Former Sol Generation signee Crystal Asige has filed a lawsuit against boyband Sauti Sol over an alleged breach of contract.
The newly nominated Senator wants the court to compel Sauti Sol members Bien-Aime Baraza, Polycarp Otieno, Willis Chimano and Delvin Mudigi to disclose how much they have received from hit songs Lenga, Extravaganza, Ukiwa Mbali, Intro and Favourite Song since 2019.
Asige is seeking compensation for her work on the songs and other Sol Generation-related music activities.
“While under the first defendant’s record label (Sol Generation) the plaintiff composed and performed on the widely known recordings ‘Extravangaza’ and ‘Ukiwa Mbali’ together with the second and fifth defendants, and her then label mates professionally known as Bensoul, Nviiri The Story Teller and the group Kaskazini in 2019 and her contribution was credited as such,” Asige says through Mwakireti and Asige Advocates.
In court papers, the visually impaired songwriter says she also arranged and performed background vocals on Bensoul’s jam ‘Favourite Song’ in 2019 which has since amassed over 232,000 views on YouTube.
Asige has also enjoined KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Kenya in the suit over an album deal between the airline and Sol Generation.
In October 2019, KLM tapped Sauti Sol for a one-year deal to produce a six-track album dubbed ‘1919 to Forever’ to commemorate the Airline’s inception a century ago.
Asige claims she composed the song ‘Lenga’ which was released on KLM Facebook platform without her consent.
The lawmaker says she was not party to the deal between KLM and Sauti Sol.
“Additionally, the plaintiff’s original composition was taken from her and recorded as the sound recording titled ‘Intro’ and featured in the second to the fifth defendant’s latest studio album titled ‘Midnight train’ without the plaintiff’s knowledge or consent and released in June 2020 on the worldwide digital streaming platforms and social media and she was accredited as co-author of said song,” Asige’s court papers read.
According to the nom. Senator, Sol Generation received approximately Sh5 million for the use of her ‘Lenga’ song.
Asige also says that after the release of the ‘Extravaganza’ video, Bien-Aime informed her that he wanted her to sign a full recording contract following the song’s popularity.
“The plaintiff communicated her reservations on the aforementioned agreement with the first defendant and requested to discuss and negotiate the particulars,” she claims.
Asige says they never met for negotiations. However, in November 2019, she was invited to a meeting with Bien, Moriasi Omambia (Sauti Sol’s legal manager) and Sol Generation manager Natasha Qubu where she was informed that they no longer wanted to continue with her at the label.
She continues: “On November 7, 2019, the plaintiff was invited for a meeting with the second defendant (Bien-Aime ), Natasha Qubu (first defendant’s manager) Moriasi Omambia (first defendant’s legal manager and shareholder) and informed that the first defendant (Sol Generation) no longer wanted to continue with the plaintiff at the label, initially citing that the first defendant was ‘flat broke’ with no resources to keep her.”
Asige claims that in the meeting, it was agreed that she would keep full master recording rights for Lenga.
She argues that she authored, composed, co-produced and performed the hit song, therefore, is entitled to copyright.
Responding to the suit, Sauti Sol lawyer Nick Ndeda said they will be seeking to have the case dismissed.
“Sol Gen have a very competent defense. We’re working on that defense and will be filing it in the course of next week where our side of the story will be told. One key thing to note is we are also engaging opposing counsel with a view of having the case dismissed against the second to the sixth defendant who are not a party to this suit,” Ndeda said.