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.