Facts have begun to emerge regarding the real story behind Wizkid and Banky’s fallout. The reason is not unconnected with the rising sensational singer being made a cash cow for the EME label. An Insider opened up that Wizzy (his nickname) is at war with Banky W and EME because he wants a contract review which Banky W has refused to grant him.
The source pointed out that since Ayodeji Balogun known as Wizkid signed with EME, he has been getting just 25% from whatever he gets paid to perform at an event with Banky W’s Empire Mate Entertainment. EME is owned by Banky W and Segun Demuren who get 50%; and Osagie, Wizzy’s ex-manager who introduced him to Banky after big record labels like Mo-Hits and Storm records rejected him, also got 25% from his hard earned money.
“It is true they are having problems and this might just be the end of EME and Wizkid. When Wizzy signed his first (and last)contract with EME late in 2009, he saw Banky as his messiah because he was nobody in the music industry. It was a 75-25 sharing formula.
Then Wizkid didn’t mind because he was bent on building his musical career. In his contract, Banky W promised to take care of his accommodation, feeding and also his school and based on this fact, Wizkid accepted all the terms of agreement. Later, Wizzy sacked his manager, Osagie replacing her with Godwin because he felt she was getting too much. Wizkid was getting just 25% from every show because EME would take 50% while Osagie was taking 25%.” Says an inside source.
Wizzy sacked Osagie because she was not ready to receive 10%, but it doesn’t end there. He was also having problems with Osagie who refused to come to terms with the fact that he was no longer the boy she picked up 4 years ago and couldn’t be bossed around. The two had a bad falling out during which things deteriorated to the point where they began calling each other names. After the fight, he sacked Osagie. This development did not go down well with Banky W but because Wizzy was close to the end of his contract with EME, he gave in. Osagie was replaced by Godwin, who works for EME, and still continued too get 25%. So till the expiration of the old contract, 75% was still going to EME, while Wizkid made do with 25%.
When Wizkid’s contract expired late last year, he wanted a contract review requesting the 75-25 sharing formula be reviewed to 50-50 but Banky would not accept his proposal. Banky wanted EME to provide a manager who would keep taking 25%, but Wiz insisted he wanted 50%, and that he would pay his manager out of his own pocket.
This issue had been dragging since September 2012 and that could have explained why Wizkid moved out of Banky’s Ogudu GRA residence and got a new apartment in Lekki. What got Wizzy miffed was that he was making all the money for EME and was getting less. Also, the money being made was being used to finance the project of other EME stars namely, Niyola, Skales and Shaydee.
Apparently Wizkid’s international fame gave him more confidence to stand out on his own. Riding on this platform, he signed a management deal with Disturbing London, an international management company. Right now, his second Album is ready and features stars like Wale, Chris Brown ,Tinie Tempar and others.
*Another inside source also adds: “the last time Wizkid charged 1million for a show was about 3 years ago. Before his fracas with EME, he was charging nothing less than three million per show, and the fee for corporate shows was way higher. In a week, Wiz was doing at least three shows, and raking in nothing less than 6million naira for EME on the average, totaling up to about 24 million naira per month. During festive periods, particularly Christmas, the amount he raked in was about triple that amount or more, and he charges even more for international shows. Then there were endorsements, the biggest of which was the PEPSI deal for which he was paid a staggering sum of $365,000. Of all these, Wizkid was only getting 25%. “
The final straw was Banky’s album launch recently. I’m told Wizkid was not invited for the show but he went all the same to show solidarity for his former label boss. Also, before show, the contract review argument was still on ground and Wizkid was hoping the label would reconsider and take his offer. What he really wanted was 50%, out of which he would pay his manager, bodyguard, and mopol entourage, which he thought was reasonable. However, during the show, Wiz was snubbed. The label refused to acknowledge his presence, and with this, the relationship with EME was severed. Wizkid is now operating under his own label STARBOY RECORDS.
So serious is the EME-Wizkid fallout that the label is now making people take sides. I’m told EME members no longer want to have anything to do with Wizkid and anyone that has any dealings with him. As a result, Wizkid is being very careful as regards who to deal with because the music sector just like any industry is full of snitches.*
Banky W may not have given his side of the story but insiders note that Banky has spent a lot to make Wizkid who he is now. He feels Wizkid is not grateful and has forgotten where he was coming from. I also hear that Segun Demuren, Co owner of EME has vowed to deal with Wiz-kid and make him regret ever leaving label.
With all said and done, here is wishing both parties all the best in their future endeavors.