A Perspective on the Nikita/Shaft Fiasco 2017


If you live in Barbados and you haven't heard about the "melange" a trois going on with regard to Nikita, Shaft and DeeVine when it comes to a specific 'shared' song, that's okay. This article is not necessarily about the music and the copyright - or even ethical - issues surrounding it. This article is about lessons that can be learnt from the ongoing experience that has been perceived thus far as a negative one.

To provide a quick background for those who have no clue about the situation: Shaft (an exceptionally talented songwriter) penned a song which was sold to DeeVine and titled by her as "We De Same". Fast forward to this year, where Nikita has released "Same Way". Well, it seems to be the same song. (If the irony of the song titles hasn't reached you yet, pinch yourself).

Let's look at Lesson One..

Shaft's official statement was, in part, "Shaft did not remember DeeVine had done the song before...." This is lesson number one for entrepreneurs. Many entrepreneurs work on tight budgets; at least at the beginning of their journeys. There are some expenditures that are seen as "costs" and not "investments" and therefore can be avoided. Administration and organisation should not be one of those avoidances. Yes, entrepreneurs are self-empowered, walking super heroes, but no one person can do everything. And, when an enterprise begins to grow, the paperwork and back-end filing and record-keeping that follows grows with it. Therefore, to "forget" is human, but is certainly not seen as professional. (This is a bit of a non-sequitur, as all professionals are humans, but you understand, right?!?) Keep records diligently. Invest in software or a great personal assistant.

Lesson Two

All three artistes immediately came forward, expressing their views on the issue. Even COSCAP commented, which left little room to dispute that Shaft had broken no law. Communication with your audience is extremely important. There should be no doubt left in the mind of your audience when it comes to your stance - whether your "audience" is your business partner, multi-million dollar client or even your family. Where you stand on an issue with regard to your business should be clear and concise. While Shaft chose the way of the official statement, Nikita's management spoke on her behalf in the first instance and this was followed by her heartfelt, personal comments. DeeVine also made her position clear. Communication, communication, communication.

While this issue may be one of many for Crop Over 2017 (or it may be the only issue, who can tell?) it is one from which we can all learn and one from which hopefully all involved can move forward with more clarity and positivity.

Lots of love & good vibes, Veoma Ali

Veoma Ali is an Advertising Executive, with a Ph.D in Communications and a Masters in Business Administration.