Controversy Trails Kojo Funds’ ASCAP Songwriting Award For Davido’s “Fall”

Kojo Funds and Davido
Kojo Funds and Davido

British singer-songwriter Kojo Funds has won the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) award for writing the song “Fall” by Nigerian singer Davido.

“Fall” which was released as the second single from Davido’s second studio album A Good Time earned the nod as one of the Winning R&B/Hip-Hop Songs at the ASCAP’s annual Rhythm & Soul Awards for which Kojo Funds was credited as the writer.

This win for Kojo Funds did not go well with some fans of Davido who were quick to point out that he ought to be credited by ASCAP as the songwriter.

Responding to the criticism, ASCAP explained that although it recognises all songwriters, the award was for members of its own performance rights organisation:

“We love all songwriters & the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards are about recognizing the contributions of our ASCAP songwriter & publisher members. Sometimes co-writers are not members of the same PRO.”

The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers is an American non-profit performance-rights organization that protects its members’ musical copyrights by monitoring public performances of their music, whether via a broadcast or live performance and compensating them accordingly.

Fall was originally recorded and released in 2017 by Davido. According to the tracklist adapted from  Native magazine and Modern Ghana, Davido and record producer Ayoola Oladapo Agboola are credited as the songwriters of “Fall”. In the song, Davido sang “Are you done talking?” a line which he sampled from Kojo Funds’ 2016 hit single “Dun Talkin”.

In an interview with the Metro UK, Davido acknowledged that he indeed sampled Kojo’s song.

“That part of the song I was inspired by his [Kojo Funds] song. Of course. It’s clearly obvious,” Davido said.

“Funnily enough, when I recorded that record he was the first person I contacted, I actually reached out to him and told him ‘I’m about to drop a song’ and that I kind of used his line in it.”

Davido said that that was the first time he spoke with Kojo Funds who was “kind of confused” when he first replied but the Davido made it clear that he was informing the Uk artiste ahead because he was not “trying to make it look like I stole his work.”

Meanwhile, about a year after Davido’s interview with Metro UK, Kojo Funds said that Davido used the hook from “Dun Talkin” without asking him first. During the interview, Kojo was asked if Davido had any conversation with him before using his hook. “No,” Kojo replied. “But I spoke to him after though.”

Kojo Funds said it was “a good thing though” and he liked that fact that people recognized his work.

Although “Fall” was released three years ago, it has continued to break records. The track has now been certified gold in the US and Canada. According to Pulse Nigeria, the song has sold 40,000 and 800,000 in Canada and the US respectively.

“Fall” was one of the top-100-most-Shazam-searched singles in America in January 2019, according to Rolling Stone magazine. In February 2019, it became the longest-charting Nigerian pop song in Billboard history. The music video for “Fall” currently stands at 174 million views on YouTube, the most for any Nigerian music video.

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