When musicians team up to make a song, they are considering opportunity to use each other’s unique fan base to their advantage. Collabos really work magic if they are well composed.
In the United States, record producer Khaled Muhammad Khaled alias DJ Khaled has over the years gotten rich through well planned and timed collabos.
Hit singles like ‘Hold You Down’, ‘Gold Slugs’ and 2011 record ‘Am on One’ he featured Drake, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross went platinum is just few days after its release. When they say a song has been certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), here’s what it means: a song has been bought for over a million times (whether online or offline).
In Africa, Nigeria’s record company Supreme Mavin Dynasty (SMD) relies on team work to have money coming in their accounts like nobody’s business.
SMD, which is owned by Don Jazzy, manages Hadiza Blell alias Di’ja, Tiwa Savage, Reekado Banks, D’Prince, Korede Bello and Dr SID. Together they have been releasing hits like ‘Adaobi’, ‘Looku Looku’, ‘Dorobucci’ and ‘Gentleman.’
Closer to home now, in South Africa, Cassper Nyovest’s Family Tree record label also rely on collabos most of the times. Family Tree signed Malawi’s international rapper Gemini Major three years ago, but he was unceremoniously booted out in March 2017.
Here in Malawi, only Kell Kay and Martse Mw have proved to be musicians that do not really fight when a collabo turns out to be hit.
They have done hit records ‘Mwano’ and ‘Ndi Ine’. What impresses this writer is how these two artists conduct themselves when they become ‘men of a particular moment.’ They do not go around fighting over ownership of a song.
On ownership, Black Nina and Nepman fought over ‘Changachi’, a song they both did and made a hit.
In newspapers and other media forums, the song was being written as Black Nina- Changachi (ft Nepman), indicating that Nepman –real name Nepia Longwe- was not owner of the piece. Black Nina was. But the two artists fought for ownership of the song.
In addition to that, there came a banger in 2016: ‘Mwini Zinthu.’ It was upcoming artist Ril B featuring Blaze on this one.
It turned to be a feud between them, Blaze versus Ril B. Blaze was wrongly claiming ownership, and did all he could to convince people that the hit was his tune. In the ended, the truth was known: Blaze was only featured.
Again another collabo that transformed the craze into a war was ‘Ndadusa Pompo Girls Remix’ which was done by Kwin B, Enweezy, Ewe, Danish and good looking, sweet voiced and sexy femcee-cum-record producer Fortune.
Kwin B still claims to be the legitimate owner of the piece. But it appears Fortune owns the rights to the hit. So how can these inherent quarrels on collabos come to an end?
When working on a song, this writer thinks, artists have to always sign documents to clearly indicate who the owner is and who the one being featured is.
Otherwise, the current situation won’t the already ailing industry nowhere.