As the celebratory songs by woman rights activists and music enthusiasts die down over the weekend, we have to remember that there are lessons to be learnt. Lessons can be derived from Ke$ha’s struggle for liberation from Sony Music producer Dr Luke who according to reports, severally drugged, abused and raped her. And the Okoye brothers decision to stay as P-Square amidst internal disputes and management crisis with the duo’s manager/former manager, Jude Okoye.
For those who are not so keen on the going-ons of American entertainment, Ke$ha, the singer of mainstream pop hits like Tick Tock and Blah Blah Blah has been in a furious legal battle with her record label Kemosabe records under Sony Music. From a lawsuit originally filed in 2014, Ke$ha accused her label owner and producer Dr Luke of “sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, and emotional distress” amongst other morally depressing claims.
Though her initial demand was to be let go from a 6-album contract with Sony and Kemosabe records, legal bindings rejected her plea to decimate the contract. At the height of her desperation to be free from Dr Luke’s control, Ke$ha demanded an injunction permitting her to record creative material outside the control of Kemosabe records. While her injunction as with her demand to be free from the contract was equally denied, speculations reveal Sony has been forced to terminate their contract with Dr Luke for “PR” reasons, considering the bad press Ke$ha’s story has rallied for the label thanks to other celebrities like Lady Gaga, Wale, Kelly Clarkson and Adele speaking up in her support.
Back here in Nigeria, brothers Peter and Paul Okoye both released a statement on their Instagram accounts announcing they are going to stay together as P-Square nonetheless. This follows the group’s second whirlpool of management drama and money sharing brouhaha threatening along the fabrics of a possible split that first reared it ugly head in 2013.
In an exclusive interview with TheNet.ng, Peter Okoye, who recently released his first solo single since the group was formed, the P-Square half name-dropped new artiste signings, lack of an operational structure and poor communication within the P-Square machinery as the biggest problems the group currently faces. Most of their problems in his own opinion are heavily rooted in his dissatisfaction with the way Jude Okoye manages the group’s affairs. A sentiment not shared by his twin brother Paul.
Peter also casually discusses, Paul’s insistence on taking credit for his work as P-Square’s primary songwriter. According to Peter his role in the group is not only undervalued, he has also been living in fear and silence since he seems to be the only Okoye brother with a direction disparate from his brothers. His inability to speak up earlier on his problem with the organisation of P-Square’s business left him at the mercy of his brothers allowing the problem to fester on to this point of no return. Hence, the reason he brought their latest squabble to social media. For Peter, moving forward would mean both himself and Paul looking towards separate managements despite remaining under the same brand umbrella as P-Square.
A moral lesson for upcoming artistes
For both Ke$ha and Peter Okoye, the scenarios may be different, both in socio-economic clime and implications, but inadvertently the biggest takeaway from all of this is speaking up when you’re in a bad place with your label and management.
Ke$ha was signed by Dr Luke when she was 18 years old and while the lawsuit she filed made no mention of her exact age when Dr Luke’s alleged assaults began, haunting images of the 29-year-old crying in courtrooms after the judge declined her second suit for an injunction suggests her suffering was long tolerated.
As for Peter Okoye, while we still await the other side of the story from Paul and Jude Okoye, the problems are still even bigger especially when one considers all of the important issues that the group and its management probably swept under the rug for many years due to the lack of a proper structure or signed contracts. There is no way they ran their matters in such a manner for so many years and didn’t expect the mounded heap of rubbish to come around one day to bite them in the ass.
Agreed as with the case of Ke$ha that a signed contract may not always grant you justice when slighted, but when compared with Peter’s, there are actual documents to cite and lay on the table, it is always better. The world is not fair, but if you’re lucky enough, favour will smile upon you.
Either way, stop seeking comfort in the darkness of silent sufferings and speak up when you’re being cheated. Whether Ke$ha regains some creative control or Peter moves on with P-Square, both of them will be better for having spoken out. Frankly, all of that bullshit could have been avoided or at least curbed at infancy.