Halsey accused Capitol Music Group of holding new music until they "fake a viral moment on TikTok."
TikTok has become essential for marketing new music thanks to the virality of certain songs. However, a number of artists have recently spoken out against their record labels, saying the platform has been pushed on them too much. On Sunday, May 22, Halsey (who uses she/they pronouns) joined the conversation when they shared a video accusing their label, Capitol Music Group, of preventing them from releasing new music until they can get enough social media buzz surrounding the upcoming release.
“Our belief in Halsey as a singular and important artist is total and unwavering,” a Capitol Music Group spokesperson said in a statement to Elite Daily on May 24. “We can’t wait for the world to hear their brilliant new music.”
The label’s statement comes just days after Halsey posted a TikTok that featured on-screen text with the following message: “Basically I have a song that I love that I wanna release ASAP but my record label won’t let me. I’ve been in this industry for eight years and I’ve sold over 165 million records and my record company is saying I can’t release it unless they can fake a viral moment on TikTok.”
“Everything is marketing, and they are doing this to basically every artist these days,” Halsey claimed. “I just wanna release music, man and I deserve better tbh. I'm tired."
When someone commented that “this is the viral marketing video” they were talking about, Halsey wrote back, “Bruh I wish it was haha. They just said I have to post tiktoks they didn’t specifically say ‘about what’ so here I am 😂😃.”
The following day, the “I Am Not a Woman, I’m A God” singer posted a follow-up TikTok that featured a recorded conversation. A person can be heard explaining the release schedule for Halsey’s upcoming song, which would include them teasing the artwork on TikTok. When Halsey nodded in agreement and didn’t say anything else, the person said, “What?” seemingly sensing their frustration over the company’s marketing decisions.
“I just hate this,” Halsey said. “Oh, I know. I hate it,” the voice said in agreement.
“It sucks,” Halsey added before the TikTok finished.
Halsey’s first TikTok has since reached over 8 million views, while her second video has gotten 4 million views. Since the singer succeeded in going viral, some were skeptical about their situation, thinking maybe the whole thing was staged. (Similar to how The Kid Laroi faked a feud with his former manager, Scooter Braun, in order to promote his single, “Thousand Miles.”)
However, Halsey quickly shut down these theories, tweeting, “I’ve been minding my own business on tour taking care of my baby. Four albums deep. Coasting. I’m way too established to stir something like this up for no reason or resort to this as a marketing tactic but now I’m in too deep so there’s no going back.”
Halsey explained that she’s had the song ready to drop for over a month, and although there’s no release date for it yet, they’ll continue to keep fans updated about their situation on Twitter.