Singer Halsey is calling out her record label for allegedly blocking the release of a new song unless a viral TikTok marketing campaign is staged.
In a TikTok posted to her account on Sunday, the “I Am Not a Woman, I’m a God” singer (who uses both “she/her” and “they/them” pronouns) expressed frustration with the label Astralwerks/Capitol.
“Basically, I have a song that I love that I want to release ASAP, but my record label won’t let me,” read the text overlaying Halsey’s face, while a snippet of the unreleased song played in the background. “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.”
The singer-songwriter has previously spoken out against her label, which she joined in 2014, and both the music industry and media at large. After last August’s release of her fourth studio album, “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power,” she told Hits Daily Double about the “dehumanizing” experience of recording while pregnant. (She gave birth to her first child shortly before the album came out.)
“I found throughout my pregnancy that there was a whirlwind of give and take in regard to my bodily autonomy,” she said in the interview. “… Updating my progression to accommodate execs and investors, making sure the arrival of my child was timely enough that it wouldn’t cost anyone money, was dehumanizing.”
In Sunday’s TikTok, Halsey went on to declare that “Everything is marketing, and they are doing this to every artist these days.”
“I just want to release music, man and I deserve better tbh,” the video concluded. “I’m tired.”
An hour later, Halsey posted a follow-up TikTok in which she appears to be conversing with a male colleague off-camera. The clip of her face, overlayed with the text “I wish I was kidding lol” shows Halsey listening to the unnamed person as they say, “… the song title, because it would be ‘Halsey’s so good’ and they would get the art on TikTok. If you’re okay with those things but not announcing the date,” they say, the song can go out “sometime between Monday and Wednesday.”
After a pause, Halsey and the person agree that they “hate this” and “it sucks.”
A representative for Astralwerks did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.