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.

MUSIC

R3hab Teams Up with ZAYN and Jungleboi on "Flames"

A dazzling blend of electro-pop and gospel flavors.

R3hab, ZAYN, Jungleboi

Press Photo

Dutch-Moroccan DJ and producer R3hab, a.k.a Fadil El Ghoul, and Jungleboi ran into each other in London, in 2017.

Combining their talents, the two artists began working on a new song, "Flames," featuring an elegant piano, gentle electro rhythmic pulses, and a fat bassline, all topped by ZAYN's sumptuous voice.

R3HAB & ZAYN & Jungleboi - Flames (Lyric Video) youtu.be

R3hab made big waves in 2017 with the release of his debut album, Trouble, amassing 500 million streams worldwide, followed by his sophomore effort, The Wave, collecting 250 million streams on Spotify. In 2019, he released "All Around the World," featuring A Touch of Class. The song hit gold and platinum in eight countries.

"Flames" reveals complex layers and intense emotional lyrics: "Well, well / You better run from me / You better hit the road / You better up and leave / Don't get too close."

Follow R3hab Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | Twitter

MUSIC

Nick Hissom Wants You To Twerk - But With Your Heart

The British pop prince of Miami breaks down modern pop music

Hissom has been making big waves since our last interview one year ago. With a new single featuring Zoey Dollaz and an album on the way, we had a lot to catch up on.

Nick is not what you expect. He's a pop R&B artist from London that has inexplicably climbed the ranks in Miami's music scene, and is now working with the likes of Rick Ross (the Bruce Springsteen of Miami). He dresses like a rockstar and moves with the swagger of a fashion model (which technically he was), but still manages to come across as incredibly humble. Nick might seem larger than life and too cool for school in videos like "He Ain't Better ft. Zoey Dollaz," but he will do anything to show appreciation to his fans.

He Ain't Better Ft. Zoey Dollaz www.youtube.com

We recently got together on the eve of the single's release in the boardroom at Popdust headquarters. We talked for over an hour about everything from our love of string instruments, to fashion, and hurricanes. Maybe the full audio will get leaked one day, but until then, here are some of the highlights.

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MTV VMA’s 2017 Recap – Top 10 Videos from Last Year’s Winners

Before the '18 Show Airs on Aug. 20th, Remember Who Came Out on Top

It has been nearly a year since artists took home their VMAs "Moon Person" statues from MTV's 2017 celebratory program.

Before you plop down with the popcorn to watch this year's awards show, let's give another shout out to some of the best videos from last year. Time flies in the music biz, when the hit of the year becomes yesterday's news in the blink of an eye. But these tunes are still terrific, even if we've already moved on to new songs from the artists du jour. Behold the beats of 2017's VMAs…

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The Best Outfits at the AMAs

Gigi Hadid killed it not once, not twice, but SIX TIMES.

Last night, the AMAs was not only a happening spot for music, but fashion too. The biggest fashion star of the night was Gigi Hadid, who wore a whopping SIX haute couture outfits during her hosting gig. During the stint, she prominently wore Julian McDonald (twice, if we're keeping count), Atelier Versace (also two times), Roberto Cavalli, and Lebanese designer Nicolas Jebran. Whew! Talk about a closet, hunty! Other notable fashion moments came from Nicki Minaj, who showed plenty of skin during her performance of "Side to Side" with Ariana Grande. There was also Ciara, who proved maternity wear can be chic and glamorous with her spandex Roberto Cavalli getup. Some misses of the night... well... we'll get to that soon. Check out all of the hits and misses of the night below:

Drake's "Cruise Dad" Outfit

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For some reason Drake is really sticking to his "rich suburban dad" look, which has endured since his sweatsuit-filled "Hotline Bling" video. For this AMA outfit, Drake looks like he belongs on one of those Tom Joyner Cruises with a cigar in one hand and a second-wife that's more than 20 years his former in the other.


Zayn Malik

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Zayn showed us all how to rock a slim-fitted suit with his Versace Royal Tailored Wool Suit (which retails for $2975). The look is the perfect mixture of youthful and "grown-man" for the 23-year-old.


The Best of Gigi Hadid's SIX Outfits

1. Roberto Cavalli

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Gigi started off the night with a strong twist on two of the year's biggest trends: off the shoulder tops and chokers. Like only she could, Gigi found a way to turn the youth-centric trends into something glamorous and timeless.


2. Versace

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Sheer is a trend that needs to trickle its way down to fast-fashion ASAP. Hopefully after this little number Zara calls up its designers and whips together some affordable alternatives by... lets say.... tomorrow morning, please?

3. Julien McDonald

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We're thinking Gigi took some inspo from Gaga's recent country theme and called up her stylist for a kewt jacket with mucho fringe.

The Worst (which is this Popduster's sole opinion):

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This Julien McDonald cut-out dress might be a little too mature for Gigi, who is only 21. The dress would look better on someone in their mid-40s. On Gigi, the dress hovers some weird line between First Lady wannabe and sex vixen.

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj will never not look good in some kewt high-waisted shorts and a bra.

...I said what I said.


Tinashe

Fresh off the release of her new "Slumber Party" video with Britney Spears, Tinashe walked the red carpet wearing American designer Michael Costello.


Ciara

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Ciara showed off her baby bump in a Roberto Cavalli dress. The singer is expecting her second child with new husband and star football player, Russell Wilson (she had her first child, Future Jr., with the rapper Future).

MUSIC

The OMG Moments of Last Night's AMAs

Relive the best moments from last night's AMAs.

Last night, the American Music Awards took place at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Hosted by comedian Jay Pharoah and supermodel Gigi Hadid, the awards ceremony was filled with in-your-face performances, emotional speeches, and some killer outfits. One stellar moment was Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj pushing the limits of the FCC and putting on a showing of "Side to Side" that surely made some grandmas out there clutch their pearls. If you were a naughty pop fan and missed the ceremony, don't worry, we've curated the best moments below:

"Side to Side"

This showing of "Side to Side" MORE than made up for the humdrum version Ariana gave to us at the MTV VMAs. Girl said "bye" to the soulcycle bikes and broke a little bit of a sweat for us. Nicki was in top form too, opening her verse with signature faux-British accent, showing the world her flexibility, and getting down with Ariana for a couple beats.


Gigi Hadid's Melania Trump Impression

Um... just go ahead and watch this for yourself.

We're sorry.

Selena Gomez Opens Up

Selena Gomez has had a tough year in the public eye, but has handled it with nothing but grace. Earlier this year, the "Hands to Myself" singer cancelled a number of tour dates and checked herself into rehab for undisclosed reasons. She had previously entered rehab before due to symptoms related to lupus.

"I had to stop because I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside," Gomez said. "I kept it too much together because I let myself down." But "I'm not trying to get validation, nor do I need it anymore. She concluded her dewy-eyed speech with, "If you are broken, you do not have to stay broken."

Lady Gaga Performs "Million Reasons"


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Gaga received a standing ovation after performing her heartstring-tugging second single, "Million Reasons". Sticking to her new simplistic, country look, the singer sat on on stage with her guitar— wearing an all white, Brandon Maxwell suit. The song has been gaining traction ever since her touching acoustic performance of the song on Carpool Karaoke, yet it has not even cracked the Top 50 of the Billboard Hot 100 charts.