By Ahmad Muto
Rapper Navio who was one of the first local artistes to ink deals with global music label Sony Music has revealed that the reason he left Sony quietly without the unnecessary buzz that has come to characterise the artiste – label relationship locally is he placed his demands on the table. He said he effected a clause that enabled him to exit at will and not the standard contract they gave artistes, reasoning that every artiste has their own standard. This is contrary to reports that he quit because they were frustrating his career.
“Nothing went wrong with my Sony deal. I am not allowed to talk about the contract to great detail. The way we went about it was we made sure we could eject at anytime without damaging our relationship. As long as I give a three-month notice. That clause was not there, we put it in ourselves. I would still be there,” he said.
He indicted the new crop of artistes for signing standard contracts which he said is a red flag.
“You have your own standard. And never have just one person read over your contract; minimum three people. It is also the power of negotiation. Some artistes sign knowing what they are getting into, but do it for the fame,” he added.
This comes at a time when Black Market Records is on the spotlight over contract issues. Bruno K said he signed a one year contract while the label argued he signed a five-year contract, technically because he failed to record the 10 songs he had to in the one year. They also reported his Nipe Love music video that was taken down by YouTube last month. They argued he does not own the rights.
Singer Nina Roz left the country briefly for Kigali, Rwanda after claiming the label had taken down her YouTube Channel also over contract issues. Both Both artistes were planning to take legal action.