In a clash that reverberates across continents, Nigerian music producer Sam Eli Are has set his sights on acclaimed Kenyan rapper and vocalist Nyamari ‘Nyashinski’ Ongegu, igniting a legal firestorm over a multi-million-shilling Tecno endorsement deal.
Eli, a creative force behind the scenes, has taken legal action against Nyashinski and the Chinese smartphone giant Tecno, alleging copyright infringement. The court documents, a treasure trove of drama, detail Eli’s claim that Nyashinski employed his beats in the hit song ‘Wach Wach,’ a musical canvas that has been splashed across Tecno Mobile’s promotional campaigns.
Intricately entwined in this legal symphony is Nyashinski’s meteoric rise to Tecno’s pinnacle, where he clinched an ambassadorial role for the groundbreaking Tecno Camon 20 smartphone. The lucrative deal, reportedly worth Sh12 million, came under Eli’s scrutinizing gaze, who asserts that he’s owed a slice of the earnings pie for his musical contributions.
The saga commenced when Nyashinski and Eli’s paths crossed in a Nairobi studio, an encounter that would catalyze the chain of events. Nyashinski, in the throes of recording his album ‘Lucky You,’ sensed Eli’s sonic ingenuity and procured beats for his creative arsenal. The genesis of a musical partnership would ultimately morph into a legal showdown.
The heart of the dispute throbs within the realms of creative ownership. According to the split sheet contract, Nyashinski commands full master rights to ‘Wach Wach,’ while the publishing rights are evenly apportioned between Nyashinski and Eli.
“This payment was not supported with any royalty reports as is usually the norm and the same cannot be justified as the full amount of the plaintiff’s shares of royalties since the release of the three songs years ago to date,” Nyashinski went on to state to the producer, that should he feel discontented, he should then not hesitate taking him to court.
Now, the Milimani Commercial Court stands as the battleground for this artistic feud. Eli, armed with legal fervor, aims to expose Tecno’s purported ‘illegal’ synchronization of his composition without due license or consent.