'Flava' to pay Khago feesMonday, March 08, 2021
BY BRIAN BONITTO
A South Florida court has awarded Khago and his management US$800,000 in damages in a counter-suit filed against music producer Kemar “Flava” McGregor, principal of Streaminn Hub Inc.
The judgement was handed down by district judge Jose E Martinez on February 16.
Khago's wife and manager, Francine Gayle, confirmed the court's ruling with the Jamaica Observer yesterday and said they were happy to put the legal wranglings behind them.
“Khago is very happy for the fact that out of all that has happened, we have gotten the final judgement. It's been a long time; we have waited for how long it took. Finally, the victory is here... To God be the glory, great things he hath done,” she said.
“The judge ruled in favour of all the counts we had presented to the court. Of course, he [McGregor] or his lawyer did not show up... So they did the final hearing without them. They gave them two weeks after the magistrate wrote the order to say they cannot market Khago's music and not in any likeness, not a picture, his music not on any platform anywhere. Plus all the damages,” she continued.
According to documents from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Khago is to receive US$300,000 in statutory damages for copyright infringement; US$99,568.59 in compensatory damages for tortious interference with business relationships; US$298,705.77 in punitive damages for tortious interference with business relationships; and, US$65,352.00 in reasonable expenses and attorney's fees for a total award of US$763,626.36.
McGregor — retained by Khago's team to recoup royalties — took the singjay to court for fraud, breach of contract, defamation of character, and copyright infringement in 2018. The row involved Khago's albums — Spirit, Walk A Mile, and Dancehall Soca.
The court, however, dismissed McGregor's claim last year, and the entertainer's team filed a counter-suit.
Efforts by the Jamaica Observer to reach McGregor for comment were unsuccessful.
Gayle said it is important for artistes to know the business side of music.
“Apart from enjoying the benefits of an artiste, know the business or find a reputable person or entity that can advise you,” she said. “Music in Jamaica is not done in a professional way. People jus' guh inna a studio and guh drop a track. They don't know about their splits; about registering for royalties or copyright; about publishing. Basically, you just voice and walk away. Yet, your music is selling on all the platforms and you don't even know how you're going to get your money — How much per cent belongs to you [the artiste]; and how much per cent supposed to go to the producer. You have to know the business and you have to know this. This is something he [Khago] learned, this is not a hobby. It's a career.”
Gayle, a nurse manager by profession, said Khago will be opening his studio in Manchester next weekend.
“Khago is ready. He is back in Jamaica to reconnect with his fan base and to do music. He's ready to help the youths,” she added.
Khago (real name Ricardo Gayle) first came to national attention when he placed third in the 2006 Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's Popular Song Contest with the song, If You Know.
Four years later, he shot to prominence with Nah Sell Out.
In 2011, Khago was nominated for Best Reggae Act at the Music Of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards.
His other songs include Tun Up Di Ting, Nuh Fren Again, and Nuh Trust.
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