DJ Sbu on what 'handing over ProKid's masters' to his family means

Image: Sibusiso Msibi

TS Records' DJ Sbu and TK Nciza have been applauded for their decision to hand over all rights (masters) of ProKid's music to his family.

The announcement was made through Slikour at Pro's funeral service on Sunday.

While fans have welcomed the move‚ many people on social media questioned what "handing over the masters" actually means.

TshisaLIVE posed this question to DJ's what he had to say:

"In the music industry‚ if I get into a contract and I pass on‚ the company that signed me retains the right to keep the agreement between us as it was. So for example‚ if I and the company that signed me as an artist‚ agreed to a 25/75 split of whatever profits my music makes them even after I die the agreement still stands.

"So what it means to hand over the masters or the full (ownership) rights of Pro's music to his family‚ it means we as TS records are declaring our standing contract null and void to institute a new contract that says that whatever profits Pro's music makes from now on‚ a 100% of the profits belongs to his family."

This means...

"Even if the record company that signed ProKid's music decides to exploit Pro's music‚ like if they sell it to a Hollywood film or whatever deal his music can get‚ all fees paid or funds will go to the family. This‚ instead of us taking our share of the deal‚ as stipulated in the original contract. This gives his family the authority to use the music as they wish and if opportunities come where Pro's music rakes in cash‚ we as TS Records don't want a single cent form it anymore. They own it fully."

So what inspired the decision?

"It's ubuntu. More than anything Pro was like a younger brother to me. Even though I hadn't seen him face to face in a while‚ we still communicated a lot over the phone. We had a great relationship. Even when he moved on to start his own company and I went on to start Mofaya‚ we still had a great relationship.

"From the time that we've spent together‚ especially when we were working together‚ Pro was a wonderful human being. I only have nice things to say about him. So‚ I feel like this is the best thing I can do for him‚ for his family because his music is his children's legacy."

Why now?

"The old way of doing things (in the industry is changing). For me (this move) is a game changing move because it has never been done before. Once you and I enter into a contract‚ the standard practice in any business is that if I die while we are in that contract‚ the contract still stands."

Sbu also reckons it's about time artists demand such a clause in their contract...

"I hope that this also helps other artists to see the kind of contracts they should be signing. And‚ for other record companies to do the same thing as well. Artist need to say‚ 'hey‚ in the event that I die I would like for my family to have full ownership of my music.' And‚ have that as a clause in their contracts."

The move comes after DJ Sbu and TS Records got backlash on social media for loading Pro's music onto iTunes after his death.

DJ Sbu on loading ProKid's albums to iTunes this week & being labeled an 'opportunist'

DJ Sbu told TshisaLIVE he hoped young artists would learn a few lessons from what TS Records is doing with ProKid's music.

He said he was also working on doing the same thing for all other artists‚ who have previously signed and produced music under TS‚ like Brown Dash and Robbie Malinga.

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