Why Pretend by Alex G is Not on Spotify?

Alex G, an indie rock musician from Pennsylvania, released his song “Pretend” in 2014 on various streaming platforms, however, it is notably absent from Spotify.

There are a few potential reasons why this fan-favorite track can’t be found on the world’s most popular music streaming service.

1. Licensing Issues

One of the most likely reasons that “Pretend” is not on Spotify has to do with licensing restrictions. When Alex G, whose real name is Alex Giannascoli, first released the song, he may not have retained full ownership of the master or publishing rights.

2. Original Rights Holders

If Alex G was signed to a label or worked with producers at the time, they may control certain licensing rights to his older material.

There could be an exclusivity deal in place with a competing streaming platform or issues around royalty splits that prevent “Pretend” from being distributed on Spotify.

3. Contract Disputes

There is also a possibility that Alex G entered into a contract earlier in his career that no longer reflects the terms he wants to work under today.

Numerous musicians have had licensing disputes over their catalogs, especially for tracks released when they were first starting. Until these complex business matters get sorted out, streamers are left without access to certain beloved songs.

4. Personal Preference

Another potential factor keeping “Pretend” off Spotify is Alex G’s personal preferences about his artistic releases.

5. Selectivity

While most musicians in 2023 strive to get their music on major platforms like Spotify, Alex G has shown some selectivity over the years about which streaming services host his work.

Fans have noted that his catalog can be unpredictable across platforms. It’s possible Alex G simply doesn’t want “Pretend” on Spotify right now for artistic reasons.

6. Creative Control

Indie musicians like Alex G. also have more control over licensing decisions and can choose whether or not to distribute songs through certain channels.

Spotify has faced criticism in the past over royalty rates and their impact on artistic integrity. Alex G may feel Spotify’s platform does not best represent his ethos.

7. Cultivating Mystery

There’s an intriguing mystique and intrigue around why fans can’t access “Pretend” on such a major music platform. Not having this popular track available on Spotify likely gets diehard fans talking and drives curiosity. By retaining creative control, Alex G can cultivate his enigmatic DIY brand.

In the streaming music age, artist catalogs can feel homogenized across platforms, making Alex G’s selectivity with “Pretend” stand out as a symbolic rejection of mainstream conventions. For loyal listeners, it reflects his uncompromising creative vision.

Until Alex G and his management team resolve any underlying issues, fans will simply have to go through alternative channels to hear this missing piece from his early work. Wherever business deals, personal preferences, or cultivating mystery may rest, they combine to shape the unique streaming existence of this Pennsylvania indie artist.


Alex G’s early 2014 song “Pretend” has developed an almost mythic aura among fans due to its absence from Spotify. While the exact reasons remain uncertain, potential root causes likely stem from licensing restrictions tied to rights holders on his past work. He had unresolved contract disputes that emerged during his start-out years as a musician. Alex G’s own selectivity and creativity control when it comes to his preferred distribution channels.

For now, listeners must go through alternative platforms to access this popular lost track. Until and unless the licensing and distribution barriers shift, “Pretend” will remain an Alex G song defined partly by its lack of availability on Spotify, keeping with the Pennsylvania artist’s unconventional path.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What streaming platforms do have Alex G’s “Pretend”?

Fans can find “Pretend” on YouTube and Soundcloud, reflecting Alex G’s DIY approach to releasing music directly to fans.

Did Alex G have issues with music rights early on?

It’s quite possible – many musicians sign contracts early on that they later regret. Licensing issues are very common behind-the-scenes reasons why certain songs are only on select platforms.

Why might Alex G not want his music on Spotify?

Indie artists like Alex G value creative independence and often chafe against Spotify’s business model of royalties and artistic branding on its platform. Alex G may feel going through Spotify overly commercializes his integrity as an artist.

Is this connected to other songs missing from Alex G’s Spotify catalog?

Very likely. Fans have noted the unpredictable availability of Alex G tracks across streaming services, pointing to his mercurial, selective approach to how and where he distributes his music.

Will “Pretend” ever be officially released on Spotify?

It’s hard to predict, but possibly – if Alex G eventually negotiates more favorable contract deals with past rights holders and chooses to distribute “Pretend” to Spotify. For now, old deals and his preferences combine to keep Spotify Pretend-less when it comes to Alex G’s discography.

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