Andreas Kleerup, a producer who has worked with top Swedish acts such as Lykke Li, Loreen, Robyn, and Neneh Cherry, said that Zelmerlöw’s song Run for your Life was a rip-off of his own hit Longing for Lullabies.
“It’s musical plagiarism,” he told the Expressen newspaper. “For it to be plagiarism, it means that if one song hadn’t existed, then the other would not have either, and I can say with close to 100 percent certainty that in this case it wouldn’t have.”
The accusation comes as Zelmerlöw is preparing to host Eurovision: You Decide, marking the second time BBC has followed the Scandinavian model and handed the final choice to Eurovision entry over to the public.
Zelmerlöw will host the February 7 event at Brighton Pavilion Dome alongside Mel Giedroyc, one half of the popular UK presenter duo Mel and Sue.
Run for Your Life, a song from the 2014 album Barcelona Sessions, is hardly one of Zelmerlöw's best known, so Kleerup's plagiarism claim is unlikely to cast too much of a shadow over Zelmerlöw big UK TV moment.
Kleerup claims that what makes him confident that Run for your Life has been plagiarised is the unusual rhythm, which is a distinctive feature of many of his songs. While most pop music works in 4/4 time, he said he naturally thinks in 6/4 time, making his musical hooks quite unusual.
Here are the two songs back to back.
And here's the video for Zelmerlöw's Run for your Life.
In the Expressen article, the crucial passages are laid out next to one another.
Kleerup said he had first noticed the similarity when he heard a song in his local pub which he at first thought was a rock version of Longing or Lullabies.
He said he planned to take action to get a credit on the song, which is currently claimed by Zelmerlöw and his co-writers Gavin Jones and Robert Habolin.
The Local has attempted to contact Jones and Warner Brothers for comment, but received no reply.
Zelmerlöw arrived in Brighton at the start of this month to begin filming ahead of the BBC show.