Music industry

Halsey calls out the music industry forcing them to create a viral ‘fake’ TikTok to release a new song

The ‘Without Me’ singer is hitting back at his label on TikTok after claiming the label said he couldn’t release his new song without having a “fake viral moment on TikTok.”

The TikTok-ification of the music industry is nothing new. The social media platform is well and truly the trendiest online space these days, with artists and their songs going viral in seven-second clips.

On TikTok, an artist’s music serves as the backdrop for everything, whether it’s a vlog-style video, a trendy dance, or a makeup-free transition to makeup, so unfortunately, it’s no surprise that marketing teams push musicians for some “virality” in their music.

Lizzo is the latest musician to inspire a dance trend with her song ‘About Damn Time’. Like other musicians before her, her song has that feel-good factor with punchy, easy lyrics and a sort of secret sauce that makes it a sensation.

In the past 24 hours, Halsey watched a TikTok video go viral, but for completely different reasons — they’re calling out the music industry, especially their label, Astralwerks and Capitol.

In the video, the singer stares at the camera, fed up and deadpan, with captions that read, “Basically I’ve got a song I like and want to come out with A$AP/But my record company won’t tell me. won’t give up / I’ve been in this music industry for 8 years and I’ve sold over 165 million records”.

They write, “and my record label says I can’t release it unless they fake a viral moment on TikTok.” While we assume the unreleased song is playing in the background of the clip, they claim “it’s all marketing / And they do to pretty much every artist these days”.

In the comments, they respond to fans who suggest that technically the rant video could count as a viral TikTok moment, to which Halsey replies “They wanted SIX?!?”.

Ending the video, they remark on their love for making music for people, “I just wanted to release music man/and I deserve better tbh/I’m tired”.

In their next video, they show footage of a phone call with what we assume is a rep, captioning the video “I wish I was kidding lol”. They even had a mini Tweet storm to vent about the situation.

The song sounds like it would be an absolute banger whether TikTok goes viral or not. It’s such a shame that art has to be measured by likes and shares these days, but we guess that’s a sign of the times.

Watch Halsey’s viral TikTok video here.