Artists go to extreme lengths to avoid music hackers


It's almost a daily occurrence in the music industry - a half-finished track by an artist being leaked online.

Some acts have been explaining the extraordinary lengths they go to to try to prevent hackers getting to their incomplete material before its release.

Taio Cruz

Taio Cruz

"I try my best to understand how the hackers get your music in the first place, then avoid doing things like that. They can hack email addresses so I never email songs.

"I hold onto physical copies of it. You keep it on a USB stick or you send a direct peer-to-peer stream to someone which can't be intercepted. I understand with the hackers that they're excited, and they're most likely fans and they just want it now.

"Sometimes they get the music before it's finished and it goes up online and then you get fans saying, 'This doesn't sound very good.' It's because it's not done.

"I ask these hackers - please, we know what we're doing. We put the music out at the time we put it out, so let us do that."

Tinie Tempah

"It's been an absolute pain [to protect the new album] to be quite honest with you. My sound engineer is so extra cautious but now it makes sense to me.

"Basically he's got a hard drive that's got a code on it and a physical lock. He locks it, then he puts a code on it and then we put it in a safe. You know, like a vault where you put jewellery in and stuff.

"Then he hides that safe and then he locks it away. We've been really anal with it all but hopefully it's going to be worth it."

Conor Maynard

Conor Maynard

"There are a lot of things artists do to protect their music. With me - if I do send something online you download it and then you delete it. We make sure there's no trace.

"I've heard some mad stories. With Beyonce, I heard that with her people they'll make sure that there's no-one in the studio. They go into the studio, wipe it, set up one new session for her to record. Once she's finished recording they move it onto a hard drive. They wipe the studio computer again and then leave."

"There are some artists like Drake who leaks his own stuff to start a hype, a buzz. He'll leak tracks that aren't going to be used on the album. So people pay for it because they haven't heard it yet."

Harley from Rizzle Kicks

Rizzle Kicks

"Our producer won't send us the tracks until he's happy with the mix. The reality is that the music industry has changed so dramatically that people can get hold of music ahead of time.

"Albums have been leaked - it doesn't really change things that much. The way I see it - there's ups and downs.

"Yes, there's some money lost in music shared prior to release but if more people are listening to it then that can only be a good thing."

Jessie J

Jessie J

"I got my email, my Facebook, my Twitter all hacked at the start of the year. But you know what, we've just got to make it safer now.

"I'm smart - I don't have my music on my email. CDs - I'm old school. Myself, Darcus Beese my A&R and my manager Mark Hargreaves. Those are the only people who need to hear my music until it's totally done."



"With my tracks I don't give them to anyone. We've currently got the German record label saying, 'We want to hear new songs' and we're saying 'You're not hearing new songs.'

"I've been quite lucky that I've never had anything leaked but I'm not as popular as Jay-Z and Kanye West - that's probably why."