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EMI contracts with artists 'a lie'

2012-03-05 11:03
Johannesburg – Many singers' dreams of fame are shattered due to a misrepresentation involving record company EMI.

Mock EMI contracts were reportedly signed and promises were made to artists who later had to find out it was all just talk.

Pino Di Benedetto, CEO of EMI South Africa, said he was stunned when he suddenly received calls from angry artists who wanted to know when their albums will be recorded.

False promises

The artists were apparently approached by Erwin Law and Marilyn van Eyk with the promise of record deals.

Law was part of EMI Live, a division of EMI that focuses on tour bookings. Van Eyk is a booking agent.

Not one of them is accepting responsibility for the false promises.

According to Di Benedetto, Law and Van Eyk unlawfully promised record deals to artists on behalf of EMI.

Pieter Vorster, or rather Ollie the Clown, said Van Eyk offered him a five year recording contract.

"I thought here's my chance now and even thought it might be Steve Hofmeyr who put in a good word for me. Steve and I are friends, you know.

"But it was all lies. I am a big public figure. My heart is aching. My nationwide tour with Ollie the Clown, Jollie the monkey and Lulu the rat, which would've been incorporated on the CD, is now gone," said Vorster.

Clear expectation

Di Benedetto said: "We will never sign contracts for five years with artists.

"I think it's against the law anyway. I asked Van Eyk about this and she's blaming Law.

"Law in turn says Van Eyk is the one that made the promises," said Di Benedetto.

Meanwhile, the artists used EMI Live's logo on their vehicles and Facebook pages.

Di Benedetto asked them to remove it.

Nico Booijse, 34, a singer from Kempton Park, said Law created a very clear expectation that he would be signed with EMI. "He told me to change my CD cover. I spent R2 000 to do it, only to later find out I'm not going to be signed by EMI," said Booijse.

Legal action

Monique Leite, 30, said she also signed a contract with Law and Van Eyk for bookings.

"Erwin told me I'm going to record a CD and I can perform at EMI's big concert at Sun City later this year.

"What happened to us is unfair and fraud."

Van Eyk denies the allegations.

"Erwin is the one who made false promises to the artists. I have my booking company and that is what I do. I don't work for EMI. Peter paid me nothing except commission for shows."

In turn, Law is accusing Van Eyk of making the false promises.

Di Benedetto threatened Van Eyk with legal action if she continues to use EMI's letterheads for contracts. He terminated Law's contract with EMI Live.

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