Producer Richard X: ‘Albums leak when fans disguise themselves as members of the music industry’

The MIA, Annie and Sugababes producer says he doesn't think there's a 'big evil piracy network' behind album leaks

MIA, Kelis and Sugababes producer Richard X has spoken publicly about music leaks, following a recent spate of album leaks, including Lana Del Rey and The Ting Tings, whose new LPs appeared online before their official release dates.

Speaking to BBC Newsbeat, Richard X explained that from his experience, people can leak albums after disguising themselves as members of the music industry, so that people will send them unreleased material.

He explained: “They get a little bit of information by searching databases, publishers catalogues or reading forums. That’s enough for them to write a cheeky email disguised as someone from the management, touring agency or someone related to the artists in an attempt to get you, the producer, to send them finished tracks or demos.”

He also explained that the people behind this tend to be “rabid fans”. He continued: “The fan-driven mentality, and rightly so, is that they want to hear new things and will do anything to get the exclusive. I personally don’t think it’s a big evil piracy network behind it all.”

He added: “You might think that someone wouldn’t fall for these emails, but in a high turnover, fast environment, which making records is now, things are needed instantly. It’s possible that you would send something… I know of a producer recently who did send out the demos and the masters to a random person.”