Even more than two weeks after Bassnectar announced he was leaving the music industry following a litany of accusations against him for grooming and sexually abusing underage girls, more about him is continuing to come to light. Now, “Butterfly” collaborator Mimi Page has penned an extensive account of her time working with the producer and how his manipulative and abusive business practices nearly led her to quit music altogether.
“As the main composer and co-producer of our song, you knew I wrote and created the majority of the creative content in ‘Butterfly,'” she writes. “Not only did I write and perform the vocals and piano, I composed, produced, and sound-designed the synths and ethereal pads. You never gave me credit for this. Not in the liner notes, and not in the press. You took full credit of the production of our song, allowing me to be viewed as a vocal feature with a piano performance.”
Page claims that Bassnectar took advantage of her green-ness as a young artist and cited “the bassnectar factor” in his decision to release the song the way that he did. Page also says that she was given a 33% cut of writing and publishing, but Bassnectar held 100% of mechanical and performance royalties, and all of the sales and proceeds of the track from streaming. In exchange for her work, Bassnectar promised her $1,000 a month, because he “convinced me that music didn’t make money.”
As we know now, “Butterfly” has become one of Bassnectar’s most iconic songs in his discography.
But the manipulation and exploitation of Mimi’s talents didn’t stop at production and writing; they also extended to live performance.
“At Lighting in a Bottle I performed for free and got changed in a port-o-potty. After my performance you thanked me and handed me a bottle of wine as compensation. At Red Rocks and Bridgestone Arena you offered me $1,000 as an appearance fee. A fee that I had to deduct the airfare of my manager, my wardrobe, and all my food and traveling expenses from. I’m not sure how much income you take home after each one of your sold-out stadium shows, but I’m sure you could have afforded to treat me a little better. At the end of the day, I actually ended up paying out of my own pocket to perform with you.”
She goes on to detail how when she confronted Bassnectar about the unfairness of the deal, once she was a more seasoned artist who knew more about how the industry worked, he “attempted” to make it up to her. He promised her a legitimate Bassnectar and Mimi Page collaboration, though only promised 25% of the royalties, not even the 33% she was given on “Butterfly.” Yet, over the past five years as she sent him ideas, he always responded that he was “too busy.” The last song she was credited on was “Was Will Be,” for which she received no mastery royalties and only a small publishing cut.
Then, she describes the final time she worked with Bassnectar, on the song “Optimism” off his latest album. We will include the full quote below:
“Our last and final collaboration was on your new album “All Colors,” and this was the final straw for me ever working with you again. During a pandemic that is killing people, destroying our economy, and shutting down our industry, you sent me an email “checking in”. Like always, your emails have tons of smiley faces indicating you “love me.” You reminded me we that we “still need to do our song” but asked for a “little favor” on your new album. You wanted me to replace a vocal sample of another girl singing “dreaming of you.” No writing, no harmonies, no creative contribution, not even the consideration of me knowing what I was contributing to as you wouldn’t let me listen to the song. Just “a little favor” of singing and recording for you, for free. I almost said no, and I wish I had. The only reason I didn’t, was because you had just offered me a spot to perform my own acoustic set on the main stage at your festival Deja Voom. A gesture that shocked me and actually meant a lot to me. After years of you blowing me off creatively and taking advantage of me financially, that was a gesture that felt like it validated my worth to you. I will humbly admit that deep down, I have always wanted you to care about my art and creativity. So, like always, I did the mental gymnastics in my head and justified the reasons why I should do your little favor and I did it. I did it against the wishes of my own manager and attorney, that’s how strong your influence has been over me. […]
“In regards to my creative contribution on your new album, I found my vocal sample on the end track you called “Optimism.” I wasn’t credited as a featured vocalist, and I checked the liner notes and there was no reference that I even sang on the song. After 8 years of working together, you didn’t even give me a shoutout on social media, telling our mutual fans about my contribution being that they loved our past collaborations so much. After all these years, and the massive amount of income you have earned off the back of my own creativity, this is what you have reduced my talent to.”
ill.Gates, who has been very vocal about the Bassnectar situation, also spoke out about the professional manipulation that he’s felt at the hands of the producer in response to another story about Bassnectar stealing music from black trans artist Jordana Lesesne, whose music you might recognize from his song “Here We Go,” another iconic Nectar track.
As someone who was subject to the same professional abuse and manipulation (uncredited use of my music, denial of royalties, unfulfilled promises of opening slots, collab EPs, blog posts, etc) Jordana’s story is all too familiar.
Please take a minute to read and share. https://t.co/UBnlr3vdMB
— ill.Gates BLM (@illGatesMusic) July 20, 2020
He took an intro I made with him for another collab and made it into the intro for Take You Down. Zero credit. Zero royalties.
— ill.Gates BLM (@illGatesMusic) July 20, 2020
which Lorin (Bassnectar) heavily sampled and timestretched for the intro and hook of "Here We Go" which appeared on his 2010 release "Timestretch": https://t.co/Hi3VCDJ46L. this when he was still developing his sound which borrowed heavily from mine by his own admission. (6/25)
— Jordana (@jordanalesesne) July 7, 2020
Clearly, Bassnectar’s action extended far beyond sexual abuse, and he was not the icon that people thought he was. While he did a lot of good for the community through his non-profit and outward-facing positivity, behind the scenes, he was a predator and manipulator.
You can read Mimi Page’s full story here.
Support Mimi’s latest original song, “Even in a Million Pieces Love Will Never Die” below.