Music Business

Harrysong leaves Kcee’s Five Star record label over feelings of being underappreciated

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Singer and songwriter Harrysong has left Kcee’s Five Star record label to launch his own music company.

“What bothers me is not the work, what bothers me is the appreciation,” said Harrison to Planet TV in explaining one of the key reasons he left the label. “You are helping someone that knows nothing and he’s telling you that he’s helping you. You write a song and the person is telling you that ‘it’s when I sing your song that you blow, if I don’t sing your song you don’t blow'”.

Harrysong claims his contract expired and the lack of appreciation was a catalyst to move on and launch his own music company, that is not a label. Nevertheless, news reports contradict his statement that his contract has expired with claims that he has two years left with Five Star.

A future legal action for breach of contract will tell us if in fact Harrysong still owes Five Star some years on his contract.

However, let me quickly address the whole, “if I sing your song that is when you will blow” statement that really irritates Harrysong.

The reality is that in Nigeria’s music business, the person making that claim to Harrysong is right. Songwriters are simply not valued in the business. It is no surprise, therefore, that for decades now, songwriters make nominal to zero income from their craft. Indeed, income streams for songwriters are almost non-existent and pale in comparison to their western counterparts.  Also, most musicians double as songwriters and recording artists, so the value that is again placed on songwriters in Nigeria’s music business is zero, to at best, minimal.

In recent times, however, we have a few industry executives who are determined to change that. We also have Nigeria’s collecting society COSON, helping to change that tide. So, while I understand that it is important to be appreciated, especially since Harrysong claims he wrote songs, was a music director and vocal coach for Five Star, he also needs to deal with the reality that songwriters are placed on the bottom of the food chain in Nigeria’s music business.

He should also think about being a part of the solution, in addition to starting his new music company.

For Kcee, I think where he may have dropped the ball, if Harrysong’s version of the facts are true is not separating the roles. Harrysong should be compensated strictly as a recording artist. There should also be a contract and compensation as a songwriter, and for his work as a vocal coach and music director.

-Ms. Uduak

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email (uduak@ebitulawgrp.com). For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email (africamusiclaw@gmail.com). Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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