track ‘Belong To The World’ earlier today (July 15), and news of the video caught Barrow’s attention on Twitter. Responding to the fact that Portishead’s 2008 song ‘Machine Gun’ is sampled on the track, Barrow revealed that the band had declined the initial request and accused The Weeknd of having “no respect”. Tweeting directly at the singer, Barrow wrote: “When someone asks to sample you and you refuse they should have the respect as a fellow artist to not use it.”

Discussing the topic further and defending himself against suggestions from fans of The Weeknd that Portishead wanted more money to clear the sample, Barrow continued: “We usually give sample clearance to tunes we like. It’s got fuck all to do with money! As most of them are hiphop artists that are skint. Feels like I’m being used to promote the track now. I’ll shut up now.”


A request for comment from The Weeknd has not yet been returned.

‘Machine Gun’ featured on Portsihead’s 2008 album ‘Third’. The band recently headlined one night on The Other Stage at Glastonbury 2013. The Weeknd releases his debut album proper, ‘Kiss Land’ later this year. ‘Kiss Land’ will be the first release from The Weeknd since the ‘Trilogy’ box set in 2012, itself a compilation of three free mixtapes distributed online by the artist in 2011.

The Weeknd tours the UK later this year, playing three arena shows including a date at London’s O2 Arena. See below for the full dates.

Birmingham Nia (November 22)
Manchester O2 Apollo (23)
London O2 Arena (26)