Malcolm Anthony, ex-member of popular EDM trio K Theory, issued a series of statements to Your EDM on Tuesday that blamed himself and the group for knowingly purchasing beats from at least one third-party website to adjust and release as their own work.
Anthony said that he had “quit” the group after personal differences arose between him and one of the founding members Dylan Lewman, who was described by Lewman’s attorney as the sole owner of K Theory Music LLC. Anthony listed 26 songs that were supposedly bought or created with unoriginal material, including two links which he said were the raw purchases themselves, as well as a screenshot of an email receipt from the purchase of another. He went on to say that he was owed royalty payments which he had yet to receive since departing from the project.
In response to Anthony’s claims, Lewman’s attorney issued a brief response on his behalf stating that Anthony had, in fact, been paid in full as of December 31, 2016. But after the publishing of Anthony’s initial statement, Lewman teamed with music blog Noiseporn to release a response of his own.
Noiseporn reported that, according to Lewman, “Malcolm didn’t quit but instead was let go due to differences between the group.” He attributed the cause of Anthony’s initial statement to an emotional reaction or retaliation stemming from the news that he would no longer be a part of K Theory, Noiseporn wrote. Further, Lewman said that neither he, K Theory Music LLC nor the Lewman-owned New Trinity Music Group record label owes Anthony any payments, according to Noiseporn.
“Malcolm most likely involved sites like Your EDM and various press outlets when he became aware that he could not take his catalogue because the songs are contractually obligated to stay with New Trinity Music Group,” Noiseporn wrote. “Dylan also confirms Malcolm is not owed any money from K Theory Music LLC & is in breach of his recording contract with New Trinity Music Group.”
As of Friday afternoon, Your EDM has not been provided any documentation to support the opposing allegations from Lewman and his attorney.
In regards to the alleged purchasing of pre-made beats from third-party websites, Lewman referenced he and K Theory cofounder Dustin Musser‘s more than 10 years of production experience, as well as their time spent teaching at production schools Icon Collective, Pyramind and Skill Share. A spokesperson for Symphonic, a music distribution company with “extensive experience in distributing K Theory’s catalog,” said that they hadn’t seen any evidence to suggest K Theory’s material was not original, according to Noiseporn.
“Usually we can see these things via ownership conflicts via YouTube and Soundcloud monetization,” the spokesperson said, “but we have no evidence to support the allegations at this time, even with the alleged evidence shown on the Your EDM piece.”
David Spears, who was previously described by Anthony as the producer for the “first 10 records we did together,” however, said that “Dylan never laid a finger on a keyboard.”
In an email interview, Spears referred to Lewman as a “master of manipulation,” saying that the 10+ years of production experience he claimed to possess in his statement through Noiseporn were false.
“He does not have any of the musical skills he claims to have. He’s tone deaf. He will never, and I repeat never, sit down behind a digital audio workstation and create something on his own,” Spears said. “He got Dustin to listen to his production advice but never actually produced anything.”
When asked why Lewman would have mentioned his teaching experience at production schools like Icon Collective and Pyramind, Spears said that it was Lewman who simply tagged along as Musser taught the lessons.
“Dustin went to Pyramind. Not Dylan. Since they come as a package, he tagged along,” Spears said. “Dustin produced it all. Dustin did everything for Dylan. Dustin deserves all the credit. He is insanely talented.”
Spears said he met Anthony in Hollywood shortly after moving there, and was the one who initially brought him to the K Theory table. “After a few months of producing original records, [K Theory] took my and Malcolm’s original records and ‘remixed’ them, then slapped the brand on it,” he said. He created the instrumental, tracked Anthony’s vocals and mixed the records, Spears continued, but did not receive any public credit.
Some of the songs originally produced by him are “Watch Me Kill It,” “Summer Days,” “Electric Wave,” “Word Is Bond,” “Turn Me Up,” “Time Heals Nothing,” “Hero” and “We On Fire,” Spears said. Although receiving payment for these tunes would have been nice, Spears said, “recognition and truth is necessary.”
When he found out that he was not receiving credit, getting paid or playing shows, Spears said he quit. “It was bad blood because they never offered an explanation. I was deeply saddened by how Dylan handled this,” he said. “He tried rekindling the relationship when he started NTM [New Trinity Music Group]. To take advantage of me again.”
Before concluding the interview, Spears said he wanted to be clear that he is not excited to tarnish K Theory’s name.
“I simply want the truth to come out. I want people to learn from this. I want my experience to save an artist from signing a deal they aren’t fully aware of. I don’t want to make people feel terrible about themselves, just want them to realize the consequence to their actions. To produce music is a skill. To have your skills be taken advantage of is the worst blow to a creative artist.”
When asked for his response to Lewman’s allegations published through Noiseporn on Wednesday, Anthony referred to them as “false,” saying that the only thing that matters is “Dylan knows the truth.”
“All his statements are false. I have all the sessions and beats that were purchased,” Anthony wrote. “Really don’t feel the need to dig through my files for this anymore. Dylan knows the truth, that’s all that matters.”
In response to Lewman’s claims that Anthony is not owed money by Lewman or any of his owned entities, Anthony holds that New Trinity Music Group is in debt to him from past royalties.
“The label that we created together owes me money from past royalties,” he said. “My Malcolm Anthony catalog is also under that label and instead of releasing it, he decided to fight me for it.”
“I knew this day would come,” Spears said of Anthony. “I knew Malcom would wake up and see what was happening. I’m happy for him. He is an extremely talented artist. He has the ability people dream of.”
But without the release of contracts, evidence of payments, or song stems from the tracks Anthony claims were purchased, the debate remains at a relative standstill between the words of Anthony/Spears and the word of Lewman.
“Everything will eventually be resolved and right now I’m just focused on my career,” Anthony said.