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Sasha Calls Out Veteran Producer Gussie Clarke, VP Records Over ‘Greedy’ Contracts – DancehallMag

January 26th, 2021

Dancehall artist Sasha, now known as gospel singer Sista Sasha, is calling out veteran producer Augustus ‘Gussie’ Clarke and esteemed music label VP Records for ripping her off with ‘greedy’ contracts.

The former secular entertainer was speaking to industry peer Mr. Vegas during a recent Instagram Live, when she said the entities took advantage of her ignorance about music publishing and royalties and deliberately robbed her of a just legal arrangement.

The artiste got her first break at 16 with the 1992 Steely and Clevie-produced record Kill the B-tch, which she said exposed her to stages as far as Europe.

“You don’t really understand the logistics of things because dem carry dubs come gi mi and mi record the song and everything. The song turned out to be a massive hit on an international level.”

She said she was told that a lawyer would be arranging the publishing agreement, but said she hasn’t seen it to this day. The song has since been sampled by Nicki Minaj in her 2009 song Beam Me Up Scotty.

As is the case with many of her time, the singer said she wasn’t invested in the business aspect of music, and was just happy to create and perform. She added that she was even more hesitant to enquire about royalties as producers would get upset and spiteful when the topic came up.

She was later taken to Clarke’s studio by her manager where she signed her first contract – that of publishing.

“Memba seh Gussie have everybody enuh, memba seh Gussie a di boss enuh. Every artiste weh name artiste weh ever sell a record on an international scale went to the big boss…so that was the first contract I had signed. That first contract was a 50 per cent publishing deal for five years…”

“I don’t know nothing about royalties, publishing. You give me a contract, one young likkle girl come in, yuh nuh seh to me, ‘Listen, yuh need fi have a lawyer…cause mi know seh yuh nuh know nothing’. Then if a man can gi yuh something fi mek yuh sign weh half a your life knowing seh di real money, di real deal a inna the publishing and dem a go gi yuh as somebody weh nav di knowledge, yuh nuh feel seh a evil dat?”

She went on to describe it as a “white-collar crime” and claimed that the contract would thereafter undergo several amendments that favored Clarke’s pockets.

By 1998, she scored another hit, the Tony Kelly-produced Dat Sexy Body, which she said attracted VP Records.

“The contract weh mi sign coulda buy six a di shoes dem weh mi have inna mi closet now and two a mi suit dem weh did deh pon sale,” she said. “Mi nah watch nuh face cause we have songs and mi a mek mi money dem offa mi concert dem and mi show dem.”

She added that the contract has lifetime clauses, which sees her music and brand tied to the label perennially. As a result, she said the label claims she owes them US$205,000 which they remind her about in occasional emails.

“Right now VP seh dem spend US$1 million on me,” she said.

“The song wid me and Sean Paul (I’m Still in Love With You), it was an Atlantic-VP thing but the majority was Atlantic and that’s not Sasha’s project and then I did a very, very low budget video for Sexy Body…and that was the remix I did in Spanish…”

Mr. Vegas suggested that she have their recoupment claims audited to verify their expenses.

“If they claim that they spent a million dollars on you, dem haffi file taxes, so all this needs is a simple audit or dem haffi give you a breakdown.”

But the lawyer fees can be discouraging for such a process. Sista Sasha added that she had let go of fighting the royalty battle because of her walk in Christendom, but “after thinking about it more, a my work regardless of weh anybody waan fi think… If it’s my work, I deserve to be compensated.”

The artiste is now registered with performance rights organizations The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL).

“Mi thank God seh me educate myself certain way. That way I can reap some of the benefits from my work cause if I was sitting there like a couch potato mi woulda hungry now.”

She released the EP Bumpy Ride in 2020 and is gearing up to drop an album in two months.

This content was originally sourced and posted at DancehallMag »
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