Speaking on Kofi TV as monitored by Ghanamusic.com on Monday, the ‘Hosanna’ hitmaker revealed how a South African musician ripped him off royalties although he declined to name the musician in question to avoid embarrassment.
KODA explained, “the one time I felt funny was when I wrote a song for an artiste who is not Ghanaian. In his country, that’s South Africa, when you are the writer of the song, you get royalties because that works well in that country. So, when he was going to register the song, he decided to use his name to register as the writer and not mine.
“I called him out of the blue to ask if he had released the song. The musician responded in the affirmative. So I asked him to send me a copy to listen to [but] he told me to wait. After waiting for some time, he never sent the copy and he made me know that there is more to it which is why he refused to send it.
Later, he called to tell me that when he was registering the song, he forgot how to spell my name KODA. That’s a joke! Can you imagine? So he used his name. That was the one time I felt funny about it. So, I said why didn’t I sing the song myself and after giving you the song you steal the song like that?”
When asked if he sells his songs to artistes whenever he helps them compose, KODA responded that selling a song to an artiste for one-time payment is not the best business model.
“Rather, you need to register the song in your name with any of the publishers and give it free to the artiste, but when he decides to give you a token for the help, that’s fine.
“Once you sell off to the person, the rights go to the person and I don’t know why I would want to do that. Keep the right and arrange for some token so that ten years from now or fifteen years from now, wherever the song is played or remixed the money will still come to you as the original owner,” KODA suggested.
When asked if an artiste says that he wants to pay for the song, he remarked, “I don’t think it’s a good model. Don’t rip your grandchildren of property.
“Bob Marley died so many years ago. If you use ten seconds of his songs for an ad, his family will deal with you. So leave a legacy for your children. Just don’t overprice, just a token and make sure the song is registered in your name […] make sure the song outlives you and don’t sell your property,” KODA advised.
Furthermore, he explained why he does not record songs for secular artistes. According to him, it is his choice to become an absolute “Christian engineer” and nothing would make him record any song for a secular musician.
“In 2002, when I started doing engineering, I decided to be an absolute Christian engineer. So, I record only Christian music in my studio,” he explained on Kofi TV.
Even though he had been recording some commercial jingles for companies, KODA maintained that it is either a gospel song or a commercial jingle but not secular songs.
“Just like a Rastaman will not touch his dreadlocks, a vegetarian will not eat meat… Kofi won’t play or record secular songs,” KODA said, creating humour.
When asked whether when he records a secular song, he will face hellfire, the ‘Nkwa Abodoo’ hitmaker quoted 1 Corinthians 10:23 to explain his decision further.
The quotation reads, “All things are lawful, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful, but not all things build up.”
KODA further explained: “I do Christian music. Personally, if you open up yourself as a Christian to that genre of music, it does not only come with the song, but it comes with the people that record the song and as an engineer, you must relate well with your client and you must speak their language and also be kindred to their spirit; something that I cannot do,” he stressed.
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