When an artiste blows up, most people don’t even remember the record label that the artiste is signed on to as all focus is centred on the artiste. It could be for that reason some of these record labels no longer find it palatable especially when the artistes they would have expended fortunes on, renege on the contract they signed.
In recent times, record labels have dragged their artistes to police stations and even to courts over breach of contract. Saturday Beats beams its searchlight on some artistes that have had issues with their record labels lately
Skale versus Baseline Records
When Skale left his former record label, EME, many thought that was the end for the youngster. However, Baseline Records came from nowhere and gave him a new lease of life. His contract with the label in 2014 was described by some online portal as the biggest record deal in the industry as at then. It was reported that his contract entitled him to a furnished apartment in Lekki, a brand new SUV, some cash in advance and upkeep allowance, all to the tune of N200m. Most people thought everything was okay between the record label and its artiste, especially as Skale succeeded in churning out some hit songs till it was reported that both the artiste and his manager, Osagie, were arrested by the label over allegations of fraud.
Baseline alleged that Skale’s manager, Osagie, committed fraud against the company with monies totalling about N13,374,000. Osagie has denied the allegation, stating that there was never and would never be any basis to conclude that she had been dubious or fraudulent in her dealings with the label.
Runtown versus Ericmany Entertainment
Douglas Jack Agu, better known by his stage name, Runtown, shot into limelight with his hit song, Gallardo, featuring Davido, which garnered about 418,000 views on VeVo in two months. This probably impressed the management of Ericmany Records because they signed him onto the record label shortly after in 2014. All things seemed rosy until two years after when the record label dragged the young artiste to court, claiming that he signed up, and attended musical shows without the knowledge of the label after investing millions of naira on him. However, last month, a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos slammed an injunction against the rising musical artiste. The injunction prevents him from performing at any event or any form of recording for the time being unless with the approval of Ericmany Limited. This judgement would definitely have an adverse effect on his budding career.
On his part, the afro pop singer claimed that Ericmany Entertainment had breached his contract several times. He further claimed that the record label stole from him by not giving him 35 per cent cuts in return among other things. He said that trouble started when he wanted to terminate his contract and also refused to renew a two-year contract because the CEO of the record label, Okwudili Umenyiora, had threatened him with a gun.
Both parties have been going back and forth over the issue till date. When the matter was taken to court, they have still not settled their differences.
DJ Zeez versus HF Music
Not many knew there was trouble in paradise for popular singer, DJ Zeez, till news surfaced online that a court has ordered the singer to pay about N22m to his record label for breaching his contract.
The singer and producer hit some financial troubles following a Lagos High Court’s order for him to refund N22.3m to his record label, HF Music.
It was learnt that the singer was dragged to court in September 2015 by HF Music following his inability to meet his obligations as outlined in his contract. According to reports, the presiding judge, Honourable Justice B.A. Oke-Lawal in the case brought before the High Court of Lagos State, ordered that Zeez, real name – Kingsley Elikpo, should refund the sum of N22, 378,605.70 being the total amount spent by HF Music through various advances made to and on his behalf, from the commencement date of his contract with the label until the point when it was breached by him.
Till date, the singer has kept mum over the issue and when Saturday Beats called him on telephone to get his reaction, he had said, ‘I am busy, please can you call me back in 35 minutes.’ That was the last time he picked his call.
Vector versus YSG
Their romance lasted for about four years and it seemed like a match made in heaven when they were together. In all his songs, the hit maker always made it a point of duty to call the name of his record label, yelling, YSG.
According to reports, trouble allegedly started when the rapper made complaints that his career was stalling and not progressing. He enquired why the label had a nonchalant attitude towards his career and he simply suggested more professional hands to be employed to push his career to the next level. It was alleged the label might have taken his views as threats and refused to impose these ideas, so Vector decided to hire the professionals and was paying them personally with no help from the label. Things got worse after Vector took a self-sponsored vacation to the US and returned to his record boss’ anger, claiming he went to the States to sign a record deal.
Weeks after, Vector received an invitation letter from the Commissioner of Police of Lagos State and was summoned to the Area-E Command in Lagos. On getting there, he was presented with a “breach of contract” petition, claiming that he had engaged external hands to work for him. His parents got involved, as his dad is a retired police officer, and it was settled amicably.
The whole incident evidently affected the artiste’s career till a few years later when he was able to wriggle his way out of the mess.
Milli versus Chocolate City
The rap artiste claimed that he was not getting enough support from his record label after all the work he had done for them. According to him, he co-produced M.I’s album, Chairman and the TICBN album but when it was time for him to release his music, he claimed there was always one delay or the other. In an interview, he stated that it seemed M.I was not proud of him.
Milli said that it became difficult for him to work with Reinhard, his producer whom he introduced to M.I and that he had to forfeit a song he recorded with Wizkid so that M.I could allow him release one of his songs, Unlooking. A few days ago, he left the record label to join Up Next, where he feels his work would be more appreciated.
The record label has since released a statement to confirm that they have parted ways amicably but did not speak on the claims the budding rapper made. The statement reads, “Chocolate City and Milli have agreed to end our business relationship amicably. We wish Milli well in all future endeavours as he has an amazing career ahead of him.”