UWG undergraduate and music artist Jay Pruitt released the album “Painted” on all major streaming platforms after copyright struggles and with help of another artist who remixed the stolen song “Pain.”
Over the summer, Pruitt prepared to release a new album titled “Painted” onto streaming platforms. Out of the eight original songs featured in the album, the fourth track titled “Pain” received a copyright strike which led to the discovery that someone had stolen and uploaded his song as their own before the album’s debut.
“The album was supposed to be released on Aug. 1, shortly before the release date, my distributor sent me an email back saying they could not release my album because of copyright infringement,” Pruitt says. “The original version of ‘Pain’ was stolen by another UWG student.”
During the initial stages of creating the music tracks, Pruitt had shared “Pain” with his friends for feedback. One of those listeners shared the song with the student who ended up uploading the track and obtaining the copyright to “Pain” despite not creating the song.
“When they released [the song before the debut], the platform automatically grants them a license to the track which is a legal document,” says Pruitt. “So they ‘legally’ stole my song.”
Copyrights play an important role in protecting the intellectual property of creators, especially in the digital landscape but the system is not foolproof as exhibited through rampant art theft.
Regardless of the situation, Pruitt still wanted to release the album while dealing with the copyright legalities. Pruitt met UWG student and fellow music artist Colin Chambers, under the pseudonym Lin Vale, through mutual friends associated with UWG’s eSports community.
“That same day [the song was found stolen], I met Lin Vale. He remixed my song for me,” says Pruitt. “Lin Vale saved my album.”
Chambers currently attends UWG as a Management Information Systems (MIS) student at Richard’s College of Business and produces Electronic Dance Music (EDM) as a hobby.
“I want to do more collaborations with him if he wants,” says Pruitt. “I know that it was definitely a challenge because I didn’t give him the individual files, only two instrumental files (.wav), instead of stem files which are for each individual instrument. He did an amazing job.”
“Painted” features eight original songs and one cover song of Lana Del Ray’s “Thunder.” Pruitt also released the original version of “Pain” as a single separate from the album now that the stolen song has been taken down.
“I wrote lyrics to my song ‘Satellite Dreaming’ and just when I thought ‘I have a new single,’ but then more inspiration came and I wrote three more songs,” says Pruitt. “Then I kept writing more.”
The album incorporates alternative sounds and deals with themes of domestic violence and healing after trauma which ties into the title song “Painted.”
“When everyone thinks of Van Goph, they mostly think of his beautiful painting ‘Starry Night,’ but what they don’t see are all the depressing and sad paintings that he’s created,” says Pruitt. “So ‘Painted’ is actually in reference to bruises.”
Despite difficulties present in both personal and occupational spheres, community, adaptability and creativity prove to be invaluable necessities to keep persevering.
Pruitt and Lin Vale can be followed on Instagram at @officialjaypruitt and @linvale_edm respectively.