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Nomcebo Zikode Is Suing Open Mic Records Over Her Grammy-Nominated Single

Nomcebo Zikode Is Suing Open Mic Records Over Her Grammy-Nominated Single
Photo: Punchline Media

Nomcebo Zikode

The South African singer alleges the record label told Spotify to take down the song "Bayethe" over an intellectual property dispute.


The public battle between Nomcebo Zikode and Open Mic Records continues to play out. On Wednesday, the "Jerusalema" singer is set to take the record label to the High Court in Pretoria, alleging that it caused her Grammy-nominated single, "Bayethe" to be taken off of Spotify and other streaming services.

The song was released in September, and features Grammy-winning flautist Wouter Kellerman and Zakes Bantwini.

According to court documents, Open Mic, through its attorneys, wrote to Spotify alleging that the single was infringing on its intellectual property, and "Bayethe" was subsequently removed from Spotify on the same day news broke that the record had achieved the spectacular feat of being nominated for a Grammy award. According to Zikode, the record label has no copyright or other intellectual property rights to the song, and it also had no legal right to request for the song to be removed from the streaming platform.

Zikode claims, "the takedown notice and the conduct of the respondent as set out below constitute: an injurious falsehood, an unlawful and intentional interference with my and the second applicant's contractual and/or property rights and unlawful competition."

She also stated that she suffered harm because the single was taken off of Spotify. "As a result of the recording being removed from Spotify, and potentially from other platforms of which I am unaware, the second applicant and I have suffered and stand to suffer further harm, the extent of which will be difficult, if not impossible, to quantify," the statement read.

The singer's also concerned this all may impact the song's chances of scoring the Grammy win. She states: "Furthermore, I have a reasonable apprehension that the takedown request, along with other takedown requests of which I am unaware, or which the respondent may still issue, may have a bearing on the Grammy for which I have been nominated." She has asked the court that Open Mic be ordered to advise Spotify to reinstate the song "within 24 hours of the interim relief being granted".

Zikode has been involved in a long-running struggle with the record label over money owed to her for "Jerusalema." The court papers further stated that Open Mic had not paid the singer any royalties for her contributions to the smash hit a high-streaming record that achieved critical acclaim.

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