EXCLUSIVE: Dr Malinga in music 'theft' drama

2015-02-24 07:01


Uh oh...

Two musicians have claimed that Dr Malinga's company has been stealing their music.

By now you might have heard of the song Uthanda Ungathandi by Mr Styles.  But you might be surprised to know the song is in the centre of a pretty hectic dispute.

Sit down and let us explain...

In the beginning ...

Music duo, Mandla "Smition" Siluma and Ben "Benzito" Maphothoma, popularly known as Beat Movement , wrote a song called Ungowami with their friend, DJ Style. The song was released independently online and was downloaded nearly 43 000 times.

Dr Malinga apparently heard the song and approached them to sign for his record label, Linga Entertainment. After reviewing the contract, Beat Movement were not happy and declined the offer. Dr Malinga refused to offer another contract and DJ Style, meanwhile, signed to the label as its first artist.

Then it all changed ...

Dr Malinga's company then took the track and repackaged it, renaming it Uthanda Ungathanda and changed DJ Style to Mr Style. They released the song and a music video without mentioning or featuring Beat Movement.

This upset Beat Movement, who were not credited as producers of the song, even though they believe they own 50 percent of the song.

"They shot the music video, they changed the name of the song, and they didn't credit us," the bands manager Phalane Tjiane says, adding "The name of the song is Beat Movement and DJ Style, not DJ Style alone. They chopped and changed everything!"

Beat Movement are angry and insist that they should be credited. "The problem is that they didn't invite us (even though they promised) to the music video and we own 50 percent of the song," Phalane says.

Malinga responds

Although Dr Malinga was unavailable for comment, The Juice was referred to Style's manager, Lawrence Netshifhefhe, who confirmed that Style had written a song with Beat Movement but that it was not officially released because it was an independent release. He says that Linga Entertainment chose to release the song, mixing it with other beats to make the song Uthanda Ungathandi, currently on radio.

He says that they have credited Beat Movement by mentioning them live shows and in occasional references to the song by saying it is DJ Style featuring Beat Movement. "At the end of the day we must push our artists. We can't push people who are not our artists," Lawrence says.

He says that Beat Movement will receive their credit and compensation if they registered their song with SAMRO (Southern African Music Rights Organisation).

Yoh! The drama!

*Picture: Instagram

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