Rayvanny on July 12, 2022, officially parted ways with Diamond Platinumz’s record label Wasafi after six years in what was hailed as a drama-free exit.
His exit was less dramatic compared to what was witnessed when Rich Mavoko and Harmonize quit the label years back.
Diamond clashed with Mavoko
When Mavoko was leaving Wasafi in 2018, there was an impasse that was only resolved after relevant authorities intervened.
Mavoko ditched WCB in 2018 two years after he terminated his contract with King Kaka’s record label - Kaka Empire.
The singer expressed his frustrations with his contract with Wasafi which he termed as ‘exploitative and malicious’.
Wasafi demanded that Mavoko pay the label Tsh500 million (Ksh23 million) to be allowed to prematurely terminate his contract.
However, the singer stood his ground and declined to pay the amount required by WCB to release him. Diamond’s label insisted that he was bound by the contract.
The tussle between Wasafi and Mavoko ended up at the Tanzania Music Regulatory Board, Basata, which brokered a deal between the two warring parties.
Rich Mavoko left without paying the Ksh23 million that WCB demanded. What is not clear is if he still owns the rights to the songs he recorded under Wasafi.
Diamond clashed with Harmonize
In 2019, Wasafi was locked in another fierce tussle with Harmonize when he demanded to leave the label before the expiry of his contract.
Harmonize officially quit Wasafi in August 2019 after complaining about his contract. He had signed a 15-year contract with Diamond’s label which granted WCB 60 per cent of revenue generated from his music.
The ‘Attitude’ hitmaker opted to terminate the contract just four years after he felt he was not getting value for his output. He was forced to pay Wasafi Ksh24 million to ditch the label prematurely.
Harmonize was reportedly forced to sell his three houses and a piece of land to raise the Ksh24 million that Wasafi demanded for leaving the label before his contract expired.
He had no option but to part with the amount demanded so that Diamond’s record label could afford him full rights ownership to the songs (all of his songs at the time were recorded and produced by Wasafi).
Diamond and Harmonize’s friendship was affected by his exit from Wasafi. The latter even started beefing with his former boss after his exit.
Rayvanny slapped with an exorbitant exit clause
Just like Rich Mavoko and Harmonize, Rayvanny too was locked in a fierce tussle with Wasafi when he demanded to quit the label prematurely before his contract expired.
Rayvanny and Diamond’s relationship went south early this year and this was confirmed by Harmonize who released a voice note of Vanny Boy talking trash about the Wasafi boss.
It was reported that Rayvanny (real name Raymond Shaaban) opted to quit WCB after falling out with his boss and mentor but was trapped by his contract with the record label.
It emerged that Rayvanny was slapped with a whopping Tsh1 billion (Ksh50 million) compensation fee for him to be released from Wasafi.
Clouds FM presenter Mwemba Burton, popularly known as Mwijaku, in early February 2022 revealed that Diamond’s legal team triggered the Ksh50 million compensation fee on his exit clause after Rayvanny asked to leave WCB.
“Invoice aliyopelekewa ni kubwa mno hawezi toka tena kwa sababu alisema mwanzo ataondoka lakini atakuwa chini ya WCB lakini waliowekeza naye wakamuuliza mboona usijijitegemee baadae akarudi akawambia management anataka kuondoka kabisa basi siku hiyo akapewa invoice ya shilingi bilioni mbili au awache nyimbo zotee…. nakuambia Ray anaumia sanaa.
(The invoice he was given was so shocking he can’t leave the way he had indicated earlier. He had been advised to quit Wasafi so he can be self reliant but when he approached the management to ask to leave the label he was given an invoice which showed that he need to pay Tsh1 billion or lose rights to his songs),” Mwijaku said.
Mwijaku added that;
“Leo kesho unatamani kutoka pale Ile millioni 600 unayo na hiyo 600 ni ya Harmonize wewe bilioni Moja unayo…?” (Today you want to quit but do you have that Tsh600 million… and that was for Harmonize. Yours is Tsh1 billion. Do you have it?)
Rayvanny was ultimately allowed to terminate his contract with Wasafi after he raised the Ksh50 million to buy out the remainder of the contract he signed when he joined the label in 2016. As per reports, the contract was to run for 10 years.
Vanny Boy expressed his gratitude to Diamond and recounted some of his highlights in Wasafi in an emotional tribute video uploaded on his social media after he quit the label.
Diamond couldn’t hold on to Rayvanny for fear of triggering an ugly divorce as was witnessed with Rich Mavoko and Harmonize.
The WCB boss wanted to part ways with Rayvanny peacefully, especially at a time when he feels his label is targeted by government agencies like the Tanzania Art Council, Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority and the Copyright Society of Tanzania, which he has openly criticised.
Speaking to BBC Swahili in April 2022 during his UK tour, Diamond stressed that he would not hold back any artiste who desired to quit Wasafi.
“This year, there are other artistes that will leave WCB to do their own things. I will support them. We can’t always have the same artiste in Wasafi,” Diamond said.
Simba’s announcement came after Rayvanny removed the words ‘Signed under WCB’ from his social media sparking speculation that he had quit the label.
Apparently, it was Diamond’s manager Babu Tale who brokered a ‘drama-free’ exit deal between WCB and Rayvanny. Tale brought Rayvanny to Wasafi a year after it was formed in 2014.
Even though Babu Tale intervened, Diamond insisted that Rayvanny should still pay Ksh50 million on his exit clause.
The Wasafi boss has publicly maintained that WCB spends millions of shilling on growing artistes’ brands whenever they join the label and it can only be fair to have his investment back and make profits whenever the musicians have their breakthrough.