Maria Luisa Trevejo, better known as Malu Trevejo, has sued Universal Music Latino after her attorneys sent notice to disaffirm her exclusive recording agreement. Malu, now 15, was only 14 when she entered into the agreement and has the legal right to declare the agreement void due to Universal´s failure to have the agreement ratified by the court. Malu is not the first minor in the music business to adopt such measures, but in fact follows the line of several predecessors such as Lil Pump and the late xxxtentacion, both artists which have taken similar actions against their labels.
Last year the teen star signed a recording agreement and co-management agreement with Universal Music Latino through their sub label In-Tu Linea, run by CEO Jorge Pino. The artist has filed a declaratory action in Miami-Dade County seeking to validate her disaffirmance after Universal denied the minor’s rights.
The teen´s legal representative The Hachar Law Firm had sent notice as a series of difficulties began to arise shortly after releasing her debut multi-platinum single ¨Luna Llena¨ concerning the creative, developmental, and well-being aspects of the minor and the minor’s career.
Renowned attorney Richard Wolfe is representing the teen in the court action. Despite multiple attempts to address the concerns with the label, the issues continued yielding an extreme concern for the minor’s well-being, as the minor’s family and her representatives have expressed. In addition, it was the minor and her representative’s opinion at the time that the minor’s career was also being mishandled by the label and in particular, Mr. Pino.
At the offset of the agreement, the label failed to commence the timely court approval process as legally required to remove the disabilities of contracting with a minor. Several months later, the label refused to release the artist´s then third single ¨Sueltate¨ until court approval of the agreement was obtained, thereby putting the artist´s career on hold. It became clear to Malu and her family that the relationship with Mr. Pinoand the label had severed beyond repair, and she decided to exercise her legal right to void the agreement.
In response to the lawsuit, Universal has filed counterclaims against the artist´s furnishing company, her mother, and her attorney. The artist intends to bring claims against several third parties, including co-manager Mr. Pino and his Universal sub label In-Tu Linea, for alleged breaches of fiduciary duties, among other possible claims. A court hearing on the matter is scheduled for July 27, 2018.