Sungura music ace Alick Macheso has lambasted recording studios for mistreating struggling local artistes.
Speaking at a recently held Zimbabwe Music Rights (Zimura) function, an emotional Macheso said musicians were being robbed of their work by some unscrupulous recording studios.
“What must we do about these recording studios that cling on to our music?
We write the songs and we want the right but what are we told? That pay $25 000 if you want full rights to your music. Tatambura navo vanhu ava,” he said.
“Please Zimura if you can assist us, these studios are lynching us. Why should I pay such a ridiculous amount for my work? All my fans know my work, why should I pay?” Macheso queried.
Also present was a member of the Zimbabwe Association of Recording Industries (Zari) who tried to clear the air on the issues Macheso raised.
“I would like to address VaMacheso. The problem we have had is musicians just signing contracts without properly going through them. That’s when you find musicians crying foul. Several times I have stopped musicians from signing contracts.
“I think musicians should take their work as business and have legal expertise before getting into any contracts with anyone. This will save them from exploitation as there are people out there who exploit musicians,” he said.
Zimura is a royalties-collecting board that makes sure that musicians get their dues from people or organisations that use their products.
The latest development comes as Macheso has kept people hanging over his next offering, whose release has been postponed several times.
Despite making promises to deliver the much-anticipated album this year, Macheso recently told the Daily News that people should be patient with him.
The veteran musician added that when the album is finally released, the news will spread like the death of a prominent member of society.
“Chinovanzwa urwere not rufu. Kana ndaburitsa album iri hazvivanzike zvinoita kunge rufu rwemunhu anoremekedzwa, munhu wese anobva aziva.” (The news of the release of my album will reach everyone because it will spread like the news of the death of a prominent member of society),” he said.
Macheso added that releasing albums during the festive season was no longer a priority.
“Recording companies used to push volumes during the festive season but this is no longer the case due to piracy.
“In any case, the majority of the people in this country no longer rely on salaries hence people can have money any time of the year.
“Owing to this, musicians can release albums anytime of the year. Therefore there is no need to pressure myself to drop the album before Christmas,” said the Tafadzwa singer.- DAILY NEWS