Post Malone is facing a new lawsuit from musician and songwriter Tyler Armes, who claims he was not properly credited or paid for the work he did on Post’s hit single, “Circles.”
The suit, obtained by Rolling Stone, accuses the rapper, whose real name is Austin Post, and his producer Frank Dukes of a “bad faith refusal to accord Tyler Armes the credit and share of the profits he is due as a co-writer of the song ‘Circles.’” It alleges that Post Malone has “freely admitted that Armes co-wrote ‘Circles,’” but despite Armes’ repeated efforts to “amicably resolve this matter, Post and Dukes have steadfastly refused to give Armes the credit and share of the profits he is due.”
“It is very disappointing that Post Malone and his team did not provide Tyler Armes with co-writing credit,” said Allison Hart, a lawyer for Armes. “A number of witnesses will corroborate that Tyler co-wrote Circles. We expect to be fully vindicated when this matter is decided by the Court.”
A representative for Post Malone did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
Armes was a member of the successful Canadian outfit Down With Webster and currently plays in the band Honors. He’s written music for numerous television programs and ad campaigns; the suit states he’s also collaborated with top songwriters and producers such as Timbaland, Murda Beatz, Justin Tranter and Jesse Saint John. He claims that Post Malone’s manager, Dre London, orchestrated the collaboration with Post and Dukes, which took place at Dukes’ studio in August 2018 and resulted in the song “Circles.”
Per the suit, Armes co-wrote and/or offered input on several elements of the song, including the chords, the bass line and the guitar parts, including “the guitar melody which is played in the introduction to the song and which repeats throughout the song.” It goes on to allege that other than most of the lyrics and the bridge vocal melody, “all instrumentation and vocal melodies in the song recorded at Dukes’ studio” that night appeared on the final version of “Circles.”
On August 5th, 2019, the suit claims that London posted a snippet of “Circles” on Instagram, after which Armes sent London a letter describing his contributions to the song and requesting he ask Post about providing him “credit and minimal [publishing].” London allegedly replied several days later, saying, “Just showed Posty the message. He said he remembers. U played a tune on the bass then he played more after it.”
Armes claims he was originally offered five percent of the publishing royalties, but he and his representatives tried to negotiate a larger percentage that “more fairly reflected” his contributions, along with a co-writer and co-producer credit. The suit claims that Austin Rosen, another manager for Post Malone and Dukes, allegedly rebuffed them by suggesting, per the suit, that if “Armes was unwilling to accept Post’s so-called ‘gift’ of five percent of the publishing then he would get nothing.”
The suit claims that by refusing to give Armes proper credit, the defendants have “prevented Armes from capitalizing on the success of the song in order to further his career in the music industry.” The lawsuit seeks proper credit on “Circles” for Armes, as well as prospective and retroactive royalties, plus other money from the song, based on a percentage to be determined at trial.