Sunday World

Kwesta dealt blow as EP is blocked

Platoon Music acts on ownership battle

- By Ngwako Malatji ngwakom@sundayworl­d.co.za

Hip-hop superstar Kwesta has been dealt a financial blow after an EP (a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single but fewer than an album), which features the song he produced with fellow artist Ayanda Jiya was pulled off an online distributi­on company over her unresolved dispute with her producer.

Jiya and Boitumelo “Zeph” Mhlongo are fighting over the ownership of her EP, titled Queen, which features the flagship song Love Me, on which she collaborat­ed with the award-winning rapper.

As a result of their beef, the EP was taken down Platoon Music, which is owned by Apple.

News that the duo’s ditty has been yanked off Platoon Music is contained in leaked e-mails, which Sunday World has seen, between the company executive Hagar Graiser and Mhlongo on May 25.

Graiser took down the EP from their platform after questionin­g Mhlongo about the authentici­ty of Jiya’s signature appended on the contract with the internatio­nal company.

“Thanks all. For the moment, I will issue a take down for you of this music. Once you have come to an internal agreement you can advise [sic] me on how [you] would like to proceed,” reads the e-mail.

When Graiser questioned him about it, Mhlongo claimed that the signature was Jiya’s and later changed to say it belonged to her former manager when the songstress disputed his version of the story.

“Hi Hagar. This is my signature as I was the one in communicat­ion with your team for myself and Ayanda since we had partnershi­p together. Ayanda is aware of my communicat­ion with Platoon and I have provided a screen shot showing this,” reads Mhlongo’s e-mail to which Jiya responded: “The signature on the contract is not mine.”

Speaking to Sunday World, Jiya confirmed that Platoon Music had taken down her EP. “I wrote the songs and sent them to him for production in his studio and also contribute­d financiall­y for the production of the EP. So what happened was that he wanted 50% of the royalties of the EP and royalties from my gig. I was not comfortabl­e with giving him 50% of my performanc­e fees because that meant that he would be entitled to an equal share of all my gigs even if he does not go to perform with me.”

She claims when they could not reach an agreement, Mhlongo unilateral­ly signed a contract with Platoon Music and blocked her from accessing their portal, which allows them to check the sales and downloads of the songs.

She claimed that he owned the EP and that he did not want her to unduly benefit from his intellectu­al property.

He also disputed that she contribute­d money towards the EP.

 ??  ?? Hip-hop star Kwesta
Hip-hop star Kwesta
 ??  ?? Ayanda Jiya
Ayanda Jiya

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