Khago Isn’t Finished With The Lawsuits, Now Focusing On Dancehall Producers For His Share Of Intellectual Property And Publishing

Khago makes a dealHot on the heels of being awarded close to US$800,000 in compensation ordered by a US court, in a counter-suit filed against music producer Kemar “Flava” McGregor over copyright breaches, Dancehall artist Khago, says in his next round of rights litigation, he will be suing other local-based music producers ‘left, right and centre’.

Speaking during an interview with Television Jamaica’s The Entertainment Report, from his Manchester-based ranch, Khago, whose given name is Ricardo Gayle, said that among the extensive list of Dancehall producers on whom he would ‘Tun Up di ting’ are: Seanizzle (Nah Sell Out, I’m So Blessed), NotNice (Badmind A Go Kill Dem, If This Is Not Love), Jordan McClure (Energy), DJ Frass (Yute Fi Have Tings), DJ Sunshine and GT Taylor.

“Mi a guh sue Seanizzle; mi a guh sue Jordan; mi a guh sue DJ Frass.  Mi neva meck dolla outta mi hit song dem.  Mi did jus waan done wid dah one deh first (McGregor’s).    “Mi tell dem how long: ‘call mi wife and call and talk to mi manager, because a 10 year now mi do Naw sell out Mi fren Dem.  A di biggest song fi di decade; nuh mek nobaddy fool yuh enuh.  An Missa Milla, how yuh fi teck mi sog dem an mi neva yet get dolla, an a act like a your own.  Is not your own; is ours,” he declared.

Khago Breaks His Silence On Skin Bleaching & New Hair Cut (News & Reviews)  - DancehallStarz - Dancehall Usa“Mi a guh sue him, Notnice, DJ Sunshine, GT Taylor dem.  One list a people mi a sue,” the Blood a Boil singer told entertainment journalist Anthony Miller.

The Manchester native added: “You a di star enuh.  Have yuh voice pon a guy riddim, an a guy a guh meck yuh know seh: ‘a my song’.  How it become your song?”

Khago’s comments came almost two weeks after a former foe of his, Sizza Kalonji,  implored upcoming Jamaican artists to ensure they secure their intellectual property and publishing rights, by engaging in deals that are beneficial to them, as many artists have fallen victim to onerous arrangements.

Dancehall Artiste Khago Reveals He Is Getting Closer To The Muslim Faith –  Radio DubplateThe former LIME brand ambassador, who has, in the past, indicated that he was not highly literate, appears to have now versed himself in copyright and intellectual property law, based on his responses to the questions posed by the probing Miller.

When asked about the contents of his contracts in place with the producers he intended to sue, which would have included signed publishing split sheets, terms, percentages release conditions, and an execution plan, Khago said he did not sign any such documents and it is on this basis that he would be hauling the producers to court.

“First ting Missa Milla, yuh cannot put out a artiste vocal without him giving you a contract.  You as a producer nuh have dat right fi put it out.  And dis is kangaroo court.  An Missa Milla, music change.  When yuh carry dem guh court and di court ask dem: ‘show me di contract weh yuh have wid dis man’, yuh nuh have any.  A dat ketch di guy (McGregor) a farrin enuh,” he explained.

When Miller suggested that maybe he should also have acted responsibly and not just rely on the producer to act ethically and responsibly, Khago had a sharp and strident response.

“Him shouldn’t put out mi ting!  Yuh don’t put it out den. Or yuh nuh teck everything fi yuhself.  Wi a si some different man pan mi song a seh 25 percent fi guh to him.  Who gi yuh dat rights?” he said in indicating that he was treated dishonourably on the split sheets.

“Missa Milla mi just a tell you seh di industry haffi fix.  Jamaica is not the industry enuh.  Wi nuh sing music fi Jamaica enuh; wi sing music fi di world enuh.  Wi a talk bout di world organization.  A 150,000 dolla (US) fi yuh put out mi vocals without mi signature,” he added.

Khago - Walk A Mile (Official Video HD) January 2018 - YouTubeWith respect to the McGregor case, he said he did not see it as a ‘win’, but rather a quest for justice against those who had transgressed on his rights, and taken what was his son’s birthright, adding that he had not even paid attention to the money.

“Missa Milla, yuh know seh serious, mi jus meck God deal wid dat situation.  All now mi nuh look pon it.   Mi nuh win nuttn deh suh Missa Milla.   Yuh caan win your own tings,” he said.

Asked how much money he was awarded, Khago nonchalantly responded: “Dem seh a mussi 800,000 or sittn.”

Quizzed whether there was ‘money in pocket’, he said: “Mi haffi fine out from mi wife.”

When Miller cheekily asked where McGregor would get ‘that kind of money’ to compensate him for damages, the Walk a Mile singer said that was no concern of his.

“It’s up to him and God Almighty an him pocket, and di court of America enuh.  How America stay, yuh haffi find suppm.    Like him run dem joke deh wid Jah Cure; him run dem joke deh wid Gyptian dem and Luciano dem.  Mi si Luciano a Canada an him a seh ‘wow, mi like how yuh stan up an a fight him’.   An mi a seh, fight him?  Mi naw fight him.  Mi a fight fi mi son ting,” he stated.

“Di yutes dem weh a do music right now haffi teck dis as a example and know seh a you a di singer; a yu a di songwriter,” he said.

On February 16, a South Florida court had awarded Khago US$763,626 in damages in a counter-suit filed against McGregor, the principal of Streaminn Hub Inc, in a battle involving the singer’s albums Spirit, Walk A Mile, and Dancehall Soca.

Khago is to receive US$300,000 in statutory damages for copyright infringement.  He is to also be paid US$99,568.59 in compensatory damages for tortious interference with business relationships; US$298,705.77 in punitive damages for tortious interference with business relationships; and US$65,352.00 in reasonable expenses and attorney’s fees for a total award of US$763,626.36.

McGregor, who had been retained by Khago’s team to recoup royalties, had taken the artist to court for fraud, breach of contract, defamation of character, and copyright infringement in 2018.    However, Khago’s team, led by his wife Francine Gayle, had repudiated the claims and subsequently counter-sued.

Gayle had subsequently, like Sizzla, warned aspiring artists to learn the music business, not “get caught up in the hype” or leave their royalties and publishing in other people’s hands, or if uncertain, or unable to review your files themselves to seek advice from a lawyer”.

As the owner and chief executive officer of FM Records, McGregor has recorded and produced music for icons such as Sinead O’Connor, Maxi Priest, Sizzla, Marcia Griffiths, Beenie Man, Wayne Wonder and Buju Banton and played a role in Queen Ifrica’s Daddy, Gyptian’s Mama, and Richie Spice’s Plane Land.

Khago had first complained about not getting his due share of royalties and publishing rights in a November 2017 interview with The Star tabloid.   At the time, he encouraged upcoming artistes to learn how to produce their own songs declaring that they should “buy one computer and produce unuh music unuh self”.

He had also told the tabloid that he was frustrated with producers in Jamaica, as many of them profit from hit songs without compensating the artists at the helm of those hits.

“When Nah Sell Out blow up big, a Seanizzle see the bulk a di money from dat song. Me get credited as the writer and so me collect money from JACAP when it play pan di radio, but dem boy deh, sell me song to VP Records and to all kind a people.   Yuh wouldn’t wah know the millions weh Seanizzle make off a Nah Sell Out Mi Fren Dem, and me never get dollar. A nuh Seanizzle alone, but a him produce some a me biggest songs” Khago had told The Star.

“The songs dem sell to so many people and me nuh get none. The songs still a sell pan iTunes, and me fi get half a dat. Me nah get none. To all di people dem weh a talk bout contract and say me never sign none, a understand dem nuh understand the business. Once yuh voice a song fi a artiste and a him write him song, 50 per cent is yours and 50 per cent a fi him all over. Yuh nuh haffi sign no contract fi dat,” he had insisted.

According to The Star, when contacted Seanizzle for a comment, he declined to give one, stating that he didn’t have the time to feed into negative energy.

Source: Khago Says He Will Sue More Dancehall Producers Including Seanizzle, NotNice, DJ Frass & More – DancehallMag

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