Ever since Halsey posted a TikTok on May 22 that her label would not allow the release of a new song without a “viral TikTok moment,” the fans and industry professionals have got into a fiery debate on the role of the platform in the music world. The relationship between artist and label is frequently viewed as one of art and commerce, but it’s rarely that simple — and Halsey’s recent social media posts has exposed that ongoing push-pull.
The music industry has its own battles; whether it’s John Meyer trying to make it big or Halsey figuring out how to release her songs without a viral TikTok, there are struggles everywhere!
Without a doubt, it’s obscene when an artist’s work is reduced to being sold as a soft drink. On the other hand, the label’s responsibility is to market the music in the most effective and creative way possible.
In subsequent postings and answers, Halsey added, “I value the expertise and work of all the amazing people at my label. There are so many talented professionals there,” before considering how the message was reportedly presented.
“But surely we can have an opinion on the entry point of consumption they’re trying to enforce?! A suggestion is great; an ultimatum?”
While there has been a lot of support for Halsey online, there have also been a lot of critics. “Everyone has to do things they hate at their jobs,” one shared. “Your job is to sell music, yet your boss is telling you to make videos on the biggest music promotion platform. I don’t see that as some terrible dystopian oppression lol,” another wrote.
The singer responded with a strong and balanced response: “it’s not about making the tiktoks, I already make tiktoks! 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 not all marketing methods are universal.”
Yet, as seen by the outpouring of support Halsey has received on social media in recent days, it’s a predicament that many musicians, particularly female artists, find themselves in. FKA Twigs, Charli XCX, Lauren Jauregui, Maren Morris, Florence Welch of Florence & the Machine, and many others are among the artists on the list.
Jauregui posted a tweet in support of the singer:
Baby, you have nothing to prove to these weird ass miserable twitter ppl talking from their own insecurity. You’re an icon, have done and will continue to do legendary shit. You deserve to express that artist self always, that shit pours out of you & ur consistent. https://t.co/izO9TZPYSg
— PRELUDE (@LaurenJauregui) May 23, 2022
She said in her tweet, “You’re an icon, have done and will continue to do legendary shit. Fuck the noise, and fuck anyone trying to limit you & put a metric on your value.”
Former Dirty Projectors singer Amber Coffman shared in her Instagram story, noting, “Examples of why I’m hesitant to enter another traditional style relationship with a record label.”
“It’s true all record labels ask for are TikToks, and I got told off toda for not making enough effort,” FKA Twigs wrote over a photo of herself facepalming.
“When the label asks me to make my 8th TikTok of the week….” Charli XCX, who recently concluded her major-label contract, posted a TikTok showing herself rolling her eyes.
Florence wrote in March, sharing a picture of her midsection, “The label are begging me for ‘low-fi tik toks so here you go. Pls send help.”
Share your thoughts on the record labels asking for TikToks before releasing music.
Fans and co-singers are outpouring their support for the singer continuously. Here are just a few of the thousands of the tweets that are shared in Halsey’s support:
it’s so frustrating seeing halsey’s label want the new song to go viral. when has h’s music ever been about being popular. it’s always been them and us. let her release it
— erin is seeing harry✨ (@erininbadlands) May 22, 2022
Trevor Daniel shared a Tweet that said:
go watch @halsey s latest tiktok if you’re wondering why no one can release music when they’re signed to a major label
— trevor daniel (@Iamtrevordaniel) May 22, 2022
Halsey wrote in tweet on Monday, “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. so I’m double fucked lol. If you have questions, I have answers. I have nothing to hide.”
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. so I’m double fucked lol. if you have questions, I have answers. I have nothing to hide.
— h (@halsey) May 23, 2022
In response to Halsey’s tweet, Maren Morris shared the following tweet, extending her support to the singer:
I feel the relevancy is the same either way: artists in a “partnership” with a label can listen to algorithm “virality” data, look at their charts, BUT we get to criticize its one-size-fits-all grip on our art. Also, we created the “sound” their trying to make go viral, soooooo
— MAREN MORRIS (@MarenMorris) May 23, 2022
What sets Halsey’s posts and comments apart is how thoughtfully they have engaged with the issue and demonstrated that they comprehend both views.
The discussion continues. Is it going to make a difference? Only time will tell. However, while the release of her song is in uncertainty, Halsey is keeping a positive attitude and making the most of her current Love and Power tour.
halsey's tik tok only scratches the surface of what's happening in music right now.
every major label in this industry has called me to write for their viral artists but won't touch my project bc "my numbers aren't high enough" 🙄 that's why I started my own label…
— Sizzy Rocket (@sizzyrocket) May 22, 2022