By: Poelano Malema
Multi-award winning Gospel artist Kholeka Dabula has become the latest artist to complain about unfair treatment from record labels.
The singer has accused Bula Music of foul play.
The ‘Baw Wethu’ hitmaker says the record label owes her royalties.
“Bula music still owe me royalties even today. They act normal though they are blood suckers,” wrote the singer on Twitter.
Bula Music was founded by Harvey Roberts, Peter Tladi, and Clive Hardwick in 1998. It has produced the likes of Boom Shaka, Ihashi Elimhlope and Freddy Gwala, Sfiso Ncwane, Zodwa and Lundi Tyamara.
Kholeka says the founders told her straight to her face that she will never get her money unless she renewed her contract with them. She left the record label in 2008.
“Harvey Roberts, Clive and Peter Tladi showed me a check and said ‘You will not get it until you renew your contract’, “she wrote on Twitter.
“It was time to pay my royalties, I think it was in April, Clive showed me the cheque and said if you don’t sign or renew this contract, you are not going to get this and really, I did not get that cheque as from 2008 up until they sold everything to Gallo,” Kholeka told Kaya FM.
Apart from owing her royalties, Kholeka claims they even sold her music catalogue without her approval.
“They sold all of my catalogue to Gallo records,” she wrote on Twitter.
However, the award-winning artist says Gallo did not want to get involved in the dispute.
“As from 2008 up until they sold everything to Gallo and then Gallo did not want to be part of the exploitation, they said we are going to pay Kholeka what is due to her for the work that we are selling and distributing,” the singer told Kaya FM.
“Gallo is currently paying me for every copy they sell, but these ones (Bula Music) they owe me from 2008 up until they sold the catalogue to Gallo. They owe me those years, I think it’s over ten years’ royalties,” Kholeka said.
“There was that cheque that was written, already there and it was in the hands of Clive and it was due for me,” said Kholeka.
She adds that at the time she left without fighting because she just wanted her freedom.
“That cheque, I think it was between R17,000 and R20,000 for six months. It was just for six months,” says the singer.
She claims that prior to their dispute, she used to get paid in April and at the end of each year.
“Bula pay my royalties,” she wrote.
Bula music still owe me royalties even today.They act normal though they are blood suckers.Harvey Roberts, Clive and Peter Tladi showed me a check and said “You will not get it until you renew your contract “.They sold all of my catalogue to Gallo records. Bula pay my royalties.
— kholeka (@kholekamusic) April 1, 2021
The singer says she is now seeking legal advice.
“Today I am going to look for a lawyer that is going to help me deal with them,” she told Kaya news.
Kholeka adds that upcoming musicians should avoid making the same mistakes she did, and says it is best to do things on your own and to own your master copies.
“If you have enough financial strength, do it on your own. As from 2008, I recorded my own album. That’s where I got nominations, that’s where I got my online shop up, that’s where I got my everything up and let me tell you, as you work hard, you will get rewards and profits,”says the legendary Gospel singer.
“Own every master,” she adds.
Musician Kaya Mthetwa and Rebecca Malope’s daughter, Noluthando, showed support for Kholeka.
This makes me sick!
— Khaya Mthethwa (@khayamthethwa) April 1, 2021
This is unacceptable Sis K. Have you tried going the legal route?
— Noluthando Malope (@NoluMalope) April 1, 2021
Image courtesy of Instagram/ @Kholekamusic