Ezekiel Mutua Responds to Sauti Sol Losing Subscribers Over Tussle With Azimio

  • Photo collage between MCSK CEO Ezekiel Mutua and Sauti Sol
    Photo collage between MCSK CEO Ezekiel Mutua and Sauti Sol
    File
  • Ezekiel Mutua, the Chief Executive Officer of the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), has termed as juvenile the move by a section of Kenyans to unsubscribe from Sauti Sol's YouTube and social media channels.

    The move by Kenyans followed the all-boy's band letter castigating Azimio La Umoja for using one of their songs during the unveiling of the Narc Kenya party leader, Martha Karua, as Raila Odinga's running mate.

    Through a statement dated Thursday, May 19, Mutua described the action of the fans as juvenile, saying that Kenyans have a right to disagree ideologically but they should not capitalise on that to perpetuate hate.

    "Unsubscribing from Sauti Sol YouTube is a juvenile reaction. We may have differences but we must not be blinded by politics to the point of hate. Let's deal with the issues at hand in a civil manner. Sauti Sol remains one of our greatest bands in Kenya's history," Mutua stated.

    Ezekiel Mutua addressing the press in Nakuru City on the work of CMOs in licensing political parties and candidates for use of copyrighted musical works during this campaign period on May 18, 2022
    Ezekiel Mutua addressing the press in Nakuru City on the work of CMOs in licensing political parties and candidates for use of copyrighted musical works during this campaign period on May 18, 2022.
    Ezekiel Mutua's Twitter

    His response comes after a report surfaced online claiming that the band had lost 2,000 subscribers in less than 48 hours. The report indicated that the YouTube channel had dropped from 905,000 subscribers to 903,000 by Wednesday morning.

    While responding to the loss of subscribers, Bien-Aime Baraza, the lead singer, noted that any one unsubscribing is free to do so.

    After Sauti Sol raised an issue with Azimio using its songs, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) stated that the use of the song was a gesture of appreciation and admiration to the group.

    The Kenya Copyright Board (KECOBO) noted that despite Azimio obtaining a Public Performance License (PPL) which allows it to play both local and international music at its rallies, it did not obtain a synchronisation license which can only be issued by the composer and publisher of the works.

    KECOBO established that Azimio infringed on Sauti Sol's rights by playing Extravaganza during the unveiling of Karua.

    Mutua, on the other hand, sided with Azimio la Umoja noting that they are licensed to play any song during their campaigns.

    "We wish to clarify that we licensed the Raila Odinga Presidential Campaign for use of musical works in their campaigns as per the Copyright Law and gazetted tariffs. We are therefore shocked to see the confusion being caused by KECOBO over this matter,” Mutua explained.

    Raila had paid Ksh562,500 to MCSK as license fees for music to be used in his campaigns.

    Sauti Sol boy band during a past photo shoot
    Sauti Sol boy band during a past photo shoot
    File