Music Business

VIDEO: Lol! Sarkodie Claims he “Gave Birth to Azonto” #Copyrightlaw #Africanmusicians


Happy Thursday everyone. I had a great time yesterday presenting a seminar on Fashion Law at the California Lawyers for the Arts in San Francisco. Now that my presentation is out of the way, let’s get back into talking the business of music and film and a whole lot of legal drama here on AML, shall we? Tres bien Monsieurs et Madames.

I saw this clip below and laughed because Sarkodie is about to give Ghanaians a heart attack.

Chris Brown I believe earlier this year (or was it last year?), anyway, Brown went on 106 & Park and claimed Azonto was a dance that originated from Nigeria. Oops! LOL! Boy did he get Ghanaians all worked up? The historical lessons churned out and the public including Brown got schooled on the origins of Azonto which had nothing to do with Sarkodie, at least if I recall correctly.

So, I am sure many Ghanaians may find Sarkodie’s statement a bit much. I think what he was trying to say was that he revived or popularized ‘Azonto.’ Which I would wholeheartedly agree with. In terms of “giving birth to Azonto,” Sarks, homie you are on your own on that one. LOL!

Business of Music/Music Law

Independent of the offline and social media squabble that I believe will ensue from his statement, AML artists, pay attention to the video clip.

1. Sarkodie says a music producer made the beat for himself.

2. He heard the beat in the presence of the producer.

3. He jumped on the beat but did not think anything of it because that was not his genre of music, he does hip-hop. He moved on from that encounter and went about his business.

4. Then, he was at a club when he heard his music playing and recognized his voice. He also saw the reactions of the crowd to the song. It was then he knew he was on to something.

5. He began to perform the song which has earned him even more notoriety and cross over fans.

AML artists, may I recommend you do not do business this way? Sarkodie was able to salvage and benefit from this song. However, are legal issues that arise specific to ownership of a song and compensation when you just drop in the studio, do a song and have no clear written agreement with your producer.


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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 ( For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email ( Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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