by Isi Esene
Banky W is known to be a recording artiste and a record label owner with few words, so when he decides to open up on any issue people listen.
In this interview with City People magazine, the EME Record Label owner speaks about the rumoured rift between the EME and artiste, Wizkid.
Read excerpts of the interview below:
When you released that album there was something a lot of people noticed?
Let me tell you that Wizkid wasn’t on the album. First of all, I want to say that what we like to call ‘Bad Belle People’ because they think there may be bad news and when you don’t give them that news they start to create it because I guess bad news sells more than good news. So I want to say categorically that there was no twitter fight. People go on-line and use Photoshop to create my profile and say that I said this and then they go and create Wizkid’s profile and say he said this.
The bottom line is first of all, that never happened and what happened is that we’ve been working on Wizzy’s project to make it work internationally and when you are getting to that level things change. He has his own idea of what he wants to do and we are in 100 per cent in support of that and these are things that we dreamed of back in 2009 when I signed him. I felt like this guy can blow all over the world, this guy can you know really be a star and now that it has happened it is a good thing there is a Disturbing London angle he wants to take and so on and so forth and there is a contract in place and he is still signed to EME.
So he is still signed to EME?
Absolutely he is still signed to EME.
Because the general believe is that he started his own thing, ‘Star Boy entertainment.’
Well, you know that is something else he wants to do. He wants to start his record label and I mean I started my own label and look where I am today. You have a lot of people fabricating stuff and trying to make it feel like there is a battle and you know we don’t believe in that. We are all mature, we are all grown up people and we are all happy for one another.
You know he is starting his label and we are in support of that, he is going internationally and working with Disturbing London, and we are in support of that. There is still the Konvict Music angle which we also orchestrated so I guess we can call it restructuring but we are all on the table negotiating and figuring out the best way to make the project move forward. There is no beef, Wiz is absolutely a part of the family legally, he is still signed even aside from contract somethings are bigger than contract and money. EME and Wiz will continue.
It is just that we are figuring out the terms and the reason he is not on the album and in fact he had worked on some one or two things that were supposed to be on the album but in the interest of kind of respecting the conversation that we were having, you know what let’s figure out where we are going and how we are going to do his next level stuff. So we decided as a group to suspend the music that we worked on together just for now till we figure out all of that. We are almost at the conclusion will that. He is absolutely and will always be a part of the family. I mean we created history, this is somebody whose debut album took the whole country, the continent by storm and you know we all worked on that, so it is a good thing not a bad thing, growth is good so that is really the long and short of it.
How does it work for him to have star boy entertainment and still be a part of EME?
I would give you a fantastic example, Kanye West has “Good Music” and he is still with Rock Nation, Rockafella that is all I am going to say about it. There is no beef, no war. One day I woke up and I saw on twitter that somebody has used Photoshop to make my profile and said some random things and used some terrible English that I have never used in my life it just unfortunate that as far as we have come as an industry there are still some people in the media and I want to give credit to like City People.
You guys never took that route and I respect you people for that because some other blogs and sites started creating things out of thin air to cause a problem. We are working and we are all trying to achieve our dreams and hopefully taking this movement to another level. I have never said anything negative about Wiz, and Wiz has never said anything negative about me publicly and let’s just accept and leave it like that. Wiz will continue to be successful, EME will continue to be successful. Let’s just keep the peace one big happy family.
I am going little into what was reported that at your album launch that Wizzy was ignored. He was not acknowledged at the album launch.
I have to explain it. The album launch was structured in a very specific way. We used the album launch, I might add, to launch the Samsung Galaxy Brand phone by the way if you haven’t got one you might go out to get one which has my signature on it but at the album launch nobody was acknowledged because it was not one of those events where you sit down and say “Oh Don Jazzy is in the building and now we have the CEO of Samsung in the building and now you have eLDee the Don in the building who were there.
We wanted to have something that is not a typical event. Secondly from the stage, I don’t acknowledge anybody and that is not a disrespectful thing it is just the structure of the event. Wiz came in like Don Jazzy, Samsung Executives, eLDee the Don, IK, Waje, like everybody else came in and we had a fantastic event and nobody was complaining from my end but again I go back to the fact that people want to create bad news and it is exciting. Exciting for some people when Biggy and 2Pac are throwing words at each other and when Nas and Jay-Z are fighting and then people just want to create that and it is sad, really sad.
Why didn’t they write Don Jazzy came to the even and I don’t hail him? Why didn’t they write I didn’t hail any of the other EME artiste that came to the event? Why didn’t they write I didn’t hail Segun Demuren, that is my business partner. They didn’t write it because it wasn’t exciting.
A lot of people believe that what led to the rift between you and Wiz is because of the sharing formula. I just want you to clear the air on that issue.
Okay, again, I want to say about “sharing formula” again, I got back to the something I have been saying which is when you don’t give them bad news that create it. EME has the fairest recording deal in the country by far. I can go pound for pound and show you the terms that EME artistes including myself even though I own the company, have versus any other recording contract name the recording company. You don’t do that but I can beat my chest to say EME has the best recording contract in the industry, it is not just true for people to say or hint that any of my artistes are received 25 per cent. It is impossible and even you as an artiste can never sign that kind of deal so it is 100 per cent false. Part of the reason the EME deals are structured the way they are is because I am an artiste myself and when I was coming up, I was offered a lot of deals even in Nigeria that were not just but now that I’m to start up myself, I wont sign a deal with an artiste I wont be able to sign myself which I have also signed the same deal. So to cut the long story short, the report out there is 100 per cent untrue.
In fact, if you actually look at the clause that EME takes on behalf of the artistes from the day we signed until when they released their album or whenever money starts being generated, the deal is actually more in favour of the artiste than of the company but we do that because I myself just wouldn’t feel right about a record deal that won’t benefit the artiste. It is 100 per cent false again. It is just sad that some people try to create news. They don’t have the fact so they create them. However, you have to go back to the things I actually said not the things people said I said or what people said Wizzy said you know, it is just what it is.
People can say what they want, but what I tell my artistes is that Jesus Christ was perfect and he was still crucified. How much more us with all the crazy, bad messed-up things we have done in our lives and you think you are going to walk through this paths and be praised? You have to deal with the territory. You want to go on stage and people are going to cheer there are come that want to tear you down regardless.
And all you can do really is try to be a good person and try to do right by everybody God brings your way and if you do that let God take care of the rest. We are fine, we are cool, very happy with Wiz and for Wiz. That is all I have to say.