Law & Policy, Music Business

Industry BREAKUP: eLDee DUMPS Rapper Eva from Trybe Records – Was EVA too High for Trybe?

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This is an interesting story.

A few thoughts before you all read the excerpt from TheNetng.com.

1. There are two sides to every story, especially where record deals are concerned. First, eLDee’s statement says that for the past five months Eva’s vision has not aligned with that of Trybe Records? Really? Then eLDee what the heck did you all sign? Eva signed on or about May 2012 according to all press statements. That is roughly about six months. Wasn’t the due diligence done with this artist so that you would not have five months of her stay be mostly about alleged demands?

2. Know your personality. If facts as reported by TheNetng.com is true, then EVA, you should know that with your Type A personality and eLDee’s equally Type A kind of personality, most of that negotiations i.e. extra things you want or need  should have been discussed, and been a part of your contract prior to signing, not after.

3. My strongest belief/inclination is that the contract signed between this two, included terms that were interpreted differently by both parties. This is reflected by eLDee’s statement that for five out of the six months post signing, the two have been trying to have their visions align. What EVA thought eLDee would deliver, he didn’t. eLDee on the other hand had a different interpretation and expectation from EVA and accordingly, the two are at odds with each other.

4. eLDee clearly wants out, almost immediately. Usually a record label contract would bind an artist over such that it is hard to terminate the agreement without financial liability and a forfeiture of intellectual property rights i.e. songs, albums etc. Here, eLDee clearly wants to avoid the headache, the expenses and having someone on his team whose attitude seems to weigh the rest of the team down. He is saying, “goodbye.” Although, it also depends on what EVA signed. If she signed a contract that gave her wiggle room in the termination clause, then she can also say goodbye at this point without fearing a breach of contract claim.

5. I think The Netng.com’s story appears a bit in favor of eLDee and paints EVA as one who is too demanding. Is she too demanding or is she an enlightened artist? I’d like to hear Eva’s side of the story on this.   By the way, I believe Eva negotiated her digital distribution licensing deal with IROKO/IROKOing herself. So I don’t see her videos disappearing on You Tube unlike the May D situation.

6. As it stands and as reported, EVA appears to be a liability for any label that would want to sign her. Also, you can just hear managers and other industry professionals easily become rude/ abusive in business dealings with Eva where she challenges the terms proposed for doing business with her. They would easily point out her prior history, as reported by Thenetng.com, and use that as an excuse to box her into a corner where she has to play defense all the time. My thoughts?

Eva, Nigeria is full/saturated with many indie label owners. Everyone has a label now. There is no basis for you to sign on to a record label at this point in your career, in Nigeria. The only label you should sign on to is your own personal label you launch; given your personality, your brand image, talent and work thus far.

You seek to operate under the traditional music industry framework but it is simply not a fit for you. You are too dynamic for that.

Traditionally, record labels nurtured talents, helped talents with recording music, manufactured and packaged music to be sent to those providing auxiliary services in the industry, promoted and marketed and distributed. You have done all of this and done it quite well, on your own. Granted more financial backing is needed for more penetration. However, now is the time to really understand the new music industry paradigm shift, have a crazy and insatiable appetite for business and then go get it.

Your personality, your brand image, your talent is very dynamic. You want success in this industry, you go get it and get it on your terms. Be that woman that sets up the first successful record label in Nigeria’s contemporary music industry.

Also, as boss, you can demand people meet you on your terms, reasonable ones needless to say.

If you have attitude problems, definitely check that and come off the high. Attitude, however, is different from knowing what you want. Many people are not used to a woman who knows what she wants and how her image, sound and brand should be packaged and sold. You are that woman. Make sure your story is not written to paint you as a woman with an attitude problem. Write your story through the way you run your business and let it speak of a woman who knows what she wants, understands her value and is unafraid to go  get it.

At this stage, you are quite dynamic and definitely an asset to any one’s roster, not a liability. You will be painted as a liability, however, if you turn dynamism into follow follow. The article is right about one thing. You are “not a fit.” Stand on your own and get the team that understands your personality and work ethic to make history with you.

Finally, back to the  business of music. Again, you gotta understand the business of music. eLDee like Banky W, Audu Maikori, M.I Abaga etc. has a business to run. The business includes other artists. When one artists shows up and makes demands, as is alleged in Thenetng. com story, it will not work.

M.I Abaga can make certain demands with Audu/Chocolate City and front his label Loopy because that business relationship already exists. In addition, M.I Abaga has a growing clout both across Africa and internationally. Chocolate City has more to lose than M.I Abaga if M.I made it official, at this point,  that he is leaving Chocolate City. That is the kind of position you want to be in should you ever decide to sign with a label again.

In your case, you and eLDee just got in bed. Making the alleged demands you are making without prior history like that, is bound to yield news stories like this.

I’m done on this one.

Life goes on but y’all already knew that.

-Uduak
@uduaklaw

“It official. NET can authoritatively tell you that the contract between rapper Eva Alordiah and popular record label Trybe Records has been dissolved.

The news was made known by the management of Trybe Records in a statement exclusively released to NET. It reads:

Trybe Records and Eva Alordiah have agreed to terminate her recording contract effective immediately. Trybe Records’ vision is to discover and nurture the talents of our artists while operating with purpose, valuing relationships with our partners within the industry, and being persistent in creating and releasing quality music. Unfortunately, over the past 5 months Eva’s vision has not aligned with ours and thus, both parties have agreed to separate.

We wish Eva the best in her future endeavors and plan on continuing towards our goal of creating quality music for Nigeria and beyond‘.

NET investigations however reveal that the label is being modest with the statement. Inside sources told us Eva had since her signing in June been more than a handful to manage and/or coordinate with, demanding for more than what she was offered at all times and that the label was basically ‘tired of her antics’.

She never fit in from the start, always trying to stand out from the rest. She was always asking for more even when eLDee and co gave her an almost perfect platform to blow up‘, a friend close to the rapper tells us. . .”

TheNetng.com has the full story.

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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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1 Comment

  1. Foza says:

    Uduak God Bless you for this! When a woman knows what she wants she is a bitch whereas d guy is called a boss! Eva has everything to thrive in this industry market she jst has to settled down and hit d right spots

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