Morgan Wallen is speaking out. The country star took a break from some well-deserved time off to let fans know about an alleged new music drop that was never meant to be.
“I’m writing y’all from a duck hunting trip because I want to fill you in on something happening tonight,” Wallen, 30, wrote via Instagram on Thursday, January 25. “Back in 2014, I went to Florida to try my hand at making original music & songwriting for the first time. This led to a recording deal with a local investor and an artist management deal that I deeply regret. Unfortunately, I signed both deals without any legal representation.”
Wallen claimed that he didn’t have full creative control over the 13 songs he made during that time, saying, “Some were ok, most were terrible.” He noted that only five of those tracks made it to his debut EP, Stand Alone, including fan-favorite “Spin You Around.”
The “Last Night” singer went on to allege that those collaborators planned to release the music without his permission.
“Tonight, those colleagues I parted ways with almost 10 years ago plan to release a ‘10th anniversary’ edition of Stand Alone against my wishes and include eight unreleased songs, distributing them with the assistance of my former managers,” he continued. “For months I’ve been exploring every avenue possible to acquire the rights to this old music and keep the quality of my catalog consistent with songs I choose to release & believe in.”
In response to the release, Wallen is dropping new music of his own. The “Seven Summers” singer will release “Spin You Around (1/24)” at midnight on Friday, January 26. The drop appears to be a last-minute reaction, as Wallen admits, “I did the artwork myself while in the woods duck hunting.”
Wallen is also putting his money where his mouth is. He’s pledged to donate $100,000 from the Morgan Wallen Foundation to the Volunteer Lawyers and Professionals for the Arts (VLPA) program in an attempt to keep this from happening to other new artists.
“I hope young aspiring musicians read this story and know they should never have to give up their creative freedoms for an opportunity in this business,” he said.
Wallen, who calls the alleged episode “gross, greedy and an example of how the dark side of the music business can suck the soul out of artists,” wants his fans to know this music is not part of his next era. “Trust me, when new music is ready, you’ll hear it directly from me,” he said.
New music is not the only breaking news to come out of the Wallen camp today. Earlier this morning, it was announced that Wallen and fellow country star Eric Church had acquired Field and Stream magazine and plan to relaunch the beloved outdoorsman’s brand as a print magazine, website and apparel company alongside plans for a live music festival.
It’s a fitting new gig for a man who released a statement about leaked music from a duck hunting expedition.