Court Ruling Frees Musa Keys From Label Dispute

Popular amapiano artist Musa Keys is officially a free agent after a long dispute with record label Electromode, as reported by Sunday World. 

Born Musa Appreciate Makamu, the musician was slapped with a bill over R700 000 by the record label for allegedly breaching the contract in 2022.

Musa Keys entered into an exclusive digital distribution agreement with Electromode on April 4 2021 to distribute his songs and cinematographics via the internet, mobile, and telecommunications companies.


The distribution agreement was meant to come to an end after 36 months, with an option for the musician to renew it for 12 months.

The Dispute

The company said Musa Keys was not supposed to cancel the agreement until all the money due to Electromode was paid in full.

If he decided to terminate the contract, he was expected to give 30 days’ notice to remove his content from all the platforms.

Electromode said Musa Keys breached the terms and conditions of their contract when he, through an agent, gave it notice to cancel the agreement on May 3 2022.

His hitsong “Wena” stormed the charts, and the musician was due to pocket 70% and pay the company 30% of the royalties he would have amassed from the distribution of his work.

The company said the artist from Giyani in Limpopo had granted it the sole and exclusive rights to distribute his content and to make it available worldwide to end-to-end users.

According to the court papers that we have seen, the high court in Johannesburg ruled that Electromode/Ingrooves would pay Musa Keys R463 050.30.

The relief claimed in the court papers of the amended notice of motion was also refused.

In terms of a counter application, Musa Keys’ notice of cancellation was found to be invalid.

He is also obliged to comply with his obligations in terms of the exclusive distribution agreement dated April 4 2021.

Musa Keys was ordered to provide Electromode/Ingrooves with their sound recordings, cinematographic films, album cover artwork, and any other artwork or images in terms of the distribution agreement.

“Digital information [metadata] conveying information regarding any of the sound recordings and/or cinematographic films, such as the names of the artists, authors and composers, the artist biography, the title of the album, the name of the song, the name of the record company,” read the papers.

“The description of the album, the lyrics of the songs, the track and album pricing information, concert information, music genre, and such other elements as may be required by the [Electromode/Ingroves] respondent for the digital distribution thereof by the respondent in terms of the distribution agreement.”

The judgment further ordered Electromode to pay legal costs for both parties but the initial relief claim was dismissed.

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