Halsey vented her frustrations at her record label in a TikTok on Sunday morning, claiming that they’re being blocked from releasing a “song I love” for marketing reasons. “Basically, I have a song that I love that I want to release ASAP, but my record label won’t let me,” reads the text starting the 29-second clip.
With the unreleased track apparently playing in the background and a frown on their face, Halsey (who uses she/they pronouns) continued: “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 [the song] unless they can fake a viral moment on TikTok.”
Reps for Halsey and their label, Astralwerks/Capitol, did not immediately respond to Variety‘s requests for comment on Sunday. The irony of Halsey creating a viral TikTok moment claiming that their label will not release the song without a viral TikTok moment was not lost on observers.
As more artists have begun to see success with the TikTok algorithm, it’s no secret that labels and artist teams have started manufacturing “viral moments” on the platform in order to up the buzz surrounding a release or project. In April, the Kid Laroi and his ex-manager Scooter Braun reaped the power of TikTok virality by starting a fake feud in promotion of Laroi’s song “Thousand Miles.”
“Everything is marketing,” concluded Halsey’s Tiktok, “and they are doing this to every artist these days. I just want to release music, man and I deserve better tbh. I’m tired.”
Halsey has been signed to Astralwerks since 2014, and this isn’t the first she’d claimed they haven’t seen eye-to-eye. Last August, Halsey took aim at record labels and the media in an interview about her latest album “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power.” The singer-songwriter, who had recently welcomed their first child, commented sardonically on what was apparently the label’s reaction to the pregnancy.
“You have to call the CEO of X, Y, Z and say, ‘Hey, hi. I’m just calling to let you know, I’m pregnant. I didn’t want you to find out on Instagram. I wanted to tell you myself, personally. It’s still business as usual over here though, don’t worry,’” Halsey told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “My personal choice isn’t going to affect your profitability or your productivity or your assembly line. And also, in what world would you ever have to call me to tell me that you were having a baby? But I have to call you because it impacts your product.’”