Why Sauti Sol is being sued by nominated senator Crystal Asige
After she was allegedly chased away from Sol Generation record label, singer Crystal Asige has sued her former bosses, Sauti Sol, for breach of contract.
In court papers, the visually impaired songwriter and singer – now a nominated senator – wants the four members of Sauti Sol Bien-Aime Baraza, Polycarp Otieno, Willis Chimano and Delvin Mudigi and their record label, to compel the parties into disclosing how much they have received from hit song Extravaganza, Lenga, Favorite and Ukiwa Mbali songs since 2019.
The artiste also wants the court to compel Sauti Sol to compensate her for breaching her contract.
“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 in court papers filed by Mwakireti and Asige Advocates.
She also told the court that she arranged and performed background vocals on Bensoul’s jam Favourite in 2019 which has since amassed slightly over 232,000 views on YouTube.
Asige is also suing KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Kenya over ‘Lenga’ song. In October 2019, Sol Generation signed a one year deal with KLM to produce a six track album dubbed ‘1919 to Forever’ in celebration of the Airlines inception a century ago.
The plaintiff says as part of the project, Lenga was her own composition and sound recording which was released on KLM Facebook platform without her consent. Asige claims the deal between Sol Generation and KLM did not have her blessings.
“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 defendants latest studio album title ‘Midnight train’ without the plaintiff’s knowledge or consent and released in June 2020 on the worldwide digital streaming platforms and and was accredited as co-author of the said song.”
From the deal with KLM, Asige said she was reliably informed that Sol Generation received approximately Sh5 million for the use of her ‘Lenga’ song.
Following the success of Extravaganza video which introduced Sol Generation to the limelight, Asige says that’s when Bien-Aime asked her to sign a full recording contract.
She however communicated her reservations and requested to discuss and negotiate the particulars of the contract.
Asige says she was asked to join Sol Generation by Bien in order to write and produce a song.
The negotiations never took place with Asige claiming in November 2019 she was invited to a meeting with Bien, Moriasi Omambia who is 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.
In May 2020, while appearing on Chat Spot show, Asige revealed the reason she left Sauti Sol was that she was asked to.
“It’s not a very long story, back in November (2019) they told me they wanted me to leave, they don’t want me to be in the group anymore so I left. That’s literally the beginning and the end of the story,” revealed Crystal.
During a press briefing on their 5th studio album launch Midnight Train, Bien disclosed that Crystal had left Sol Generation ‘harmoniously’.
Bien also pointed out that Crystals’ exit came with many complications.
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