Record label

The Blaq Diamond label sees red

A popular South African record label is preparing a legal showdown against award-winning pop duo Blaq Diamond for “illegally” terminating their contracts and being paid for gigs behind the stable’s back.

Speaking to Sunday World, the record label executive, who did not want to be named, said Blaq Diamond, who serenaded the queens and kings of
Mzansi with their hit songs such as Love Letter and Ibhanoyi, had signed a three-album deal, artist management and label deals with the music powerhouse in 2017.

In terms of contracts, the artists were supposed to be booked for their gigs through the label and release three albums before their contracts ended.

After dropping the album in the first contract, they then signed another contract to release three more albums in 2020. “This means the duo owes us four albums that they have to release as stipulated in their contract,” said said the record company employee.

The executive said the record company and the duo clashed when they wrote a letter asking to terminate their contract in January this year.

It comes after being told the company intended to sue her for securing bookings to perform in Congo and Namibia without her knowledge or consent. In the letter, the duo said they were ending their contract with the stable but would be handing over their song royalties.

In the letter, which Sunday World has seen, the artists said that in addition to handing over their royalties, they also wanted to hand over the benefit of the Russian Bear contract to the company.

“We would like to assign all sales, broadcast royalties and publishing of our music released under Ambitiouz Entertainment to Ambitiouz Entertainment.

We would like the exceptional performance funds due to Blaq Diamond to remain with Ambitiouz Entertainment

“As for the Russian Bear endorsement deal, we will continue to work with them and honor the deal, but the remaining payment will go to Ambitiouz Entertainment and remain with Ambitiouz Entertainment.

“BET Isono is funding soundtracks to stay with the label as well as compensation for Netflix series’ featured music [How to ruin Christmas] namely Woza My Love and Umuthi to stay with Ambitiouz Entertainment.

The artists gave the company seven days to comply with their demands and said they would consider its failure an acceptance of their terms.

But team boss Kgosi Mahumapelo rejected their offer and said he would sue them for breach of contract if the contract was not terminated by mutual agreement.

“He held a zoom meeting with them and handed them a sales report which showed they had R1.6m in the kitty but the loans they got from the stable were more than that. He also told them that their demands for him to take royalties from their songs made no sense because he was entitled to 50% of the royalties generated from their songs anyway, the executive said.

The artists then question him about the deal they signed with Absa. “He showed them the deal, which says the Absa deal was only R725,000, not R6m as they claimed. From this agreement, we have already paid them 100,000 rand each.

The executive said the agency that signed the deal, on behalf of the Russian bear, terminated the contract with the label after accusing it of not giving the artist tasks to promote the Mark.

Mahumapelo declined to comment as the dispute with Blaq Diamond is pending. “Any issues you raise will be ventilated in court.”

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