The rate at which artistes are leaving Ambitiouz Entertainment, one of South Africa’s independent recording labels, may strike many out there as puzzling, more so as the artistes usually leave in a blast of acrimonious air.
Leaving a record to which one is signed is nothing new, nothing novel, and certainly nothing strange – not in the music industry anywhere in the world. Artistes leave now and then, usually when they are fully established and can set up a recording label of their own.
At other times artistes leave when a bigger deal materializes. Again this is nothing strange. In fact it may pass for one of the traditions in the entertainment industry, of which music is a part of.
In that case, really, there is nothing novel about some artistes opting to leave Ambitiouz Entertainment at some point. However there seems to be a common thread to artistes leaving Ambitiouz Entertainment: they rarely ever leave in peace.
They usually leave kicking, swearing, and even threatening… their exits are almost always marked by a toxic wave of acrimony.
The list of artistes who left Ambitiouz Entertainment in a wave of acrimony may nave been lengthened with the apparent exit of “Smogolo” singer Emtee. Although not having made a formal exit post about Ambitiouz Entertainment, Emtee’s latest Twitter rant is clear on at least two things.
The first is that his mind is no longer with the record label and he has no desire it should continue to handle his music affairs. In a series of tweets, Emtee dropped phones numbers at which he can be reached for features and collaborations, effectively accentuating that Ambitiouz Entertainment is not longer the body to reach regarding him and his music.
In the past he merely hinted at his tiredness with the record label and the way it was handling his affairs. Now he is tweeting with even more candour, stating on Twitter that things are about to get petty, but he would do anything to protect his children and their mother.
With Sunday Sun reporting that Ambitiouz Entertainment has evicted Emtee from his Midrand home, and his manager Lebo Maswanganyi confirming same, there is apparently no going back on an Emtee exit. The trapper is especially miffed that the record label did not put much effort in promoting his EP “DIY 2.”
He is equally chagrined the biographical documentary he wanted to release was frustrated by the internal bureaucracy of the record label. He has apparently had enough.
Actually, however, Emtee’s former label mate A-Reece Had revealed much earlier that Emtee was long fed up with the label and actually wanted to leave back in 2017 at the same time he (A-Reece), B3nchmarq and Fifi Cooper announced their exit from the record label.
But Emtee decided to stay put. The publicist Gastor Serumula would comment later that Ambitious Entertainment decided to buy Emtee a large house when it became aware of the impending exists of the artistes just mentioned.
He went ahead to accuse the record label of buying awards, treating the artistes unfairly and corruption generally.
It was a bitter period for her and she even came close to giving up. The miraculous intervention of Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) gave her some respite and she was able to reissue a song recorded under Ambitiouz Entertainment.
Following her exit from Ambitiouz Entertainment, she had written: “I am very grateful for Ambitiouz Entertainment and how far we have come. I am embarking on a new journey and I needed a team that would work with me in realizing the plans and dreams I have for my career going forward. The new management looks after my bookings, brand and publicity as well as assisting me reach wider audiences in Africa and beyond.”
By the way, the above doesn’t cover all the artistes who’ve left the record label. Gigi Lamayne left in late 2018 to set up HartRoc.
The exits from Ambitiouz Entertainment and the resulting acrimony open vast rooms for questions. What, exactly, is going on at the record label? Is the imprint truly being properly managed? Why is is that artistes usually leave the record label bitter and fighting?
The questions are many, and we many never get to have answers to all of them. We hope, though, that Ambitiouz Entertainment will put its house in order and halt the series of acrimonious exits. If the artistes have to go or desire to go, it would be in the interest of all that they go in peace and not in pieces.