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Nigeria: How TC Records Has Denied Me Royalties for Over 14 Years – Durella

Durella is not affiliated with any record label, but his songs continue to garner streams across various music platforms, with royalties paid to his ex-label boss.

In the wake of the passing and burial of Nigerian music sensation Ilerioluwa Aloba, better known as Mohbad, a series of intriguing controversies have ignited within the music industry.

One such incident revolves around the feud between Mohbad and his former record label boss, Naira Marley.

However, this ripple effect has extended to another rapper, Oluwadamilare Okulaja, widely recognised as Durella, as he has taken a bold step in confronting the owner of his former record label, TC Records, Bamidele Inubile, whom he refers to as Mr D.

Speaking exclusively with PREMIUM TIMES, Durella, famous for his hit song ‘Shalaye’, narrated how a long-standing grievance regarding unpaid royalties from his former boss, Mr Inubile, spanning 14 years, has caused him to worry.

Durella explained, “Mr D has withheld my royalties for an extensive period, even after I had parted ways with his record label. I tried with some IT experts to reclaim those royalties, but they informed me that I required the main copyright for the songs, which is currently in Mr. D’s possession, as he initially distributed them.”

Durella broke into the music scene in 2006 after he met executives from TC Records while performing at a fashion show. He signed a deal a week later. He is famous for some of his hit songs like ‘Enu O Se‘, ‘ My Life’ Ft Terry G, ‘Shayo’ ‘Club Rock’ ‘GaGa’ featuring Wizkid and ‘Wiskolowiska’.

2008, Durella was awarded “MTV Base Advance Warning Artist” of the Year. He is the first Nigerian artiste to own a shoe line: Durella Sneakers, named after his famous slogan “2Gbaski”.

However, after a few years, he decided to part ways with TC Records, later joining IKONIC Records in 2011.

Since his parting ways with TC Records, the musician claims he never received royalties for his songs.

Despite his persistent efforts, Durella said his attempts to regain control of the copyrights to his music remain futile.

Challenges

Their geographical location further complicates matters, as Durella informed this newspaper that Mr D resides in London and only occasionally visits Nigeria.

Recalling his early days, Durella stated, “When I joined TC Records, I was supposed to receive an apartment as per our contract, but when our relationship soured, he made off with the contract, knowing I didn’t possess a copy, hence his stubborn stance. I am the rightful owner of these songs; I am the one who created them. They culminate my life’s work, yet he is collecting royalties.”

The singer told this newspaper that his songs exist on several streaming sites. Still, he needs help accessing the backend to ascertain the earnings because his former label boss owns the copyrights to his catalogues.

This newspaper also contacted Mr Inubile via an email provided by Durella but is still waiting to receive a response.

Durella also clarified that the TC Record label has long ceased to exist, as he was one of the last artistes the label worked with.

Passionate plea

In a heartfelt appeal on Instagram, Durella beseeched his fans and streaming platforms to support his quest for the unpaid royalties owed to him by TC Records.

He wrote, “I need this man to do the same video clip. It is exactly what I am going through from TC RECORDS MR D. He has been in charge of all the money I made from all the streaming platforms for over 14 years. Please, my fans, I need your help. Help me report, my fans.”

He also tagged streaming platforms and media houses in his plea, demonstrating his determination to confront the 14-year-old dispute head-on.

Durella, often dubbed the “King of the Zanga,” faced constant comparisons with D’banj early in his career, which posed challenges. Following a noticeable hiatus, Durella returned in 2017 with “Otipe.”

However, while briefly enjoying his comeback, he needed help in reclaiming the lofty heights of his early career promise.

Durella is not affiliated with any record label, but his songs continue to garner streams across various music platforms, with royalties paid to his ex-label boss.

The recent passing of Mohbad stirred emotions in Durella. He said he planned to collaborate with the late singer before his tragic demise.

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