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Sunday,September 27,2020 13:29 PM

Trouble In The Ogopa Djs Stable

By Vision Reporter

Added 6th February 2003 03:00 AM

Bebe Cool thinks Ogopa DJs deserve respect, but some Kenyan artistes disagree...

Bebe Cool thinks Ogopa DJs deserve respect, but some Kenyan artistes disagree...

By Sebidde Kiryowa
Bebe Cool thinks Ogopa DJs deserve respect, but some Kenyan artistes disagree...
While Jose Chameleon, Bebe Cool and Bobi Wine, the trio of young Ugandan contemporary music stars patched up their differences with a phenomenally big show recently, the exact opposite is happening with their Kenyan counterparts.
Trouble is brewing in the famous Ogopa DJs’ barn of artistes who rocked Kampala last December in two breathtaking live performances. Among the artistes who came were E-Sir, Red Sun, Amani, Nameless, Mr. Googz, Mr Lenny, Vini Banton, Red San and Deux Vultures.
Ogopa DJs is a production house started up in 1996 by three producers, Francis (director), Lucas (director) and Banda (manager). Ogopa DJs are responsible for big hits like Mama Mia and Njo Karibu by Jose Chameleon, Fitina and Mambo Mingi by Bebe Cool, Okunsunasuna by Sylvia Kyansuti and Bebe Cool among others. The Daily Nation reported last weekend that the celebrated producers have fallen out with some of the artistes whose music has catapulted them to the top league in the industry.
“The producers are no longer working with Deux Vultures, who sang the hit songs Monalisa and Teremka, Mr Googs and Vini Banton of the Wasee Tumetoka Githurai fame, and Redsan, who boasts a wide spectrum of chart-toppers like Julie and Wanipa Raha. The artistes, who have now banded together to form what they call the Bad Man Camp, accuse the producers of poisoning their working relationship,” the paper reported.
Redsan, real names Swabir Mohammed is complaining that Ogopa seem to have lost all interest in him. “After doing my maiden singles with them, I wanted to produce an album but they kept putting me off.” Redsan, who has now shifted camp to Tedd Josiah’s Blu Zebra studio, accuses the producers of using him as a launching pad to kickstart their career in music production, and then dumping him for new singers. According to the paper, Red San’s sentiments are echoed by Mr Googs & Vini Banton, who appeared at last year’s Kora Awards in South Africa. They accuse Ogopa DJs of dictating to artistes where to perform and how much they receive. “It is not fair,” Mr Googs told The Daily Nation. He explained that before they did the hugely popular remix of the song Wasee, they had planned for an album, but Ogopa DJs balked at the idea.
Mr Googs told the paper that when Ogopa DJs feature a song in their compilations, they pay the artistes Ksh25,000 (about sh500,000) per song. Mustafa Daudi of Deux Vultures complained that after Ogopa DJs featured them on the CD Ogopa I, they did not want anything more to do with them. “They don’t want to give us our freedom. Whenever we perform independently, they take issue with that. All musicians are entitled to have their own managers, but Ogopa DJs think differently,” he told the paper.
But Bebe Cool, who, though currently not signed with Ogopa DJs, was one of the producers’ first successes with his song King Of The Jungle. He told Vision Weekend: “The fault here is with the artistes. Me and Chameleon were the biggest artistes of Ogopa DJs, before we left. Chameleon had his own disagreements with Ogopa DJs but never raised much dust. You have a situation where there is a show and the guys (Ogopa DJs) pay the artistes before hand only to have them go behind their backs, making deals with other organisers because they have offered bigger money.”
On their part, Ogopa, Francis and Lucas, described all the accusations against them as unfounded. Francis, who handles logistics and contracts told the paper: “We agreed with them that they would not perform at shows without the company’s knowledge, but some of them went behind our backs and signed contracts with event organisers,” he was quoted as saying. “ Releasing compilation CDs featuring various artistes as opposed to artistes’ individual CDs is in keeping with that business plan.” Ends

Trouble In The Ogopa Djs Stable

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