I BENEFITTED NOTHING FROM YAHOOZEE--- PUFFY T
Like a ragtag group of ambitious musicians, five young men walked into the studio, toiled all day long and came up with a trial. That trial, like a miracle, turned out an embarrassing success.
That perhaps was the scenario that ushered into life Yahoozee-Olu Maintain's wildly celebrated album. Yet at a time when the Big Five ought to be rollicking in consummation of the success of Yahozee, it would seem that only a Big One has emerged the indomitable beneficiary of a common struggle.
At least, that was the impression created by Puffy T, producer and co-singer in the Yahoozee album.
Thirty-year-old Puffy T, whose real name is Temidayo Joseph Babatope, in this interview with Sunday Sun, talks of betrayal with the bile of the stoic. He alleged that Olu Maintain did not pay him a dime with his tireless effort, so that today, he treks along the highways while Maintain glides in his Chrysler car and SUV. And as a lesson from his ordeal, Puffy T has sworn by Jove, never to produce any album based on a Gentleman's Agreement, any longer. To him, getting one to be trusted outside a written agreement is tantamount to looking for a virgin among nursing mothers.
My experience has been a wonderful one. I started as far back as 1996 in a studio in Victoria Island. There I worked as a trainee and at the same time as a Sound Engineer, Producer and I later became a Script Supervisor. I left there to another studio in Apapa where I spent some time. I've worked with a lot of people; I've met with a lot of people. I have been able to get the minds of most of the actresses now in Nigeria, probably because of what I did in Yahoozee.
I also co-produced Nigeria Jagajaga album for Eedris Abdulkareem. At the same time, I produced his album-Letter to Mr President. I've worked with people like Free Style, Black Face, Crazy Culture Exposure, KC Presh, Earthquake, Soul E, Muma Gee, you know a lot of people-Pasuma, Obesere. I have achieved much but I am working towards achieving a lot.
I've written a lot of songs like Letter to Mr President by Eedris Abdulkarim, Sip Easy for Free Style, featuring Tu Face; I also did songs for Ghana VIP, Crazy Culture on their track Gbamileti kin dolowo (slap me to make me rich), X-Project's Gombe, Olu Maintain's Yahoozee, Earthquake's Bus-Stop.
Who wrote Yahoozee?
I did not write Yahoozee. I was part of the singing and the producer. I produced the song as well as took part in the singing.
Yahooze is a chart-buster, which means you are now a millionaire…(cuts in)
To be honest with you, I didn't get anything from Yahoozee album. What happens is that as a producer, you get your dues from the artist directly, you don't get deals with the marketers, you don't get deals with the record labels and at times you don't get deals with the sponsor. Except there was a deal before the job. Until the job is done, the artist is probably paying you for production or he wants to compensate you-probably he's happy with what you have done. In Yahooze, I played a dual role- I re-arranged the song and I also sang.
Definitely, you must have been adequately rewarded
I wasn't rewarded. Maybe the reason is best known to the artist (Olu Maintain). As you can see, Olu Maintain benefitted immensely from the album. Yahoozee fills the airwaves. For somebody who bought a Chrysler car and a Jeep and enjoys himself around, I mean, he is making money.
So many times, I raised the issue (of the need to adequately reward me) all to no avail. The last time I stopped discussing the issue with him was when he told me 'Oh, Puffy, the last time you produced me, your worth then was 10k (Ten Thousand Naira) per song. So, okay, I can pay you the 10k per song. So, calculate the number of songs you did for my. Probably they are six in number. So, I'll give you 60k'. And I replied him,'Look, when I was doing this job (Yahoozee) there was no money. We did it based on friendship. So why tell me you want to pay me 10k as my worth now that there is money?
I didn't collect his N10, 000. We didn't make any agreement. We didn't see it coming. We didn't know Yahoozee would be a chart-buster. We just did it; we were five. Olu Maintain and I were like twins. We were going around in my car then. I'm surprised he can now behave like this to me.
I've taken it in my stride; I've left everything to God.
Do people appreciate your plight ?
So many times people call me and say “Baba, this is our financial problem, kindly assist, I don't know; they would not just believe the experience I am passing through. But it is true and real. I got nothing for my effort in making the Yahoozee album the success it is today.
What this experience, though bitter, has taught me is never to trust anybody in the line of business again. If I am producing work for any artist, we must enter into a written agreement. It doesn't matter who you are. There must be a written agreement. I am now wiser.