Entertainment of Thursday, 5 February 2015
The ownership of the chorus of ‘Wonder God’ by UK-based Ghanaian gospel musician Sonnie Badu is being contested by Nigerian gospel musician Soji Israel.
The Nigerian is claiming to be the rightful owner of the chorus of the song which was released about two years ago.
Sonnie Badu has won two awards – Gospel Artiste of the Year and Best Male Vocal Performance of the Year – at the 2014 Ghana Music Awards with the song.
About two years after its release, Soji Israel is accusing the Ghanaian musician of using his intellectual property without the necessary permission.
This, Sonnie Badu has strongly objected to, stating he has sought all the needed permission to record and use the song.
A statement released by the musician’s management, Smartty’s Management, and copied Myjoyonline.com Thursday, said as an international musician, Sonnie Badu recognizes and respects intellectual rights and therefore seeks permission before using materials of others.
“We acknowledge the gifts and difficulties in being a songwriter and getting recognition for your work. Due to this, before we release a song we take the extra efforts to research and do due diligence before songs are written and released, hence giving credits to everybody who contributes to Sonnie’s musical works,” the statement said.
Sonnie Badu narrated that, “the chorus for ‘Wonder God’ was heard by the team in Maryland 5 years ago from Mummy GO, wife of the head of Redeemed Christian Church Fraternity (Pastor Bayo Adeyekunu’s sister) and so when the team wanted to use the chorus, we did a research and we learnt Mummy GO was the owner of the song.”
He stated that, he sought Mummy GO and Pastor Bayo’s permission to use the chorus of the song and “he obliged.”
The statement reiterate that never in their research did they learn that Soji Israel was the owner of the chorus of the song, until a year after ‘Wonder God’ became a hit. It was then that Soji Israel contacted the Smartty’s Management team.
“We listened to him, apologized and explained to Soji that we had no knowledge of him being the owner of the chorus of the song ‘Wonder God’. We opined that Soji provide valid documentation that he is the owner of the chorus of the song, so we compensate him,” the artiste’s management said.
According to them, about a month ago, Soji Israel met the Smartty’s team and Sonnie Badu in the USA and had an extensive discussion on the issue.
“In view of our discussion plans are advanced to compensate Soji should he provide the CAE documents proving he has the registered rights to the chorus of ‘Wonder God’. Soji’s prove of YouTube as his source of documentation is not enough prove of registration,” the statement concluded.
Watch the video of ‘Wonder God’ below: