DJs Ganyani and Chase squabble over royalties in court

Johannesburg- House music legend DJ Ganyani is embroiled in a bitter royalty payment showdown with fellow artist DJ Chase.

Ganyani, real name Frederick Tshabalala, was dragged to the Joburg High Court on Wednesday by Chase, born Matibisi Ntshwana, who accused the respected deep house artist of short-changing him of royalties of the collaborations they produced together for almost a decade.

In court papers seen by Sunday World, Chase said he and Ganyani had entered into an oral agreement to collaborate on their songs and how they should split their royalties when they forged a working relationship in 2009.

He said in terms of the agreement, he was credited as the producer, composer and songwriter, and Ganyani, fondly known as “Master G”,  as an artist.

He said they both produced several songs for the album titled Ganyani House Grooves 7 in 2010 and licensed it to the now-defunct record label, Soul Candi.


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A post shared by #togetherwecanstand (@djganyanisa)

Chase further said as per their agreement, he was supposed to be paid 50% royalties for the songs Remember featuring Khumbuzile and Not So Far featuring Maleh.

He said from the album Ganyani House Grooves 8,  which was released in 2013  and also licensed to Soul Candi, he was supposed to get 33.34% from the ditty Be There, which featured three artists, 35.7% from Xigubu featuring Fiesta Black, 50% from Something Like featuring Cristyle, Satisfied featuring Terry Leigh, What a Feeling featuring Khumbuzile, Feel It featuring Anne and Remember Remix featuring Khumbuzile  and Raindrops.

DJ Chase said he was also to be paid 25% from the number Rise he did with DJ Ganyani featuring BoChase,  etc.

He said when he enquired about his royalties, DJ Ganyani and his company informed him that only over R1 400 was due to him, although they did not provide him with an accurate account and summary of the amounts due to him.

Chase has asked the court to suspend the portion of those royalties and order Ganyani and his label to fully disclose the royalty statement of account from Universal Music.

Ganyani declined to comment,  while Chase could not be reached for comment.

However, a source close to the situation, said  Ganyani was heartbroken when he discovered that Chase had taken him to court over this matter.

He said Ganyani has been paying Chase after receiving royalties from Universal Music, but stopped when they both agreed to change the royalty calculator they were using because he was expensive.


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A post shared by Chase (@djchase_sa)

“He has never disputed that he owes him. There are two statements of accounts that Ganyani received from Universal Music after changing the independent royalty calculator, but could not pay him because the new independent royalty calculator they had hired, fell ill before she could determine how he should pay him.

“Ganyani communicated this to Chase’s lawyers when they sent him a letter of demand because he is not hiding anything from him. It is really unfortunate that  the situation turned out this way,” said the mole.

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