Music Business

‘Mercies of the Lord’: OritseFemi Accused of Absconding European Tour After Receiving Payment

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Femi-European-Tour*Sigh.* Unfortunately, this is a common scenario (in terms of promoter-artist disputes. No proper planning. Lots of he said, she said and the inevitable legal dramas, although most do not sue. They either result in fist fights or public shaming. Get a lawyer people. Get experienced industry professionals for your tours).

Read excerpts of the messy situation below. What a week?! In fact, the past two weeks. So much on the entertainment, music, socio-political end, gosh! Stuff just hits the fan all at once.

-Uduak

“The brewing controversy surrounding the Europe tour of pop artiste, Orisefemi. is growing into uncontrollable proportions with the main actors throwing the punches of accusations at each other. The singer has been accused of absconding without fulfilling contractual obligations of a leg of the tour in Europe for which he has been allegedly paid. According to reports, Orisefemi and show promoter, Alex Ozone departed Nigeria on November 8, 2014 and they landed in Padova, Italy on November 9 ahead of the month-long European tour of 10 cities at the rate of €1,500 per show. Before the tour, Czech Republic-based Urban Entertainment, through Alex Ozone, signed the tour contract papers with Orisefemi’s ‘Arogunmente Sound Entertainment, spelling out the details.

The story making rounds at the moment now is that despite signing a contract for the shows, Orisefemi ran away from his hotel room in Czech republic and returned to Nigeria to demand for more money. According to the tour organiser, Alex Ozone, the ‘Double Wahala’ star had been paid €6,500 which should cover his fees for 5 shows but has only performed at two shows before disappearing and turning around to ask for more money. NET spoke to both parties, and below is a narration of their versions of the story. Orisefemi’s manager, Yusuf Adebola Adepitan narrates his angle… (Oritsefemi’s manager Danku and Orisefemi) Otherwise called Danku within the Nigerian music industry, Yusuf Adebola is Oritsefemi’s manager and he spoke to NET exclusively on the saga trailing his artiste’s European tour. According to him, ‘Matthew Ohio was supposed to package the tour, I’m sure wherever he is now, he’ll either be laughing at us or feeling pity for us. I didn’t give Alex Ozone the approval but because he’s a friend of the house he took it up and started promoting him and convinced us that he could handle it. He just got to know Femi this year, through me.

This same guy now came to my house to let us know we need to start the tour travel processing, so he collected our passports with the aim of going to the embassy to get visas and other documents, instead he kept my own passport in his house and only submitted Oritsefemi’s own along with his own claiming that he manages Oritsefemi at the embassy. He went to represent himself as the manager and kept my own passport at home, I just went to ransack his house yesterday and picked it up under a cupboard in his house where he kept it. Contrary to Ozone’s claim, we were not paid any upfront payment, he’s probably the one that collected the money from the show promoters and got himself stuck and when their documents came out, I told them that we won’t travel if my documents don’t arrive but he convinced us that my visa would be approved during the week and I’ll join them there, so the plan for was Oritsefemi to go with him and when I join them we’ll kick off the tour, but since that didn’t happen because he didn’t even process my visa, and my artiste wasn’t comfortable with the arrangement.

After about a week, he called me that he wasn’t comfortable with the setting and immediately I got him a return ticket and flew him back home, because when they got to Europe, they stole Oritsefemi’s passport to keep him stranded with them. Ozone can’t claim he paid my artist, because he didn’t sign a contact with my artiste, he signed it with me on behalf of my label, so why would he pay my artiste if he’s really sensible. I told him I am not concerned about that. According to Ozone’s version of the story, Oritsefemi had earlier travelled with him to Europe only to return to Nigeria to demand for more money before coming back and absconding yet again. Oritsefemi’s manager said: ‘It’s a lie, nothing of such happened, if I even want to take him on as regards the contract we signed, the contract stated that he was supposed to arrange visas and travel documents for 4 members of the team, but I only gave him mine and that of Oritsefemi and yet he didn’t deliver on it, he kept my own in his house, Ozone is a fraudstaer, I have known him for several years and he should be jailed.’ …

The Netng has the full story.”

Meet OritseFemi who had a great hit ‘Mercies of the Lord’ with the talented and amazing Da Grin (RIP)

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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law website and podcast show 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.

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ABOUT THE FOUNDER

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at https://msuduak.com.

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