Veteran musician Sir Victor Uwaifo accuses Simi, Jaywon of copyright theft

Victor Uwaifo
Veteran highlife musician, Sir Victor Uwaifo. [Photo credit: Nairaland Forum]

Veteran highlife musician, Sir Victor Uwaifo, has revealed that Nigerian singers, Simi and Jaywon, failed to seek his permission before making the different remixes of his song, Joromi.

Uwaifo has hit songs like ‘Joromi’, ‘Mami Water’, ‘Guitar Boy’ among others to his name.

Joromi, a highlife song by Uwaifo, was first released on the album titled Big Sound on June 27, 1969. Its release stirred a big wave in Nigerian music.

The song is based on a Benin folktale in Edo State. It tells the story of an undefeated warrior named Joromi.

Uwaifo made history when he won the first Golden Record in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa for his song “Joromi” in 1996.

“Joromi” has legendary status among his fans and his performances are characterized by his ability to play the guitar with both his feet and also his tongue.

However, almost 5 decades after its release, new versions of Joromi resurfaced in Nigerian music scene.

‘Joromi’ has been X3M music star Simi’s biggest single this year and probably the biggest of her career. Jaywon also jumped on the hype to give his own version of the hit song.

In an interview with Vanguard, the one-time Edo State Commissioner for Arts and Culture, said both singers did not obtain copyright permission from him before recording a remix of the song.

“They didn’t contact me before doing a remix of Joromi; but I’m like a father to them so I can’t begin to drag them to court, so let them make a living out of it, but at the same time it’s piracy.

“I’ve heard it too many times on different occasions; it shows the quality of the music that has come a long way. As far as I’m concerned I’ve lived five lives (from one generation to the other), so if they want to appreciate and still appreciate me, it shows the quality of the music.

“It’s one thing to be an artiste and it’s another thing to stay on the scene for a long time; so I will not discourage artistes trying to remix or do another rendition of Joromi, but rather encourage them to give credit to the composer if they do”, Uwaifo said.

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