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News April 24, 2020

INDUSTRY BEEF: Ditto CEO fires shots at Chugg Music and Andrew Stone

Senior Journalist, B2B
INDUSTRY BEEF: Ditto CEO fires shots at Chugg Music and Andrew Stone

Mason Watts is just 20 years of age and a relative unknown in music circles, but he’s a wanted man.

The singer and songwriter is the subject of a simmering brouhaha between Ditto Music in London and Sydney’s City Pop Records, which this week signed the promising young artist.

As previously reported, Watts is the second signing to City Pop Records, the recently launched music company which sits within Chugg Music, joining Mia Rodriguez at the label.

The Toowoomba lad was praised by his new label as “passionate, talented and extremely driven” with a “splash of cheeky confidence reflected in his combination of youth and experience.”

With new music in the pipeline, Michael Chugg and his business partner Andrew Stone are tipping the muso as a next-big-thing. “Mason is the kind of young artist who is tailor made for the new borderless, global music business we are in today,” Chugg enthuses in a statement unveiling the new deal.

Watts already has a self-released song available on digital music platforms, ‘Recovery,’ which has enjoyed more than 350,000 spins on Spotify since its release in 2019, and another 70,000-plus hits on YouTube.

Ditto Music, the U.K. independent music company, released ‘Recovery’ and its chiefs are now claiming Stone snatched their prized project.

Lee Parsons, co-founder of the online distributor and record label went full Gossip Girl overnight with a 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?”

Stone fired back: “Music ethic question. You invited me to a showcase and I liked your artist. Don’t be a dickhead all your life. Ditto Music the bastion of professionalism.”

And from that point, it was on

“F knows what ur version of professional is Andrew but I’d rather be honest. Cool blazer,” tweeted Parsons. Stone responded: “Imagine burning your AU staff like that. CEO tough guy.”

Parsons shot back: “Imagine looping ur boss in to ur emails and going to the press about it.”

And Stone volleyed, “You mean looping in my business partner who you also called out on twitter like some hero. CEO/Founder/bloke who is totally disconnected from reality.”

Check out the thread below.

In a statement to TIO, Stone suggests Parsons is playing a game, and not a winning one. “I had to Google who Lee Parsons was, that’s how connected to the Australian music business he is,” he writes. “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.” 

City Pop Records is distributed by digital specialist Believe. Its ambition, Chugg and Stone told TIO at launch last year, is to play in the pop space and challenge the majors.

Ditto’s digital distribution business services music on behalf of 150,000-plus artists worldwide, and boasts 20 offices across 16 markets. The likes of Ed Sheeran, Royal Blood and Sam Smith have distributed their music via the company.

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

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