Public Announcement Re: Kastilla
For Immediate Release - Sunday September 12, 2021
Dub J and Team have decided to release this public statement with regards to the artist known as Kastilla after discovering numerous intentional acts of streaming fraud being administered by either Kastilla or her business partner as well as extremely unprofessional business practices that don't align to the integrity of the Dub J brand.
Dub J was introduced to Kastilla months ago through her "manager" and while vetting this artist before working with her it was discovered that there were fake streams purchased for her single "Dancin". Dub J requested immediately that it stop as he was not willing to work with an artist purchasing streams. The fake streams stopped at 21K streams for this single.
At the end of April 2021, Kastilla's manager asked that Dub J re-produce a record for her "Diamonds" as he wasn't happy with the original producers production on the record. Dub J agreed and produced a new version of the song with the intent of using this song as a platform to elevate Kastilla's fanbase as she doesn't have any real listeners on Spotify. The plan was to release "Diamonds" and then follow it up with a bigger record. Dub J was given the vocal stems and video master for this release by Kastilla's management.
On May 3, 2021 Kastilla went in to a writing / studio session with Dub J and his team of Juno winning artists to write and record a new record. Kastilla came to the session and this song was written and recorded with full intent of being released following the release of Diamonds.
High Res photos were supplied to Dub J by Kastilla's manager for the cover art for Diamonds and the single was submitted to streaming platforms for a release date of June 11, 2021.
Leading up to the release date of Diamonds, Dub J was requesting marketing materials to support this single. Dub J had an Instagram filter created to support the release of the single and Kastilla herself recorded the demo video for the filter and provided Dub J access to her Facebook / Instagram account so the filter could be housed right on her account. The filter was released on June 10, 2021 and is still live on Kastilla's Instagram account today. View the filter here: https://www.instagram.com/ar/191843949510871
Following the release of Diamonds... Dub J promoted the song on radio interviews, TSN, Breakfast Television , ThisIs50.com and a full article on HipHopCanada.com. Dub J's release of Diamonds charted to #5 on iTunes Hip Hop Charts. Kastilla was not re-posting or promoting anything related to Diamonds. Not even the impressive accomplishments. This was extremely unprofessional as numerous outlets reached out to Dub J noticing this odd behaviour.
Kastilla and her business partner then informed Dub J that the original producer of the song was angry about the song being re-produced and they did not want to tarnish their relationship with this producer. They requested Dub J to remove the video from YouTube and stop promoting for a few weeks so they could release their version. It wasn't possible to pull back the release and also wasn't possible to delete the video as major publications have posted the video on their blogs. Dub J was not willing to cause media websites and blogs to have dead links on their site due to this issue. Dub J did however make the video unlisted on YouTube until something could be sorted out.
Dub J offered Kastilla and her business partner numerous options and solutions to pull off a seamless release for both versions of the song and even offered to help market and push the other version of the record out of good faith. They refused.
Kastilla and her business partner ignored emails and messages for weeks until they finally released their original version of Diamonds, calling it "Diamonds Deluxe. They released the single on July 23rd, 2021.
In an effort to make it appear that their version of the song was a successful release they purchased more than 100,000 fake streams that occurred within the first 5 days of release. These were fake streams originating in Phoenix and West Chicago, very well known locations for fake playlists and streaming fraud. After 5 days of fraudulent streaming, Kastilla's song returned to achieving between 1 and 3 streams per day on average. This behaviour is highly unfortunate and not something that the Dub J brand wants to be associated with.
Here is a PDF document outlining the details of the streaming fraud discovered.
Here is a visual from Spotify's publicly accessible tools showing when the fake streams were purchased.
Following our discovery of the streaming fraud, Kastilla stated that she did not want the May 3rd recorded song to be released. Her request was honoured, however we requested to be reimbursed for the studio time, writers session, mix and master of the song. Kastilla's business partner requested the invoice himself. See photo.
The invoice was sent as requested on August 2, 2021 causing Kastilla and her business partner to stop responding to emails. They instead tried to coerce her "manager" to foot the bill. He denied their request as he was not the one who purchased the fraudulent streams. They proceeded to ignore our phone calls, texts and emails.
We gave ample time to resolve these matters (42 Days). So here we are.
Let this be a lesson to everyone. Be careful who you work with. You don't want other artists poor choices tarnishing your brand and more importantly your integrity.