February of this year, Davido fired his ex-manager Kamal Ajiboye in a very dramatic and public way. He took to Snap Chat to announce he was now his own manager. Ajiboye helped broker the now infamous Sony deal for Davido. The execution of the deal terms, however, was a problem. As many of you know, my position from day one was that the Sony deal was a bad deal, and I gave my commentary and analysis on the topic.
In any event, fast forward to the end of the year and Ajiboye, who now manages Seyi Shay, has finally spoken about the firing. In his interview allegedly granted to Punch Newspaper, Ajiboye denies he was fired. However, in my view, he goes a little too far when he claims that Davido snubbed the Sony deal, he didn’t support that decision and cast a negative light on Davido.
“The split had nothing to do with the fact that I didn’t support his decision to snub the international deal he got with Sony Music. You know when artistes want to sell their market, they say different things.” – Ajiboye to Punch Newspaper
The above statement coming from an artist manager to me is inappropriate. First, it does not appear Punch solicited that information. Second, even if they did, the fiduciary nature of an artist-manager relationship, should make him keep his alleged claim of Davido’s “decision to snub the international deal” to himself. Third, Ajiboye has a conflict of interest here. He was a big part of negotiating this deal. He most likely receives/or was to receive a commission from this deal as Davido’s manager. Therefore, his sentiments come from a place of bias. Finally, the Sony deal is a contract that Davido is allegedly still obligated to perform. Assuming the relationship, for whatever reason, ends up in a legal dispute, you have a manager that is a potential witness telling the press that his client “snubbed” a deal he already signed with the label. Really?
By the way, Davido “snubbed” a deal that allegedly had him having to beg and get approvals from Sony to express his creativity and stay connected to his fans and what is the end result?
- A blowout year.
- His songs “If,” and “Fall” are top five on every playlist across television and radio networks.
- He had some solid collaborations that can only get better in 2018.
- On the touring front, his 30 Billion World Tour across Europe, Africa and North America, was a resounding success, averaging about 30-40,000 fans in attendance per concert, with a high of over 50,000.
- He won numerous awards, including the highly coveted ‘Best Worldwide Act’ at the 2017 MTV Europe Music Awards.
It appears he knows what he is doing. Kamal’s statement is unacceptable and unprofessional.
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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.
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