Photo Credit: Carlos M. Vazquez II / CC by 2.0
Several unreleased versions of Lady Gaga songs have surfaced on major streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. The tracks were released under the artists’ real name—Stefani Germanotta.
Two of the songs appear to be different mixes of previously released songs, “Perfect Illusion” and “Fashion,” while another “Retro Physical” is an unreleased song from 2007. The song was a collaboration with producer Noize Trip and has been leaked before. So who leaked these versions of Lady Gaga’s work? The account is called ‘UnreleasedSongs’, which also claims the copyright.
This isn’t the first time that unreleased songs have made their way onto DSPs without an artists permission. Policing the sheer number of tracks that are uploaded each day (estimates are over 100,000) means these tracks are often slipping through the cracks.
In fact, one unofficial upload topped the Spotify charts in 2019. A rapper calling himself Lil Kambo topped the Spotify US Viral Top 50 chart in 2019 with a song called “Kid Carti.” The only problem? The song is a pitch-altered version of Carti’s verse on the track, “Kid Cudi.”
After the song topped the charts, Spotify hid it and removed it. But the high-schooler behind the account shared with Genius, “before the song came out there was a snippet on YouTube and it sounded like it would be a hit if it was released.” So he took it upon himself to release it.
Beyonce and SZA have struggled with unauthorized releases on digital streaming providers, too. An entire album titled Queen Carter appeared on Apple Music before it was ripped down. A leaked SZA album titled Comethru was uploaded to both services under the name Sister Solana, with one song featuring verses by Kendrick Lamar. SZA commented on the leak at the time, calling it “random scratches” from 2015. The person behind those leaks was eventually found out.
So are these unreleased Lady Gaga tracks of a similar vein—previous works that made their way onto a DSP before being scrubbed down? Variety reached out to Lady Gaga for comment, but no word.