Con-artist rips off musos

Simon Nare

Simon Nare

A con-artist is allegedly pouncing on aspiring musicians, taking their money and promising to launch their careers through his company.

Some of the affected musicians claimed that a year after they had paid the company nothing had materialised.

None of them had released their CDs or sleeves and now suspect they had been conned. The recording company, Lordsfire Recordz operates from Randburg and advertises in leading daily newspapers, including Sowetan.

Most of the musicians talked to said they did not want their names published for fear of victimisation.

"I signed a contract with the company early last year and to date I have not even recorded. They keep promising that I will do that next month but nothing happens," said a frustrated gospel aspiring musician.

The musician claimed he had paid more than R2000 meant for distribution.

The musician said he had approached the company with a demo but was told to bring a finished product.

"The owner has made hundreds of thousands of rands from artists but has not released a single album since last year.

"And now he is recruiting new artists," said the musician.

Sowetan has a list of 65 artists who have paid the artist through his company amounts, ranging from R2500 to R5500.

A visit to the company's offices in Randburg found sleeves of soon-to-be released albums hanging on the walls.

Another musician said his album was supposed to have been released in December last year, but was told at the last minute that retailers were busy with some well-known artists and that they were not interested in new artists.

The musician said he was promised that the album will be out early this year but that this had not materialised.

"Now they are promising that it will be out at the end of July but this is not likely because seemingly no CDs have been printed yet," said the musician.

Sources claimed the owner of the company, Rollence Mabula, had allegedly been swindling aspiring artists of their money.

"He takes their money and when they start complaining he writes their music on computer and then gives it to them to sell on their own.

"Most of these albums are of poor quality and in some cases it's not even them singing."

But Mabula dismissed the allegations as fasle.

"What are their names? I can tell you right now that those musicians don't belong to my company."

Mabula said he was surprised that some musicianswere complaining about his company when he was working hard to help them.

"We have our own plan, its just that they are becoming impatient."

Of the charges, he said: "If musicians need help they must pay. We never take money from anyone. These people go to the bank to deposit money willingly."

During the visit to the company a consultant told Sowetan that before any discussions for the recording deal could take place a musician had to pay. The money paid is non-refundable.