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.
Yo! thank you so much for letting me know about this. I do not have any new collaborations coming so please just… https://t.co/uIDogmb8xV— zayn (@zayn)1581470805.0
"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."
.@zaynmalik fans are trying to trend #FREEZAYN following a massive mishap with issuing consent of a song release. S… https://t.co/kDNSKMCl0v— chart data (@chart data)1581478852.0
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.
One Direction and Zayn Malik fans - I've heard from a good source that there is a negative PR campaign against Zayn. #1D— Steve Brookstein (@Steve Brookstein)1447973070.0
How Sony Music & Rca Records wanted to end Zayn Malik's career ; a thread #FREEZAYN https://t.co/fluXFZUiCu— t 🇱🇧 (@t 🇱🇧)1581517764.0
"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.
I hear you guys.. I know you want a date for the album and I do too. The label is holding me back but I promise I a… https://t.co/MCrVPwqx3R— zayn (@zayn)1541301174.0
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.
.@kellyclarkson we would love if you could open up about your horrific experiences with RCA Records and could help… https://t.co/LFtJMnnubA— chart data (@chart data)1581537557.0
im actually so scared bc the last time zayn tweeted out about his label fucking shit up they rushed and sabotaged h… https://t.co/ukeKMZeinf— gigi (@gigi)1581522800.0
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.
#FreeZayn Good luck Zayn fans. I don't see any reason why this would change. We hardly hear about him in the UK. https://t.co/v5cVyGlWft— Steve Brookstein (@Steve Brookstein)1581535624.0
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Let's take a walk down memory lane...
Popdust's Time Machine series will take you on a journey through the best, worst, and most nostalgia-inducing pop culture events of each year of the past decade. This is not a definitive or comprehensive report; instead, it's a trip down memory lane as we near the onset of our own roaring '20s.
"Tik Tok" was on the radio, we were all obsessed with Sarah Palin's family and Snooki, and Obama was president. It's hard to believe that all happened a full decade ago; so much (and somehow so little) has changed.
Where were you back then? Take a moment to close your eyes and let yourself remember. Can you hear it—a mosquito's whine? It's getting closer… Wait, that's not a mosquito... It's the sound of a prepubescent Justin Bieber singing his heart out in harmony with a million vuvuzelas. Welcome back to 2010.
2010: The Year of Oddly Violent Yet Playful Pop Music
In 2010, pop music was generally rather terrible, and a 16-year-old named Justin Bieber was dominating the charts. Bieber rose to prominence around 2008, but by 2010, he was one of the first supermassive social media success stories.
Justin Bieber - Baby ft. Ludacris (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com
That same year, another, very different star named Adele released a song called "Rolling in the Deep." Robyn also released the iconic "Dancing On My Own," a glitter-covered party girl named Ke$ha released a banger called "Tik Tok," and Rihanna also released her Eminem collab "Love The Way You Lie," a song that still slaps but probably wouldn't be acceptable in 2019. Another great collab, Hayley Williams and B.O.B.'s "Airplanes," soundtracked middle school dances everywhere.
Adele - Rolling in the Deep www.youtube.com
Ke$ha - TiK ToK (Official Music Video) www.youtube.com
"Like A G6" inspired incredible aggression in middle school volleyball games (can you tell I was in middle school then?). Cee Lo Green had everyone alternating between "F**k You" and "Forget You," and Willow Smith dropped "Whip My Hair."
Cee Lo Green - Forget You www.youtube.com
In 2010, Janelle Monae dropped her first LP, The ArchAndroid, and Katy Perry's Teenage Dream topped the charts. Kanye West joined Twitter and unleashed the magnificent My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy on the world, and music was never the same. The same year, Taylor Swift found a stadium-filling pop audience with the release of the album Speak Now (and all this while from her 2009 confrontation with Kanye West was still reverberating through the faltering blogosphere).
Katy Perry - Teenage Dream (Official) www.youtube.com
Kanye West - Runaway (Full-length Film) www.youtube.com
Television Gets Queerer and Even More New Jerseyfied
On TV, Glee reigned supreme, giving us heart-wrenching moments such as Kurt's rendition of "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and Archie's "The Safety Dance." (Remember when a simple queer declaration of love felt almost impossibly subversive and inspiring to your younger, gay heart?)
GLEE - I Want To Hold Your Hand (Full Performance) HD www.youtube.com
Fringe, Breaking Bad, Parks and Recreation, Friday Night Lights, Modern Family, and Madmen were also airing, and the surreal animated hit Adventure Time debuted its first episode. 2010 was the year Lost ended, and American Idol lost Simon Cowell after crowning Lee DeWyze, one of the most forgettable Idols ever. Snooki dominated our collective imagination thanks to the success of Jersey Shore, and The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien aired its last episode. Steve Carrell announced he was leaving The Office and Oprah announced her departure from late night TV.
Jersey Shore cast along with Nicole aka Snooki explains THE PUNCH on Entertainment Tonight 2010 www.youtube.com
Conan's last "Tonight Show" Monologue 1/22/10 www.youtube.com
2010 was also the year of the undead. The Walking Dead and the Vampire Diaries were successful 2010 debuts about undead folk, one bunch far sexier than the other.
Movies Obsess Over Vampires, Cryptids, and Superhuman Heroines
In addition to dominating TV, vampires lit up the silver screen in 2010. That year, Twilight Saga: Eclipse totaled $300 million in sales. (What was with our collective obsession with vampires?)
Twilight Eclipse Battle Vampires & Wolf Pack Fighting Scene www.youtube.com
Another kind of cryptid, Mark Zuckerberg, became even more famous when the film The Social Network hit theaters. (He was also crowned Time Magazine's Person of the Year). Another franchise installment—gloomy Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I—hit theaters. Emma Stone won us over in Easy A, and so did Chloe Grace Moretz as the little girl in Kick Ass. Inception had us all questioning reality; the film Precious was an indie hit. Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, and Winona Ryder starred in Black Swan, Toy Story 3 and Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World sparked cult followings, The Hurt Locker took the Oscar, and 2011's Oscar winner, The King's Speech, debuted in November.
Easy A (2010) - A Pocketful of Sunshine Scene (1/10) | Movieclips www.youtube.com
People Still Read Books
People still read books in 2010. Amazing, right? That year, two franchises starring very powerful women dominated the public's imagination: The Hunger Games and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series. Jonathan Franzen's Freedom also garnered high praise, but Patti Smith's Just Kids won the National Book Award.
Tech Goes Hands-Free and Becomes More Eerily Invasive
Technologically speaking, social media was well on its way to becoming an election-altering superpower. Facebook reached 550 million users, and Twitter also became forebodingly powerful. Fun fact: The top 10 Twitter Trends of 2010 (via blog.twitter.com) were the Gulf Oil Spill, FIFA World Cup, Inception, Haiti Earthquake, Vuvuzela, Apple iPad, Google Android, Justin Bieber, Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, and Pulpo Paul.
In terms of gaming, Angry Birds, the game that was all the rage, and PlayStations were everywhere. Hand-free gaming systems like the Kinect and the XBox 360 created new visions of what was possible with gaming. The iPhone 4 dropped, escalating the smartphone wars, and the iPad was introduced in January 2010. Not everyone was happy about technology's rapid intrusion into our personal lives; Net neutrality and online privacy were some of that year's most enduring and prescient buzzwords.
Everyone Loves Betty White
In 2010, America fell hard for Betty White, who starred in a now-infamous Super Bowl Snickers ad. Tiger Woods apologized to the public and made his return to golf. The Demi Lovato/Ashley Greene/Joe Jonas love triangle dominated teen magazine covers, and Lindsay Lohan's shenanigans were plastered all over grocery store tabloids. The video "Bed Intruder" went viral. Lady Gaga wore a meat dress to the VMAs, and Prince William proposed to then-plebian Kate Middleton. Bedbugs took over New York. The population of Greenland dropped from 3 to 2. Sex positivity was all the rage. The word "hipster" became universally loathed.
Betty White Snickers Super Bowl Commercial 2010 www.youtube.com
Lady Gaga Poses in the Meat Dress www.youtube.com
Overall, it seems the general critical consensus on the American pop culture landscape in 2010 was that it was a year of much noise and very little substance. "In popular culture, 2010 was an elephant's call unmodulated, a bleat, a squawk, a low-level blare," wrote Steve Johnson in the Chicago Tribune. "You put your fingers in your ears, and you still couldn't block it out. 2010 was a vuvuzela, all tone, no rhythm, the operational definition of unearned attention."
We had no idea what was coming, did we? Still, looking back, it seems that by 2010, the seeds for what social media and even politics would become had already been sown, though the pop culture landscape was oddly wide-eyed and innocent, even ignorant and uncritical. The political remained quite separate from the personal, at least in terms of mainstream media coverage, and the Internet was still something that was separate and less important than reality. How times have changed… or have they?
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- The Top 10 Everything of 2010 - TIME ›
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- The moments that defined pop culture in 2010 – The Mercury News ›
- 50 Wonderful Things From 2010 : NPR ›
UK-pop is one white man's thinly veiled attempt to capitalize on the success of a non-white group.
After witnessing the success of K-Pop groups such as BTS, Simon Cowell has decided to start a show intended to launch a "new wave" of music entitled "UK-Pop."
Naturally, this has incensed K-pop fans, who accused Cowell of "taking the title from the biggest group on the planet" and attempting to "make it white."
Simon Cowell's new UK-Pop group debuts with their song "Make It White"— bry (@bry)1573050813.0
Cowell's comments came in the wake of the news that he's launching a new show entitled X Factor: The Band, which will attempt to create the next major musical super-group. The show's announcement also angered Lil Mix fans, as the group has a show that is based on the same premise, entitled The Search.
Regarding X Factor: The Band, Cowell said, "K-pop is ruling the world. This is a show to find a band to launch UK-pop," he said. "It's more than winning a record contract, it's starting a new music wave."
Maybe Simon Cowell needs to take a step back. "UK-pop" is not a brilliant innovation of Simon Cowell. The UK has been churning out pop artists since the inception of the modern music industry, and you can see its success in everything from The Beatles to One Direction. On the other hand, between the Macarena in 1996 and Psy's "Gangnam Style" in 2012, not a single non-English-language track hit Billboard's Top 10.
Non-English speaking artists have always been creating popular music, though, and in recent years they're finally pushing out English-speaking groups from the upper echelons of the mainstream. This week, BTS's Love Yourself: Answer broke records after becoming the first K-pop album to stay in the Billboard Top 200 for a year, and it's not like Billboard is the arbiter of all the world's music tastes. According to one study of YouTube's charts, for example, the top four biggest acts in the world are non-English speaking acts.
In light of this, Simon Cowell's comments display a marked ignorance and an apparently elevated view of the importance of the English language, hegemonic whiteness, and his own power. K-pop and Lil Mix fans know that what really matters in the end, is the relationship between the artists and their fans, and they know that K-pop is on top, no matter how many washed-up white music industry executives try to capitalize on it.
"Right now, K-pop, you could argue, is ruling the world. Now, it's time for UK-pop." Simon Cowell announces his ne… https://t.co/QJIEEUiuV8— Jeff Benjamin (@Jeff Benjamin)1573055299.0
Simon Cowell: UKPOP The world: https://t.co/HoSnol41YW— ThisisAileen ✈ (@ThisisAileen ✈)1573065364.0
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