Caiphus Semenya clarifies report that he is demanding 50% in royalties from AKA

Caiphus Semenya. Picture: Supplied

Caiphus Semenya. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 19, 2023


Internationally renowned jazz maestro Caiphus Semenya has publicly addressed a recent report that said he was demanding 50% in royalties from the now late rapper, AKA.

Semenya was the latest guest on the podcast "Nkululeko n Cultr" and addressed the report during his interview with Nkuleleko Nkewu.

“Semenya is allegedly demanding 50% of royalties from two ditties AKA sampled on his two blockbuster albums without obtaining a written consent from the 83-year-old musician,” Sunday World reported.

“The legendary Semenya has given AKA’s record company, Sony Music, an ultimatum to pay up or face the music.”

Speaking to Nkewu, the jazz musician clarified that he does not handle his publishing but has an administrator who handles such matters on his behalf.

“I established Semenya Music when I was 32 years old. John Levy helped me to put my publishing together. Since then I have never, not once negotiated a song. The publisher does that, that’s their job,” he explained.

Semenya added that he had nothing against the late rapper and even reflected back on how AKA rectified the sampling of "Matswale" for his track, “Caiphus Song”, at a later stage.

“So already he said I was asking 50% of what? I was asking which one it was because I didn’t know.

“He gave people the impression that it was ‘Matswale’, which was long fixed, AKA fixed it and there is a picture that I took with him when we were smiling because I admired the boy. He was very smart.”

Regarding the song “Diary”, which is on AKA’s album “Mass Country” and samples Semenya’s track “Hamba Nam” or “Hamba Nam Weh”, the musician said he was not sure which one.

Semenya’s publishing administrator discovered that AKA had sampled the track and alerted the jazz musician after the rapper’s death.

“I said to her it’s a pity that he's gone, because he would have fixed it. Remember what we did with “Matswale”, but it’s okay.

“The lawyers told (the administrator) that it will take some time because there are a few problems that they have to do with his estate and I said there is nothing else we can do, we just have to wait,” Semenya explained.

Semenya is confident that the song would have been cleared had it not been for the rapper’s untimely death.