ODM responds as Sauti Sol threatens to sue Raila

Sauti Sol

Sauti Sol band members, from left, Polycarp Otieno, Willis Chimano, Savara Mudigi and Bien-Aimé Baraza. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Raila Odinga’s ODM party has responded to boy band Sauti Sol after using their music during the Azimio running mate unveiling event on Monday May 16.

Appreciating the band's contribution to the country’s music industry, ODM, in a post shared on their official social media platforms, said that the song was played as a show of love for Sauti Sol.

“We would like to assure our celebrated musical team @sautisol that we love them and appreciate their music so much. The group has carried our country’s flag so high in international fora and every Kenyan appreciates this. Playing their song yesterday was a show of love for their work,” the statement by ODM reads.

Sauti Sol yesterday called out Raila Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja coalition for using their much-coveted track ‘Extravaganza’ without their consent.

The political outfit used the song at an event to unveil Raila’s running mate at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC).

In a statement, the band said that the act of the Azimio coalition using their song without consent is heinous copyright infringement as directed by section 35, CAP 170 of the Copyright Act of Kenya.

“This is blatant copyright infringement as directed by section 35, CAP 170 of the Copyright Act of Kenya," Sauti Sol shared in a statement.

They added that: "We Shall be seeking legal remedy for this clear violation of our copyright.

"We did not license this song to the Azimio la Umoja Campaign neither did we give any consent for its use in the announcement of their Vice-Presidential Candidate. Furthermore, our authority to use the composition, which is one of our most distinct compositions was neither sought nor given."

The celebrated boy band distanced themselves from the party adding that they are not supporting any political party.

"We would like to make it very clear to our fans, partners, and associates, we are not aligned to nor associated with the Azimio La Umoja Campaign or any other Political movement and/or party their presidential aspirants, vice-presidential aspirants, and candidates at large. We are fully apolitical," the statement said.

The song ‘Extravaganza’ was released in 2019 and upon distribution received a great reception across music streaming platforms. Featuring Sauti Sol, Bensoul, Nviiri the Storyteller, Crystal Asige, and Kaskazini, the song has so far garnered over nine million views on YouTube.

Earlier this month, Raila Odinga paid a license fee to the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) for music used in his campaigns.

The Raila team paid Sh562,500 on May 7 allowing them the freedom to use any music of their choice, local or international, during their campaigns.

The payment by Mr. Odinga adheres to Section 38 (c) of the Kenya Copyright Act 2021 which stipulates that anybody who plays musical work, an audio-visual work, or a sound recording in public at a time when copyright subsists is guilty of an offense.

Offenders face a fine not exceeding Sh500,000 or a jail sentence of four years or both.