A musician called Tyler Armes is suing Post Malone to be credited as a co-writer and co-producer on his No.1 single, Circles, from his album, Hollywood’s Bleeding.
Malone’s producer Adam Feeney, (aka Frank Dukes) and Universal Music Group are also named as defendants in the complaint filed in a California Federal Court on Tuesday (April 7).
According to Armes’ complaint, he was invited to a participate in a jam session with Malone and his producer Adam Feeney, (aka Frank Dukes) in August 2018.
Armes alleges that the song was written during this session, and that he’s being refused credit or a share of profits.
Post Malone subsequently filed a counterclaim in a court in New York on Tuesday stating that “Armes did not author any music or lyrics used in the Circles composition at the August 8, 2018 session, and because Armes was not even present for any of the subsequent sessions for the Circles Composition, it is incontrovertible that Armes made no such contribution to the Circles Composition.”
“It is an age-old story in the music business that when a song earns the type of runaway success that ‘Circles’ has garnered, an individual will come out of the woodwork, falsely claim to take credit for the song, and demand unwarranted and unearned windfall profits from the song.”
The counterclaim adds: “It is an age-old story in the music business that when a song earns the type of runaway success that ‘Circles’ has garnered, an individual will come out of the woodwork, falsely claim to take credit for the song, and demand unwarranted and unearned windfall profits from the song.”
Malone has asked for a trial by jury.
In Armes’ complaint, he alleges that Malone’s manager Dre London started “actively courting” Armes to sign with him after a single called Over by one of his two bands Honors (the other one is Down With Webster) became a hit in 2017.
He says he was then invited to a studio session with Malone and producer Adam Feeney, where Circles was allegedly written, and where, he argues, he contributed to the guitar melody, chords and bass line.
As reported by Law360, the claim says that “at the end of the session that morning, Dukes played back the recording for Armes and Post, and the three of them were thrilled with the results of their collaboration”.
It adds: “Dukes exclaimed, ‘It’s so fucking good! It’s a whole new sound man.”
Armes’ complaint alleges that “although the lyrics had not yet been completed, other than the main lyric and title of the Song, i.e., ‘circles”’, all instrumentation and vocal melodies in the song recorded at Dukes’ studio on August 8, 2018 are note for note rhythmically and melodically identical”.
The claim, which you can read here, continues to explain that, after Malone’s manager, Dre London, posted the song on Instagram, Armes “immediately reached out” to him via text message to ask be to be credited as a writer and producer.
“I was not just someone hanging out in the room, I’m a writer/producer in the room with two other writer/producers working on a song,” wrote Armes in the message, to which Dre London supposedly responded: “Just showed Posty the message. He said he remembers U played a tune on the bass then he played more of it after”.
The claim explains that Armes was initially offered a 5% share of the song’s publishing royalties, but “attempted to negotiate to receive a larger percentage of the royalties that more fairly reflected his significant contributions to the Song”.
One of Armes’ representatives then “requested that he be credited as a co-writer and co-producer of the Song while they attempted to reach an agreement on Armes’ share of the publishing royalties”, but the “defendants refused”.
Adds the complaint: “Instead, Austin Rosen, who manages both Post and Dukes, threatened Armes’ manager, Cory Litwin, that if Armes was unwilling to accept Post’s so-called ‘gift’ of five percent (5%) of the publishing, then he would get nothing – no credit and no publishing royalties”.
Armes asks to be given “a cowriter and co-producer credit on the copyright to the sound recording and composition” and to receive “prospective and retroactive royalties and other money owed with respect to his respective interest in the sound recording and composition”.Music Business Worldwide