Since last month, Nana Wiafe Asante Mensah, a.k.a. Asem has been in the news for the wrong reasons.
Firstly, he was accused of raping a teenager; then came news a couple of days ago about he been thrown out of musician/ producer Richie Mensah’s Lynx Entertainment- a label Asem has been bragging about [as the epitome of hits-making] since the track Give Me Blow; that introduced the catch line, Wobeda Ntem; also a name so synonymous with the ladies- man that it has become his new management/label name- Wobeda Ntem Record, led by Nii Mantse ARYEEQUAYE.
Hi Newspaper caught up with Asem last Tuesday and he granted yours truly his first real interview since the rape allegation.
“Officially, I haven’t granted any interviews on the advice of my lawyer and management team, but I thought I should speak with you because I trust your representation of the facts”, he says nice words about Hi. Starting with the issue every Asem fans would like to, quickly, get update on, and then burry as fast as possible: The rape issue.
Asem says, “Of course you know it wouldn’t be legally prudent to go into details now but I can still clear one important thing… on record: We (referring to himself, his family and management) reported this whole issue to the Ministries Police Station (Accra) of defamatory of character and not the other way round as some members of the media are spreading. On record, no one has reported Asem to the police for any reasons. And the police are still investigating the issue so all we can do now is sit back and allow them do their work.” He says.
Inspector Arthur, the officer-in-charge of the case would use similar words as though rehearsed when Hi Newspaper enquired about progress of the case: “Investigations are ongoing I will update you as at when we have new info”, Mr Arthur quipped.
Asem had a contract with Richie’s Lynx Entertainment which was supposed to expire last November. Asem had made it clear to Lynx he wasn’t going to renew the contract. According to Asem, “Eight months to the end of the contract, Lynx released a statement that they were dropping me from the label”, he said. Asem thought Lynx was overburdened with artists (the roster includes Richie (the label’s C.EO), Eazzy, OJ Blaq and Zigi)
and didn’t have the capacity to manage them all, “So I set up a team to manage my brand (Asem) separately though I still stayed with Lynx as my record label; a suggestion Lynx was cool with. I guess the new development came up due to some decisions my new management started taking on my behalf, which didn’t go down well with Lynx.”
So, what were those decisions? Asem answers, “It all boils down to promotions. As at now, I have recorded 14 songs for my upcoming album, to be called “Solid Grounds”, and there was the issue of which ones were to be on the promo CD. My management choice of songs conflicted with Lynx’s. Also, my management’s plans for how my album should be promoted were also different from Lynx’s style, which I can confirm to you some Djs have started complaining about. Out of respect for me and love for my career, Lynx’s decided to release me to do my own thing so they can concentrate on the other artists on the label.
DJs and event promoters have for sometime had an issue with the promotion style of Lynx. They complained that, they couldn’t put a face to Lynx Entertainment and know who they were dealing with because all Lynx manager, Albert Mensah does was send song via e-mail and facebook to Djs. At first it was cool because they had constant supply of hits from the label, but it started getting irritating when a Dj receives songs without follow up calls from team Lynx.
Another thing was the conflict of interest that arose because an artist (Richie) was managing other artistes. Could that be the style, Asem’s new management was not in favor of? The rather fearless-talking Asem wouldn’t want to comment on that “to ignite an unnecessary fight with a label that has contributed immensely to my current form,” But his gestures suggested he agrees with me, maybe not.
Meanwhile, Asem would be quick to add, “Though I am with Wobeda Ntem Records, I am still with Lynx Entertainment at heart.” Asem, who writes songs for some of the artists on the Lynx bill and others who record there, maintains that, he is still cordial with Lynx. “Richie is still my friend; I recorded all my 14 songs at Lynx Studios, the only difference is that, now business would be treated as such. I would pay for all the songs I would record over there and they would pay me for all the songs I would write for them”, said the songwriter/rapper who wrote Richie’s first hit song, Frema and other hit singles by the Lynx Crew.
The “No More Kpayor” rapper is preparing to release a 25- tracks album for his sophomore outing. His promo CD which, would be released just after the 2011 Ghana Music Awards would have songs like “Pagya Pagya” featuring Kwabena Maphia, Bad Attitude featuring Zigi, Lynx youngest baby, Bad Day featuring Chipmunks and “No more Kpayor”. Meanwhile, he is currently planning a single with Irene Logan (also an ex-
member of Lynx Entertainment), which would be released by Irene as a single and later by Asem as a song on his album.No tags for this post.