New track from your favorite artist sound weird? It could be a Spotify scammer.

To fake a new release from a big-name artist, you just have to mess with the metadata.

September 3, 2020

Did your favorite rapper just drop a single that makes a totally inexplicable turn toward EDM? Consider this: it might not actually be their song.

On Spotify, every singer has their own artist page, complete with a well-displayed “Latest Release” tab.

But scammers have figured out that “Latest Release” pages aren’t well monitored — and that if they want to catapult their bedroom beats to a mass audience, all they have to do is tag a big-name artist.

Messing with the metadata pays off

The first version of this scam is focused on features. When they upload their songs, scammers will list a more established artist as “featured” on the track.

Do it right, and the song just might show up on that artist’s Spotify page.

One rapper, Wali Da Great, has gotten his songs on the pages of bigger names like Blueface and Tay-K.

But you can even pass off your song fully as someone else’s

That’s what happened to the indie band TV Girl. At the end of June, the group watched as Spotify listed an EDM song called “Grasp” as their latest release.

The song wasn’t theirs. But Spotify told them that, because they don’t own the copyright to the name TV Girl, anyone can list a song by “TV Girl.”

Spotify eventually yanked it from the real TV Girl’s page — but for 2 weeks, fans were confused by the indie band’s sudden genre shift.

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