A’mari hit with takedown notices
Says there is no copyright infringement
Hip hop, reggae, dancehall, and R&B artiste A’mari DJ Mona-Lisa is buckling under pressure as she is faced with a string of takedown notices for some of the more than 70 songs released on her Phantom Fireworks Records label. Among the titles being brought into dispute which her label has been made aware of, through Horus/MyClientZone, are Cheater Girl, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, FAME, Clueless (Sleepless Nights), Vacation, Sex and Fame, Femme Fatale, Evanescence (Goddess), Car Crash, Touch Reach, and Rescue.
“The songs are being taken down owing to constant complaints from a certain artiste’s camp about copyright infringement. In 2020, they claimed for Cheater Girls [a collaboration], and even when told that they were entitled to their royalties, they said they still wanted the music down. Then this year, they made a claim on No Ordinary Girl, and didn’t stop there. They then went after the entire album even though I am the only artiste on the album,” A’mari, who describes herself as an international recording artiste, marketing influencer and brand ambassador, told The Gleaner.
A’mari insists that any collaborations that she did with artistes were paid for, work-for-hire, and she is the sole owner.
A slew of email correspondence to A’mari from distributors Horus/MyClientZone was shared. Each notice clearly states the name of the song in dispute, for example, “A takedown notice has been issued for Phantom Fireworks Records label Incorporated MyClientZone to all stores for the release Cheater Girls.”
In a separate email, A’mari was advised by the head of operations and client care: “When you signed your distribution contract with us, and when you submitted each of your releases, you certified that anything you sent for distribution was done so with you holding all legal rights. It is imperative that this is the case. Please, can you confirm that you do hold the right to the release and contact [name withheld] directly to clear this matter. Please note that this is a courtesy to you as a valued content provider and that it is in Horus Music Limited sole discretion to pull the content at any time should we deem it appropriate.”
A letter from Spotify also cited infringement from the same artiste and his management.
“That led to all the albums, everything, being taken down by the distributors, who are based in the UK, because, basically, they don’t want to deal with someone who has violated their policy, someone who has even one copyright infringement against them, which I don’t. I really don’t. It is really sad,” she lamented, adding that this would see a severe drop in her earnings.
“My album, all the songs are written by me. All the songs are produced by me and released by Phantom Fireworks Records, which is owned by me. Even the beats are owned by me. It feels like this is designed to wipe me off the Internet and out of the music industry,” the Neko artiste said.
Own brand of retaliation
She explained that this situation has been going on for about three years and admitted that she has tried her own brand of retaliation. “At one point, I tried to give them a dose of their own medicine by claiming my rights as his legal manager and ask that his music released without my permission be taken down. They were greatly offended, yet they feel it is right to demonetise my Facebook pages by falsely claiming copyrights, shutting down my YouTube platforms, and removing my releases from every platform. I am just asking my Goodies to pray for me. I pray for peace and that this situation will be resolved,” she said.
A’mari, who migrated to the United States in her late teens, wrote her first song, Ghetto Child, when she was 10 years old and recorded it at age 15 at Dynamics Sounds Recording Studio in Kingston. At age 17, she recorded Needing You, another R&B single, and has not looked back.
“I have over 70 songs recorded before Neko [her breakout 2020 hit]. I currently have six albums, including my Greatest Hits album. Currently, I am at about 81 releases. I wrote over 100 songs in my teens,” A’mari shared.
Some of her titles are No Filter, SOB, Alaska, Neko, Reach, Car Crash, Hot Spot featuring Gully Bop, Superstar, Goodup Goodup, Aphrodisiac, Titanium, A Million Bucks, Dutty Life, Sin City, Where’s Bop, Black Hypocrisy, Good Girls Gone Bad, Cheater Girls Ft Gully Bop, The Epistle, Femme Fatale, Set My Heart, and Magic Touch.
According to her bio, A’mari DJ Mona-Lisa studied international law at Nova Southeastern University in Florida. She also attended other colleges, where she pursued studies in psychology, computer programming, and criminal justice. Over the years, she emerged into a music master rater, rating more than 10,000 songs on Launchcast. She was also a popular talk show host on Blog Talk Radio and a former radio producer on WNWK, WNJR, and WAXY.
A’mari then took time to pay tribute to one of her mentors, Clive Hudson. “I was in studio today mixing Dutty Bungle when I heard that Clive Hudson passed away. I cried the entire time because that’s the person who discovered me in the music industry and introduced me to radio. I was a radio broadcaster for many years because of him, so I am mourning his loss right now,” she said. Hudson, dubbed the ‘Reggae Master Blaster’ by his listeners, was one of the pioneers on West Indian radio in New York City during the 1970s and 1980s. He passed away on May 24.