By Laura Walubengo
Frasha of Kenyan hip-hop outfit P-Unit has been elected to the newly formed Budget Committee for the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK), in the first time ever that a musician has been part of the body tasked with collecting royalties for artists among other things.
The June 20 election resulted from an explosive meeting earlier in the week where musicians demanded a bigger say in the running of the society amid claims that money collected as royalty was not being properly distributed.
Late last year, MCSK was barred from collecting royalties by the Kenya Copyright Board following complaints by artistes. They were angry that all royalties collected were distributed evenly to all artists registered with the Society.
“So even if you have one song that doesn’t get a lot of airplay, you would earn the same as a renowned artist whose song is played all the time. That isn’t fair. One of the things the new budget committee will do will be to see how the money collected is used,” says Frasha.
The Budget Committee and the Advisory Committee Foundation were both formed with the aim of improving the running of the music industry in Kenya and see to it that artists profit as much as possible from their toil.
A number of leading Kenyan artists such as Nonini, Octopizzo, Habida, Ukoo Fulani and Wyre took part in the elections.
Frasha, real name Francis Hamisi, says the two new committees will also look at the welfare of artists who have long been neglected.
“It was about time. Everyone around has done it, Tanzania, Uganda. It was about time. We hope also to develop the music culture in this country,” he said.