Sometime in 2012, Wizkid signed a management deal with Disturbing London, a UK based platform. But six years down the line, all does not seem to be going well in the house that was built on friendship and African connections.
Disturbing London is a management company owned by Dumi Oburonta, a music/fashion mogul and winner of the Black British Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006, alongside the artist he manages, Nigerian/British rapper, Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu,popularly known as Tinie Tempah.
The label was created primarily as an outlet for Tinie Tempah’s music, but the duo always had a vision to expand and sign other young artists along the way.
In a 2015 interview with BBC, Oburota, who refers to himself as Tinie Tempah’s cousin even though the duo are not related, but have their families originally from the same village in Eastern Nigeria, shares his vision.
“We wanted to have a platform to put out our music and there wasn’t any Def Jam or Roc-A-Fella label equivalent in England.
I also wanted to create a major independent label with quality artists. I felt like the major labels had lost the passion for music.”
The early activities of the label were funded by student loans and proceeds from their dealings in cars and Dumi Oburota’s tale is an unlikely one.
Born in Lewisham, the young Dumi who initially wanted to be an artist soon switched to music management and while managing a rapper from Bristol, he had his first encounter with Tinie Tempah at a family party.
Having later seen a music video of Tinie on TV, Dumi made the connection with the rapper, leading to the creation of the company in 2006.
Disturbing London comprises artiste management, record label services, publishing, fashion design, brand partnerships, event curation and digital services; spanning music artists and music marketing.
The company manages several artistes like Tinie Tempah himself, A2, DJ Charlesy, Yungen, Yxng Bane, J Warner and Nigeria’s Wizkid.
And in 2016, Wizkid featured on Tinie Tempah’s hit single, Mamacita.
While his deal with Sony Music/RCA Records has come under much scrutiny of late, it was assumed that all was sorted with the UK end as over the year, the UK has been second home to Wizkid, where he recently made history selling out the 20,000 capacity O2 Arena.
However, sometime in May 2016, Wizkid posted a tweet that hinted that at a change in his managerial direction.
The Star Boy announced that producer and one half of Legendary Beatz, Mut4y, was now in charge of his business in the UK and US, while long time manager Sunday Are remains his only manager.
But shortly after Wizkid appeared on the runway for Dolce and Gabbana alongside Naomi Campbell and Tinie Tempah, all seemed to be well again especially as Disturbing London celebrated both artistes on twitter.
But on Saturday, June 23, Wizkid posted a tweet warning kids (assumed to be young artistes) to stay off doing business with the company.
“Don’t do business with Disturbing London kidsssss…. Criminal operation”, he posted.
There are allegations that Wizkid may be pitching his tent with another Nigerian combination in rapper Skeptawho is managed by Grace Ladoja, as he has been seen in the company of the duo on his frequent trips to the UK.
The company is yet to react or issue any official statement as their social media handles remain flooded with images of Wizkid, and as at the time of publishing this story, his name remains on the client list of the company’s website.