Nigerian artist Kiss Daniel released his song ‘F*ck You’ which was initially received as a hit. So strong was the hit that artists started doing their own covers to the song. The likes of Falz, Ice Prince, Tiwa Savage and Ycee came out as the first few people to do covers to the song expressing some of their problems and calling out people. However, the cover that stood out (at least for me) was Victoria Kimani’s. She did not waste time dissing and calling out YCee and Tiwa Savage at the same time.
The diss track calls out YCee for not crediting people and stealing lyrics. This is largely a huge accusation in the music industry because it is stealing of intellectual property. She also goes on to call him out for running her cheque. She (Victoria Kimani) goes for the jugular when she calls Tiwa Savage for her Grand Ma African bad girl and accusing her from performing at an event.
This to me was representative of everything wrong in the music industry. The music industry is glorified for its flash, pomp and colour but on the flipside, a lot of bad things happen in the background and at some point, some artists and producers are likely going to give some insight into it.
In his interview with Vulture Quincy Jones went all ham on his relationship with Micheal Jackson and accused the deceased of stealing his hit single “Billie Jean” and Donna Summer’s “State of Independence”. He also accuses him of not paying for the c section done by Greg Phillinganes for the song “Don’t Stop ’Til You Get Enough”. These are just but some of the things that are wrong with the music industry.
The African music industry seems not to be different from America’s. So many things are creeping up in the industry that is being highlighted by so many people. Late this month Nadia Mukami left the music label Hailmind; on asking her she alluded to the industry not being able to know the difference between a management label and a record label.
However, it is not just music labels and management labels which have been on the receiving end of controversy in the music industry. Award shows have also been brought into the music industry. In 2017 artist Willy Paul called out Groove Awards for not nominating him for any category in the industry. A lot of discontentment with how the awards show was handled that year with secular artists coming out to announce various categories questioning the genuineness of the event in the long run and somehow validating Willy Paul’s assertions that the Groove Awards committee was not entirely being honest.
Music copyrights board has also been on the watch for their inability to not pay royalties or paying peanuts to artists. In an interview in 2017 Timeless Noel pointed out that he received royalties worth Ksh2,000 from his hit song “Odi Dance” even with the large airplay the song received.
Victoria Kimani has brought out the fact that the music industry needs a bit of streamlining in Africa and that it is high time we put together systems that work well for all artists and in the process. Her allegations paint a picture of having to be relooked and a cut-throat industry that needs to be checked and that needs to be relooked at to establish a new order.