Halsey is accusing their label of withholding music until they score a viral moment on TikTok

The singer, who has been signed to Capitol Records since 2018 and Astralwerks since 2014, took to TikTok on Sunday to share the news with fans, claiming that a “song I love” is being blocked by the label. “Basically, I have a song that I love that I want to release ASAP, but my record label won’t let me,” Halsey claims, as they used the track to soundtrack the video opposing the label’s request.

In the video, they go on to allege that even though they have “been in this industry for eight years and I’ve sold over 165 million records,” their “record company is saying I can’t release [the song] unless they can fake a viral moment on TikTok.”

The singer, who releases material under Astralwerks/Capitol, released their latest LP, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power, back in August with a coinciding film in IMAX theaters. And even though it saw positive critical feedback and was produced by Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Halsey tells fans that in 2022, “everything is marketing.”

“They are doing this to every artist these days,” Halsey concluded their video, which ironically became a viral TikTok in its own right. “I just want to release music, man and I deserve better tbh. I’m tired.”

In a statement to Complex, a Capitol Music Group spokesperson said that the label’s “belief in Halsey as a singular and important artist is total and unwavering. We can’t wait for the world to hear their brilliant new music.”

Halsey later took to Twitter to clarify what’s been going down, explaining that they spoke “to my label tonight after my tiktok tantrum. They said ‘wow the tiktok is going really strong!’ I was like ok cool so can I release my song now? They said ‘we’ll see!’ tell me again how I’m making this up.”

“I’ve been minding my own business on tour taking care of my baby,” they added. “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, who said a music video is even prepared for the new track, continued on Monday, explaining that the situation has left them “double fucked.” The song, they explain, has been “mixed and mastered and ready to drop” for over a month. 

“At this point i don’t know what to do because I told the truth about what’s happening and now I STILL don’t have a release date AND some of you think I’m lying about this whole fiasco,” they wrote, before explaining that they’re under contract. “so I’m double fucked lol. if you have questions, I have answers. I have nothing to hide.”

After fans asked how they could help the singer, they tweeted that they don’t know what could help the situation, as “the tiktok is already viral + I still don’t have a release date.”

“I would say just do what you guys normally are amazing at doing when I announce a song (under better circumstances),” Halsey wrote. “They haven’t given me a date and I wanna release it ASAP so that’s really the hold up.”

Halsey continued, expressing that they “value the expertise and work of all the amazing people at my label,” but that fans should have “an opinion on the entry point of consumption they’re trying to enforce.” 

“It’s not about making the tiktoks I already make tiktoks,” Halsey wrote. “They are saying if they don’t reach some imaginary goalpost of views or virality than they won’t give me a release date at all. I’m not claiming to be oppressed! just saying that all not all marketing methods are universal”

For fans who want to see the singer live as they possibly sing this new unreleased single, the star will be headlining Governors Ball in New York City next month, alongside J. Cole and Kid Cudi. The daily headliners will be joined by lineup including Playboi Carti,  Migos, Roddy Ricch, Ashnikko, Jack Harlow, Tove Lo, 100 Gecs, YG, Denzel Curry, Japanese Breakfast, and many more.