The inevitable battle line has been drawn; what was once considered an enviable model set up by thriving record label EME, is now being torn into shreds by a recent alleged fall-out between Pop singer Wizkid and the label’s management.
You read it right: Ayodeji ‘Wizkid’ Balogun is at war with his label Empire Mates Entertainment and might just be walking out of his record deal for good. The pop singer’s recent outburst on social media Twitter and Instagram has confirmed weeks, even months of rumoured disagreement between both parties.
Details are sketchy but we can confirm there’s a lot of bad blood between Wizzy (as he is fondly called) and EME which is run by label executives Banky W and Segun Demuren (Demuren plays a more background role but is fully involved in executive decisions).
The controversy started many months ago – tongues started wagging when Wizkid fired his manager Osagie Osarenkhoe and hired long-time friend Godwin Tom in September 2012. Godwin Tom, we learn had been pitching Wizkid to several labels since 2007 before Osarenhkoe came into the picture and introduced him to EME, the label that groomed him and push his career to the very top.
Sources say EME were not pleased with the move to fire Osarenkhoe, but gave in to Wizkid’s demands. The label retained Osarenkhoe to manage EME”s other acts – Skales, Niyola and Shaydee. Wizkid has now also signed an international management deal with UK based Disturbing London, run by rapper Tinie Tempah. The young singer has been in England for weeks now.
Insiders say Wizkid has also moved out of the EME ‘mansion’ in Lagos and acquired his own home in Lekki Phase 1, this was shortly after he bought his BMW X6 auto-mobile late last year. The distance became glaring; the core of the squad had detached himself from unit.
Sources who spoke with NET anonymously say Wizzy would come late to public appearances and Banky would spend the whole time apologizing. ‘They would always come separate to any gig. It looked like Wizzy and Godwin had formed their own team and didn’t need them Banky anymore‘, an inside source told this newspaper, Saturday.
It also showed emotionally; Wizkid was not seen at most of the rehearsals for their concert in December. He appeared at the later stage and rarely talked with the crew. ‘But they all tried to suppress what was going on; only the in-house team knew the whole truth‘.
NET investigations gathered that concerned parties tried desperately to keep the young superstar under control, but nothing, it seems, would work.
On Friday, February 1, 2013, the first bombshell dropped: Wizkid took to twitter and Instagram to make subliminal remarks about his label. ‘Don’t take Loyalty for stupidity..don’t!’, ‘Moving on to start all over again!…Fuck it!..‘, and went on to say ‘If dey sleep on u..move on!‘.
It came as a shock to fans worldwide; especially coming barely days after Banky W’s interview assuring fans Wiz was not leaving the label and that rumours of his departure were false.
The controversy continues with Wizzy updating his Twitter profile, removing ‘EME/Konvict’ and replacing it with his management’s contacts.
‘Wizkid is the one hurt, that’s why he is the one talking, he will still say more‘, one source tells us, even as many who claim to be familiar with the situation say ‘the problem is that he thinks he’s grown too big for the label and he’s suddenly forgotten where he’s coming from and the many sacrifices Osagie and Banky especially had to make to help him grow‘.
No word from both camps as EME and Wizzy’s management remain mum over the matter. Godwin Tom did not respond to repeated enquiries even as an EME executive failed to get back to us despite promising.
In less than one year, there have been quite a number of fallouts with artistes parting ways with their record labels. The most controversial still remains the Mo’Hits saga with D’banj and Don Jazzy breaking ties back in February 2012.
Others include May D getting thrown out of Square Records, Flowssick parting with Kollertunz Records because he failed to sign his artiste contract, Yung6ix dropping the 411 Entertainment label, fully pitching his tent with Storm Records and urban Hip-Hop group L.O.S dropping BankHead Entertainment to fully sign with Storm Records.
There are so many unanswered questions but we have a strong feeling more events will unfold. The biggest question for now is will Wizkid make an appearance at Banky W’s February 15 concert?