Almost two weeks after reggae singer, Nature Ellis announced himself as the latest act to leave what has become a depleted roster at Downsound Records, the label’s CEO Joe Bogdanovich intends to throw the book at his former artiste as he looks to recoup money he invested in the Trying Man singer.
According to Bogdanovich in an interview with the Jamaica Observer, he intends to speak to his lawyers as he seeks to reclaim money used to finance shows and other initiatives for the artiste during his tenure at Downsound.
“We had him on Reggae Sumfest, which is a paid show,” he told the publication. “The next day, we flew to Los Angeles for a 15-show gig, which DSR financed; then to England to perform before an audience of 20,000; then to an annual festival in Holland. We then took him to Rio in Brazil at Jamaica House to celebrate our athletes’s achievements. We put him in the limelight.”
Nature made Bogdanovich aware of his decision in a series of Whatsapp messages in October and subsequently said in interviews that he hoped to resolve the matter amicably.
“What we do at Downsound Records is that we don’t fire people, we just let them go,” he said And when we do, they just fade from the spotlight.”
Acclaimed dancehall diva, Ishawna left the label in the summer citing different business ideologies while dancehall legend, Ninja Man and former Magnum Kings and Queens of Dancehall standout, Specialist have also left in the last two years after their contracts expired.
Left with just Ikel Marvilus and Harry Toddler on the roster, some have pointed to Bogdanovich’s growing business interests – he owns Reggae Sumfest as well as Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records and has a hotel being built in New Kingston – as the reason behind these departures. However, the American businessman, who founded Downsound in 1999, has quelled these notions.
“I can multi-task…I’m an international business executive,” he told the Observer. “My track record speaks for itself. Downsound Records is alive and well. We just finished building our studio. We’ve just finished up seven singles which will be released shortly. It’s about the music with artistes which are having an impact. We spend money and put people together and get things done.”