Nigerian music act, Raoul John Njeng-Njeng popularly known as Skales is the latest music act to be accused of fraud by his record label, Baseline Records, together with his manager Osagie Osarenkhoe also known as The Metal Chic.
Skales who signed a deal with his record label on the 11th of July, 2014 has been accused of not fulfilling his part of the contract. One of the terms of the contract states Skales was to assign to the company all copyrights and other rights or interests throughout the world I all sound recordings made by Skales prior to or during the terms of his contract and the company is entitled to 70% of the gross receipts received by Skales from performance, tours and brand endorsement during the term of the contract while Skales on 30%.
Now, the contract seems very unfair, if a record label could be earning 70% and the artiste 30% for all his talents and the rights to all his music prior to and during the duration of his contract, then it’s nothing short of extortion.
The company found out that Skales, although has been performing at various concerts, tours etc, none of the monies received from those events were remitted to the company, in pursuit of clarity, they invited Skales and his manager Teresa Osarenkhoe to meetings and at all those meetings both Skales and his manager insisted that the events in questions were not paid events and as such there were no monies to remit.
The company estimated Skales’ manager has fraudulently converted the sum of N7,474,000 from the aforementioned events and to properly document the fraud an email was created and sent to Teresa requesting Skales to perform at an event. Part of what Teresa requested was the sum of $5,000 on 18th May, 2016, $2,500 was wired to her in part.
Sadly, the contract was not fair to Skales but he should have nonetheless honoured it as no one forced him into signing it.
This incidence serves as an eye opener to what the music industry in Nigeria entails and the only advice that could be given to artistes is to get a lawyer before they sign any contract to avoid this kind of rip-off.