Post Malone Sues Musician Who Claims He Co-Wrote Smash-Hit ‘Circles’

The musician, Tyler Armes, also sued the pop star over the 2019 single

Last Updated: April 7, 2020 @ 3:50 PM

Post Malone is suing Tyler Armes, the musician and producer who sent a cease-and-desist letter to the pop star over claims that he deserves songwriting credit and revenue from the 2019 hit single “Circles.”

The artist, whose real name is Austin Post, filed a lawsuit against Armes in the U.S. District Court of Southern New York Tuesday. The same day, Tyler Armes also sued Post, Adam K. Feeney (known professionally as Frank Dukes) and Universal Music Group in California District Court.

Post claims that Armes was present during the first songwriting session for “Circles” but that he did not write any music or lyrics and is therefore not entitled to revenue or songwriting credit. Armes claims that he co-wrote the bassline and the song’s melodic guitar riff and should be credited as a co-writer.

According to Post’s lawsuit, his legal team decided that suing Armes was “unfortunately necessary” after Armes sent them cease-and-desist letter, which seeks to prevent the currently credited songwriters — Post, Adam K. Feeney, Billy Walsh, Kaan Gunesberk and Louis Bell — from collecting profits on the song until Armes is paid and credited.

Post’s attorneys also say that Armes’ claims to the song are “an age-old story in the music business” wherein an individual emerges to “falsely claim to take credit” for, and collect profits from, a hit song after it gains large-scale financial success, as is the case with “Circles,” which currently has over 824 million streams on Spotify. They add that although Armes was present for the Aug. 8, 2018 session in which “Circles” was originally composed, “he did not write any music or lyrics that were used in the Circles Composition… or at any time thereafter.”

Armes’ claims he wrote a letter to Post’s manager after the song came out asking to be properly crediting and saying, “I was not just someone hanging out in the room… I have never asked for anything I don’t deserve.”

Armes’ suit also claims that Post initially offered him a five percent share of the song’s publishing royalties, which Armes attempted to negotiate to a larger percentage. In response, Armes says, Post’s manager threatened that if he didn’t accept the five percent, he would get nothing.

Post’s suit is asking the court to declare that Armes “is not a joint author of the Circles Composition, and that Armes is not entitled to any of the revenues earned by that composition.”

Armes is asking to receive both future and retroactive royalties for the song and to receive co-writer and co-producer credit.

A court date has not yet been set.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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