Ciara announced the release of her new single which features Nigerian musician, Tekno titled Freak Me which unexpectedly samples Tiwa Savage’s Before Nko, one of the travks housed in her sophomore album, R.E.D which was released in 2015. This however leads to queries if Ciara and her team duly cleared all there is with Tiwa’s team before tapping into the Don Jazzy-produced number which also features label mate D’Prince.
Ciara released her comeback single Level Up which has since levelled up to virality with gazillion dance videos making the rounds online. She was in South Africa last month with her husband to celebrate their second wedding anniversary, from where the video for Freak Me was shot without Tekno, of course.
Freak Me should be Ciara’s first attempt to tap into the Afro-wave and spread her sonic tentacles to the African market as well. African music is undergoing some massive evolution and a number of international personalities especially Americans are trooping into Africa to leverage the growth of our music, art etc.
Ciara deemed it a perfect time to make her ‘Afrobeat’ debut with recruiting the help of Tekno but it may interest you to know that she also relied the genius of Tiwa Savage with the track – Before Nko to make out something. Which shouldn’t be a bad idea save for a few wrongs like not clearing the sample with Tiwa’s team before proceeding to make it public. It downright disrespectful because for songs that share not just the same theme but same hook and instrumental. The title of the song is also glaringly inspired by the lines from Tiwa Savage which Ciara also used – “I won’t tell nobody how you freak my body.”
This would’ve been well accepted if Ciara did the needful especially posing Freak Me as an actual single at a time she enjoys some amount of attention following the success of her previous single Level Up. There’s no word whatsoever on her posts yet that credits or extends acknowledgment to the original brains behind the song.
Listen to both tracks below:
With the recent wave of Afrobeats in the international scene, a number of Americans in power are hopping on the movement; seeing that they cannot win Africans over on their own, they, however, attempt working their way into our hearts by collaborating with African artists who have garnered enough influence among Africans. They are incorporating influential names in the African scene to help push their agenda and they sometimes don’t do it right. Notably in the case of Drake and Wizkid in One Dance.
Though Tiwa Savage, Dprince, and Jazzy were credited as songwriters on streaming platforms, we are not impressed that Ciara and her team failed to consult the original owners of the work before going ahead to process it’s release.
Eyebrows are being raised especially since Tiwa’s digital distributor, Bolaji Kareem stormed Ciara’s page claiming she’s releasing a song without clearance as he describes her move to be ‘cheeky and unnice‘. I can’t help but feel they probably think its Africa after all and we are probably not yet exposed or knowledgeable about publishing.
Tiwa’s team have not publicly said anything on the issue but a source from her team revealed that the mother of one is not pleased with the turn and we’ve deduced that despite the credit, there is an unclear misunderstanding between both teams. Tiwa’s team must have chosen to tackle it discreetly, just so the media doesn’t feast and misconvey their intention. With sampling, you need well-communicated clearances either from the copyright owner of the song, usually a music publisher then the record label.
Ciara is no rookie in the music business and I just feel Africa/Nigeria must’ve been underloooked as not informed enough to know such intricacy about the music business or they probably expected we’d hop in merry and be grateful towards anything a foreign artiste presents. Proper measures should be taken just so foreigners understand that Africa is nothing like a jungle like the media portrays and that we’re very informed.
We are well oriented in the music business. If we’d be here for these criss-cross collaborations then it is important that we accord each other due respect and do the needful for further Collaboration. Like the case of Burna Boy and Drake where Burna wrote ‘More Life’ and it was recreated into ‘Get it Together’ which features Black Coffee and Jorja Smith without any credit to Burna.
However, we are proud of our musical exports and how they are bridging boundaries with music. Wizkid and Tiwa Savage were featured in Nike’s latest ad whivh premiered last night.
Tekno however is no stranger to copyright issues as he sampled Danfo Driver’s Jogodo without consulting the original owners of the song and doing the needful. The duo don’t seem to be having any of it and that’s just to tell you how serious of a wrong it is to make samples without clearing them.