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News April 24, 2020

Andrew Stone on Twitter beef with Ditto Chief: ‘I Had to Google Who Lee Parsons Was’

Andrew Stone on Twitter beef with Ditto Chief: ‘I Had to Google Who Lee Parsons Was’

Andrew Stone engaged in a social media war-of-words Friday morning that had more beef than a Big Mac and had industry observers reaching for their popcorn.

Stone, head of Chugg Music, came under some heavy Twitter fire from Ditto Music co-founder Lee Parsons, who accused the Sydney-based executive of snatching the company’s pet project, Mason Watts.

Watts, the latest signing to City Pop Records, which sits within Chugg Music, now finds himself the subject of an international industry stoush, the likes of which are rarely seen.

Parsons, co-founder of the U.K. online distributor and record label, kicked-off the feud with a none-too-subtle tweet:

“Music ethic question: If we (as favor) sent u an artist i’m working on to check out for management, would you 1) Steal the act, sign it to ur own label via my competitor & act like a complete dickhead to my staff like Andrew Stone at Chugg Entertainment did, or 2) Anything else but that?”

In an exclusive message to TIO, Andrew Stone lays out his side of events:

I had to Google who Lee Parsons was, that’s how connected to the Australian music business he is. Imagine being that shit at your job that you get on twitter to complain about an artist signing to a label and management company, as if the artist doesn’t have a say in the matter. If Ditto’s distro + services company could make a compelling case as to why they can match our offer then they weren’t forthcoming about it.

As I said, I don’t have any idea who Lee Parsons is, but from what I recall was out the back of the venue at Bigsound (eight months ago) for an earlier showcase, and I didn’t even catch Mason’s set. Mason and I were introduced and bonded over being from the same town and same school and there has been a lot of time and investment since then.

We’ve been nothing but excited to continue to work with Sarah Hamilton and the Ditto team on Mason Watts, since his first single, ‘Recovery’, remains with them under the exclusive distribution agreement that was signed for that single.

Our new label has an exclusive distribution agreement with Believe Music which means that our hands are tied in terms of how future releases are distributed. I am sure that now we are investing marketing, PR and management resources into this release and subsequent catalogue that the track will continue to perform well for us and for Ditto.

In terms of the comment about being a dickhead to his staff, I’ve known Sarah for 20 years since high school in Toowoomba, and there is no truth to the matter. It sounds like something Lee is just making up out of thin air. The only conversation we have had with Sarah about this was the tough one to tell her that it’s our intention to sign Mason. She was understandably disappointed, and Mason was on the call. We thought we had left it really amicably and I hope to work with Sarah again in the future.

Mason Watts press shot

Mason Watts is a wanted man

Ditto released Watts’ debut ‘Recovery’ last year, on a single distro deal.

The 20-year-old singer and songwriter, who hails from Queensland, is the second signing to City Pop Records. New Mason music is coming, the label announced this week.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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