Apparently Zayn Malik is the latest artist to fall prey to his label's efforts to control and possibly sabotage his career.

It all began when Brazilian producer Rafael Allmark spoke to fans privately about a collaboration with Zayn that was going to be released. The fans excitedly posted about the new song, which was supposed to be released today, February 12th. It began charting in some countries—but it turned out that Zayn had not known about or approved the song's release.

"The track was completed in 2018 but Malik's label would not let Allmark release it at the time due to Zayn's second album releasing soon," said the Twitter account @zayndata1 in an exclusive statement to Popdust. "Allmark claims he did not know that the vocals were Zayn's when they were first sent to him and only knew when he was instructed my RCA Records not to release the song… Allmark clarified that he was not comfortable releasing without Zayn's consent and it was extremely unprofessional that his label did not try to stop the release or ask consent from Zayn."

The song was pulled from the airwaves after Zayn's tweet, leaving fans stunned and suspicious.

After this incident, many fans are starting to question Zayn's label and his contract, which was orchestrated by Simon Cowell. They cited the fact that Zayn's last album, Icarus Falls, received inadequate promotion from the label, RCA. Some believe Zayn was the subject of a smear and suppression campaign by the label, which released physical copies of Icarus Falls two weeks late in many cases and even failed to release physical copies in dozens of countries around the world.


"The label is holding me back but I promise I am doing everything I can to get my music to you," Zayn tweeted in 2018 before the release of Icarus Falls.

Fans have reason to be suspicious of RCA, which is an imprint of Sony. Many artists have spoken out about abuse they received from labels under the Sony umbrella. When she was in an abusive relationship with manager Tony Mottola, the co-owner of Universal Group (an imprint of Sony), Mariah Carey had difficulty escaping due to the amount of control he exercised over her career. Similarly, Kesha's lawsuit against Dr. Luke, a producer who worked for RCA—Zayn's new label—claimed that the "Tik Tok" singer experienced prolonged sexual and psychological abuse, but Kesha has still been forced to pay Dr. Luke thousands of dollars in royalties. And the story of labels taking control of their artists is as old as the music industry itself.


Of course, maybe fans should channel their energy into supporting Zayn's music. The people have the power, and together, we can all give Zayn's music the attention it deserves.

New Releases

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion's "WAP" Is Over the Top—and That's the Point

The two rap queens finally collaborated on their new NSFW single.

When the world needed them most, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion joined forces for one of the most major—and NSFW—bops to arrive out of quarantine.

As two of the reigning supreme forces in female hip-hop, it was practically inevitable for the pair to finally collaborate on a song. After teasing the new song on social media this week, "WAP" has finally arrived with a bang, marking Cardi's first single as a lead artist in over a year.

Cardi B - WAP feat. Megan Thee Stallion [Official Music Video] youtu.be


Keep Reading Show less
Music Features

Why Do Pop's Most Successful Women Still Live in the Shadows of Their Exes?

Halsey clapped back at a concert-goer who kept yelling the name of her famous ex-boyfriend, but it shouldn't have happened in the first place.

Whether its her evocative lyricism or unfiltered tweets, Halsey is widely known for her openness on her mental health issues and her personal life.

The singer's vulnerability has also resulted in a close public eye on all of her romantic relationships, particularly her on-again, off-again love affair with rapper G-Eazy. Though the details of their rocky relationship remain mostly unconfirmed, Halsey has alluded to the fact that he cheated on her, and some have suspected G-Eazy was abusive towards her based on his troubles with the law. Either way—judging by Halsey's reaction to a concert-goer who kept shouting G-Eazy's name—the split was apparently ugly.

Videos surfaced over the weekend of a recent Halsey performance at which someone in the crowd yelled her ex's name multiple times. "If you say G-Eazy one more f--king time, I will kick your ass out of this party," she yelled. It's unclear if the name-caller ended up being escorted out of the show, but the incident points to an irritating trend in which female pop stars struggle to escape from the shadows of their famed relationships.

When Mac Miller was charged for a DUI following a May 2018 car crash, fans were quick to blame the incident—as well as his fatal overdose that followed a few months later—on Ariana Grande, with whom he'd recently split. Grande stood up for herself in a Twitter statement, and Miller's friend Shane Powers sang praise for her stabilizing presence as Miller tried to get his substance abuse under control. And then, perhaps most prominently, there's Taylor Swift, who even amid attempts to keep her love life under wraps has spent the majority of her career in an unfair narrative centered around whoever she's dating. Halsey, Grande, and Swift are currently among pop's most successful women; why are they still living as extensions of their ex-boyfriends? Is it because the music industry, generally speaking, is still hesitant to acknowledge a woman's success can exist without the support of men?

Halsey was right to call out the person in the crowd who kept yelling G-Eazy's name, and doing so shouldn't be considered unprofessional. It's a knee-jerk reaction to pent-up anger that results from your career being too often associated with exes, in a way those previous male partners will likely never understand.