WAR OF 'ROYALTIES': EDDY REMEDY VS KENNIS MUSIC
Edward Ashiedu Brown, a.k.a Eddy Remedy, a member of the now rested music group, the Remedies, has stirred the hornet nest as he alleges that it was because he was not paid royalties that he dumped Kennis Music, his former record label.
At a time when other artistes are reaping bountiful royalties from their labels, Eddy is heading for the unknown, as a result of the strained relationship with the label.
Eddy signed on to the label in 1998 as a member of the Remedies, and his contract as a solo artiste ran between 2001 and 2004.
He alleges that his in-law (married Keke Ogungbe younger sister) did not give him the best of treatment when he was with the label. According to him, for the number of years he was with Kennis Music, he did not get royalties that were due to him.
However, the CEO of Kennis Music, Keke Ogungbe, reacting to the allegation, says the label has met all obligations to the artiste. According to Ogungbe, Eddy is only crying wolf where there is none.
"We wish to state matter-of-factly, that there is no iota of truth in these allegations and we like to implore the general public to weigh carefully the sincerity of the artiste before digesting his statements hook, line and sinker'', says Ogungbe.
Speaking further, Ogungbe claims, "Kennis music has one of the best records when it comes to royalty payment. We pride ourselves as one of the very best in the country; known to pay royalties in full as at when due, even now embracing advance royalty payments".
Speaking particularly on Eddy's allegations, Ogungbe says sales from Eddy's works have dwindled almost to zero in the recent past. However, his contractual agreement stipulated quarterly payment to him after sales, with full payment received by Kennis, explained Ogungbe.
He declares that there are some Eddy/Remedies products out in the market currently that are on 'sales on return', (products are given out on credit to distributors and payments are remitted upon sale of the works). However, royalties are usually paid upon receipt of payments, which now gives the amount to be paid to artistes according to the monies received. .
Giving a breakdown of the total money paid to Eddy, Ogungbe remarks that Kennis Music does its business transparently. "We try to be very transparent at Kennis Music and we will not allow any artiste to tarnish our image especially as we have noticed that such complaints are peculiar to unsuccessful and failed artistes who are ever willing to blame his or her woes on somebody else especially their record company but never themselves. This issue of looking at both side of the coin is very important in this industry so as to put a stop to this one-sided lies and cheap blackmail. Musicians like 2face will never say his royalties were never paid. Same for Lagbaja, Eedris Abdulkareem, Paul Play Dairo, V I P from Ghana, Kenny Saint Brown, Tony Tetuila, just to mention few".
The CEO gave a breakdown of the royalties paid to Eddy as follows: Arrival of Eddy… N261.38, Leave Eddy Alone… N301.88, Peace Nigeria [Remedies]… N510.9, My Music, video compilation Vol.2… N2,910.
From this break down it shows that Eddy collected a total sum of N4, 700.00 in all. Prior to the last payment, Eddy's royalty, according to Ogungbe, was N13, 081 but was paid his last outstanding on personal loan which made his balance came down to N3, 102.00. Ogungbe states further that, Eddy saw and reviewed the accounts before signing for the receipt of the said sum on June 23, 2006.
In a chat with BusinessDay, Eddy refused to comment further on the issue, but saying he has put the whole affair behind him. However, he said he did not continue with the deal he had with Kennies Music because the contract with the label was over and there was no need for it to be renewed.
Eddy who been missing from the music scene for some time now said he has been on break to learn the ropes of how to keep a family.
Married to the boisterous gospel singer, St. Kenny Brown, his voice has, for a long period, remained high and dry without a hit. The beat seemed to have stopped for him, musically. He told BusinessDay that he has not abandoned music, which brought him name and recognition, but took leave to take care of his family.
"The beat cannot stop for Eddy Montana. In any career, you need to have a break to run your family and you know I am new in running a family and I have to learn", he said.
He has never been an apostle of playing one album one year "I do not feel like coming out every year with an album. I have never been that kind of singer".
According to him, his forth-coming album that has been under going fine-tuning, is being financed by a bank and will soon leave the studio for the music market. He says the album, which he is keeping close to his chest for now, will re-define the essence of his music and life.
Incidentally, he is on Eddy Remedy Records, a personal label that he is trying to bring to fruition.
On the project with Sammie Needle, he says the label has had some catch with which to commit the label's future.
Eddy, henceforth to be known as Eddy Montana, says he has to abandon the name, Remedy, for Montana, though he refused to disclose the reason, and further says there is the possibility that the group, Remedies- made up of Eedris Abdulkareem, Tony Tetuila and himself would re-group later for an album.
At the break up of the group, each tried to seek individual's relevance by going solo but Eddy has inevitablybeen weighed down , while Tetuila and Eedris have held sway with their albums sold out.
He believes that the Nigerian music industry has come far and has grown to be recognized worldwide.