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Machala Saga: The Battle For Song Ownership And Lessons To Learn
In this article, TrendyBeatz talks about the source of the issues about the “Machala” song, the underlying stories of the two parties involved and lessons for upcoming artists on the need for music business education.
The half of 2022 has been a pivotal time in Nigerian music history. It saw the rise of music underdogs, the production of classic albums, and a plethora of hit songs. Sometimes in July, a popular skit maker, Carter Efe, known for his usual stunts of powdered face and dancing with towels, and the upcoming artiste, Berri Tiga, released a snippet of their song, titled Machala.
The song “Machala” is dedicated to the afrobeat superstar Ayo Balogun Wizkid.
A eulogy song raining praises on the mentioned artist. Inarguably, this song remains one of the hit songs that gained huge acceptance in 2022. It became a number one hit song in the nation and debuted on the UK chart.
Albeit, the song could be termed a success because of its impact; the rift and issues that sprang up after the song make for a subtle reminder for young artists to understand the rudiments of the music business before engaging in any deal.
Machala: The Making Of The Hit Song
“Machala” is an Amapiano-tinged track. On this colourful tune, Berri Tiga rides the trending Amapiano wave and incorporates crowd vocals making it a sure party banger. The crowd vocals, which remain the catchy hook on the song, make up for the reasons the song became a hit. While we can ascribe the hit factor to the quality of the song melody, we cannot deny the mega profile of Wizkid, to whom the song is dedicated to.
The fans call him “Wizkid”, and the stans (read as Wizkid FC) regard him as “Machala” the meaning could be traced to Wizkid’s soft lifestyle. Without a doubt, the massive streaming and support from Wizkid FC is another major factor in the ‘blowing’ (sic) of the song.
Another obvious reason is the song’s flow, the writing, and the smooth delivery by Berri Tiga. It was just too perfect that it made the promotion easy for Carter Efe, who already has his audience.
The Underlying Story Behind “Machala” Ownership.
The rancour started when the song became a hit and money started to flow in through shows, in which Carter Efe gets more of the show invites than Berri Tiga and also gets more percentage of the music streaming revenue than the guy mentioned.
Carter Efe, who was riding on his brand as a comedian, and his attachment to the “Machala” tag as a major push for the song felt like he was entitled to a bigger part of the music revenue share. Berri Tiga then accused Carter of conniving with Sydney Talker, a comedian and friend to Carter Efe, to pay him off for the song with just #100,000 Naira payout. Meanwhile, Berri Tiga, who exposed the whole story, said Carter Efe could be the mastermind behind the “Machala” creation, but he personally wrote and sang the song from scratch till it was perfected.
Just weeks after the song had garnered massive airplay, it was abruptly removed from streaming platforms, which was no doubt caused by the disagreement between the two artists.
Who’s to be Blamed? Who’s Really at Fault?
We never can conclude, but it’s obvious that their inability to carefully discuss the terms of their collaboration and arrange it into an official contract that will be signed and sealed by the duo is the major reason the song ownership became an issue worth fighting for.
Two Cents & Lessons Upcoming Artists Should Learn From The “Machala” Ownership Fight:
Hide your desperation. People would use that against you. Connect with ‘your’ lawyer if a deal is placed in front of you, and be sure to include a smooth exit if terms aren’t honoured.
Entertainment Lawyers are not for decorations. They are more than people that just observe and sign contracts for you. Due to how connected they often are in the industry, lawyers negotiate terms for you and give you advice when negotiating deals.
Most importantly, don’t be in a rush to sign anything. If it’s not clear, it’s a scam!
One of the hardest things for upcoming artists and producers to sign is split sheets. Not because they don’t want to, but because they are desperate and the bigger artist has the leverage to exploit them. Even with their lawyers and representation, it isn’t easy in Nigeria.
Also, you have to look at the power dynamic between two collaborators. The little guy can’t enforce his rights because he needs the big guy to gain visibility and grow. The big guy knows this and enjoys free labour. Who will fight for the small guy? No one.
And as an upcoming producer, you might make a song, and they refuse to give you split sheets. When you push too much, they will remake your beat with a more prominent producer and release it. If you complain too much, the industry recoils from you as a snitch or troublemaker.
The business part of music is very important and must be tidied up with a concrete agreement before everything else.
Also, social media isn’t the best place to solve resolutions for the music industry. It doesn’t give anyone a meaningful resolution, just 15 minutes of outrage. If you feel wronged, Get your lawyer.
What’s your take on the “Machala” song ownership? Do you think Carter Efe or Berri Tiga should have settled it without a social media fight? Could it be a PR for the song? Let’s know your thoughts!
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