International gospel superstar of Ghanaian origin, Sonnie Badu, has said he never knew the chorus of his “Wonder God” track belonged to Nigerian musician Soji Israel.
He said he is however ready to pay compensation if Soji can prove ownership with some legally acceptable documents.
Sonnie Badu and Soji Israel have been contending over the actual owner of the song for a while now, and the situation seems to be getting out of hand.
While Sonnie Badu insists he first heard the chorus from Mummy GO, wife of the head of Redeemed Christian Church Fraternity, and that it was Mummy GO who gave him full permission to use the song, Soji claims he is owner of the song and that he even uploaded it on his YouTube page long before Sonnie Badu released the song.
Sonnie Badu’s management team, Smartty’s, has issued a statement on the controversy and NEWS-ONE reproduces the full script unedited: “The management of Sonnie Badu wants to state categorically that Minister Sonnie Badu is an Internationally recognized gospel artiste and a member of music senior, UK who respects the gifts of others including musical gifts. We acknowledge the gifts and difficulties in being a song writer and getting recognition for your work.
“Due to this, before we release a song we take the extra efforts to research and do due diligence before songs are written and released, hence giving credits to everybody who contributes to Sonnie’s musical works.
“The chorus for “Wonder God” was heard by the team in Maryland 5 years ago from Mummy GO, wife of the head of Redeemed Christian Church Fraternity (Pastor Bayo Adeyekunu’s sister) and so when the team wanted to use the chorus, we did a research and we learnt Mummy GO was the owner of the song. We sought her permission and Pastor Bayo’s to use the chorus of the song and he obliged.
“We reiterate that never in our research did we learn that one Soji Israel was the owner of the chorus of the song, until a year after “Wonder God” became a hit that Soji Israel contacted the Smarttys Management Team.
“We listened to him, apologized and explained to Soji that we had no knowledge of him being the owner of the chorus of the song “Wonder God”. We opined that Soji provide valid documentation that he is the owner of the chorus of the song, so we compensate him.
“About a month ago, Soji Israel met the Smartty’s team and Minister Sonnie in the USA and we had an extensive talk; in view of our discussion plans are advanced to compensate Soji should he provide the CAE documents proving that he has registered rights to the chorus of “Wonder God”. Soji’s prove of YouTube as his source of documentation is not enough prove of registration.
“The management of Minister Sonnie Badu wishes to state emphatically that we are waiting for legal documents of registration pertaining to the chorus of “Wonder God” from Soji, after which we will give him the due recognition.”