Since my earlier story of the reactions have been massive, both online and offline, with
many parties in the music industry reaching out to me with confirmation of many points, and disputing of some too.
But of all of them, one which I find the most compelling to tell as a follow-up, and which constitutes an official reaction to the story is a conversation between me and a senior ranking executive in the music industry very close to EricmanyEntertainment. Over a lengthy conversation, in which he breaks down the origin of the record label, and refutes some sections of the previous story, I have decided to publish this.
I have assurances that the interview represents the official standing of the people at Eric Many and carries the full weight of their disclosure. Also, my source at Eric Many has pled for anonymity, citing the existence of an ongoing legal battle, which they would not want to compromise.
How Dilly Got into Music
“Dilly didn’t want to get into the music industry,” my source said. “He was doing very good, and never was interested in the music industry.”
According to our source, the story of Eric Many began in February 2014, when singer Presh , of the defunct group KceePresh met with Johnson Adumike, who is currently the General Manager of Eric Many Entertainment. Johnson owned a record label and management company “CEO Entertainment”, under which Presh was interested in.
Johnson and Presh struck an agreement and signed a 360 deal, but due to lack of funds, they decided to seek sponsorship. They reached out to Okwudili Umenyiora, aka Dilly Motors, who wasn’t even interested. Dilly was alleged to have used the word “bullshit” to describe the music business, preferring to focus on his car dealership and other businesses.
Having had a pre-existing relationship with Presh, due to his friendship with E-Money, he opted to make a one-time, bulk-sum donation “10 Million Naira” to Presh’s career. Knowing that Presh needed much more than the free money Dilly offered, they persistent and got Dilly’s wife, to help apply pressure.
After much pleading and pressure, Dilly later caved, and sought orientation from Flytime Entertainment CEO, Cecil Hammond, who put him through the paces and helped create the contractand that was the formation of Eric Many.
Work started, and after a few months, Cecil Hammond, with his myriad of businesses, announced to the team that he was stepping down and left a gap. To fill it, Okwudili reached out to Chidi Aneto-Okeke, the founder of VAS company, Mcomm, to help run the business. Chidi with a lot on his table, mandated his younger brother, Bugo Aneto-Okeke, to help with a promotion plan for Presh. Bugo created the plan, and the budget was approved. Bugo was now a part of the company.
“They started working as a family, they did two songs, went to South Africa to shoot videos,” our source said.
The Entrance of Runtown
Speaking further, our contact explained how Runtown joined Eric Many. According to our source, Bugo Aneto-Okeke was responsible for the signing of Runtown. After the success of ‘Gallardo’, he was introduced by Bugo to Dilly.
“Runtown’s fate was decided during 2014 AY Live which held on Easter Sunday. After Runtown performed with Davido. That convinced Dilly, and the deal was signed, and Runtown was happy. He was very grateful.”
Before the signing of Runtown, our source said a look through the books showed that Dilly had invested N36 million on Preshwithin 2 months of signing. Dilly was skeptical about signing a long-term deal. Runtown was given a car (SUV), and an apartment and his personal manager was a man named Henshaw Amani.
Trouble and Presh’s Unproductivity
Speaking further, our source said the label suspended further investment on Presh after over 60 Million was invested and no single return was made, instead they focused on Runtown who was much more promising.
According to our source, Runtown and Bugo were playing at private shows without remitting money to the label or going through the agreed process on the contract.
A specific example mentioned was a launch of Newton Hotel in Owerri, which Runtown was booked to perform on December 12, 2014. Money exchanged hands, but Runtown did not perform. The show promoter in charge of the gig was detained by the police for three months, without the knowledge of thelabel. The promoter was detained in December and released in March 2015.
I called the show promoter, who confirmed the episode, described the horrors he faced in detention but pled for his name not to be mentioned because “it would hurt his business reputation.” According to our source, this was just one of the many episodes of Runtown breaching his contract.
“Dilly was angry. He was spending money, and not receiving anything, over 120 million naira down.”
Our source said Bugo and Runtown sidelined Dilly, and channeled money away from the record label. Dilly wasn’t well-versed in the music industry, and he had spent over N120 million on his project.
“Dilly loved Runtown like his blood brother, and they had so much in common. He refused to believe that Runtown was scamming him. He made excuses for him, and blamed Bugo for the situation,”
One episode which according to our source, broke Dilly down was a proposed collaboration between Runtown and US rapper, Wiz Khalifa. Dilly, through his connections in the US, set up a working opportunity between Khalifa and Runtown. But according to our source, Runtown gave Wiz Khalifa a beat that was similar to one of his popular hit records. This angered Wiz Khalifa, and he pulled the plug and shut the deal down.
No Guns and Threats
“Dilly has never threatened Runtown with a gun. He is a kind person with a large heart. But when people take advantage of that, it gets him angry,” our source said.
“He has never pulled a gun. The question we should be asking is that; if a gun was pulled on him, and his life was threatened, how come he signed again in 2016? why did he sign another deal? Did Dilly pull gun on him again? That’s the question people should ask,” our source said.
Dilly scolds Runtown, I was made to understand. During different episodes, when he is angry, he doesn’t hold it in. He does scold Runtown. “But no gun was pulled on Runtown,” our source said.
“Runtown only said these things to get public sympathy and distract people from paying attention to his serial breaching of contract. He should state where and when a gun was pulled on him and his witness, in fact he even apologized to Dilly about these lies, which I told Dilly to make him state a public apology, but Dilly being the good man he is refused, saying he believed that Runtown has genuinely repented.”
DJ Khaled Episode, Nicki Minaj
According to our source, Runtown travelled to the US without the knowledge of Dilly. The Ericmany founder had no idea of a DJ Khaled opportunity and was surprised when Runtown called him asking for funding for a Khaled feature.
“They were working on an album, and Dilly had not recouped his investment. He sanctioned the album because it was a good move for the artist to be taken seriously, and for him to increase revenue. But he had no idea of a collaboration with Khaled.”
Runtown requested for $20,000 funding for it. Dilly was sceptical and but later agreed for it to
“Dilly sent Runtown $20,000 for DJ Khaled collabo. I have proof of it, and knew when the money was transferred,” our source said.
According to our source, Runtown asked for more money which ran into over $100,000, but Dilly
refused, stating that the money should be channeled to the promotion of his debut album “Ghetto University,” which was released in November 23, 2015.
“What people should ask is that, how did Runtown get money for travelling to the US and claimed to spend $50,000 for a recording deal? This is someone that denied receiving his remunerations. Where did he get the money from? Does he have other sponsors other than his label or his any of his relative a billionaire that was giving him money? Let him explain how he got that money?” he said.
Also, our source said, Runtown brought in the idea of collaborating with Nicki Minaj or Rihanna. Dilly turned it down, after seeking advice from trusted consultants. He didn’t believe in it and expressed his thoughts to Runtown.
“Dilly said if the deal is more than $50,000, he will not fund it. Runtown was the person who said he wanted to sign an extension as a trick to get a Nicki Minaj collaboration. Dilly agreed to the terms, and then he signed,” our source said.
Settlements, Lamborghini, and More
“Dilly has never cooked the books or falsified figures,” said our source. “He has never tampered with the books. Runtown is like a brother to him, and he is an honourable businessman. He has nothing to gain from cooking the books.”
Explaining further on allegations of intimidating show promoters, our source explained that Dilly wants the best for his artist, and hates to be underpaid. “Part of his negotiation for the sake of Runtown, is to explain to the promoter that his artist isn’t poor, and will be fine without the underpayment,” our source said. “You might call it pride, but the point here is to strike the best possible deal for Runtown.”
Dilly isn’t just Runtown’s boss, he is his number one fan, I was told. “If Davido and Wizkid can make this amount of money, then Runtown, who is equally loved and respected, should be paid accordingly.”
Being a car dealer also, Dilly has an abundance of cars. Runtown had grown as an artist, and he has to represent “class and prestige” to increase his booking fees. “if the label is pushing Runtown as the best and biggest artist in Africa, then he has to look and ‘drive’ the part,” our source said.
Our source further explained that Dilly gave him the Lamborghini to improve on his image, and drive up revenue, literally.
Our source also said Dilly had already washed his hands off Runtown during the 2016 settlement. He didn’t want to be involved in drama and legal battles.
“Dilly had sent Runtown a termination, which Bugo had signed. But Johnson came to him and pled with him to settle and move forward". We were told.
Breaching of Contract and Current Litigation
“Runtown travelled to the US and refused to come back to attend to his parts of the contract,” said our source, as I ask about the current court injunction.
Runtown had travelled to the US where he had a wedding performance on January 13, 2018. Since that show, he had nothad any label engagements. Our source says this has made the company lose heavily, due to his unavailability to execute bookings.
“After performing, he was meant to come back since, he didn’t. There were series of bookings, and he has not honoured it. Between January, through Valentine season and more, there were bookings. People were calling, and the guy starts dictating to the label how he wants the record label to treat bookings and how much they should charge.
“As a matter of fact, there were seven cities booked in Canada, so Dilly called him asking for his passport for processing. He refused to honour the call and told the record label not to ‘price’him cheap and he is worth a certain amount. An amonth no promoter would pay a Wizkid or Davido. That was how they lost money,” our source said.
Runtown has done over 4 illegal collaboration without the label assenting to it, we were told. We were made to understand. “He has been featuring some artistes without authorization from the label and diverting royalties that is accrued to the label”, said our source.
According to our source, Dilly has warned Runtown severally about illegal collaborations, but Runtown would make him believe that it was all for support, until the label found out he was collecting money. Runtown even went ahead collaborated with Uganda’s popular female artiste “Sheba” and South African artiste “K.O” without the label consent.
According to a source close to Ericmany, "that is why the Label is in court. I doubt if the label is still interested in his signing a new deal. I believe they want to get him fulfil the ongoing contract. So, I have a feeling that their getting an Injunction against him against copyright infringement is the only way to protect the Label's investment,” the source concluded.
Our source also points to his recording process with Del’B. They believe that he has breached a clause in his contract which states that there has to be an appointee by the record label, present at any recording.
“Do you want the records to be released tomorrow, and some producer will be suing the record label for their split?” our source said. “Where is the deal between the label and the producer?”
According to our source, Runtown refused to return even after Dilly pleaded with everyone close to him. This made them miss an important Imo State Government event. Our source also says that the label already had him booked in Ghana for an upcoming tour with a Telecommunication communications brand, but he hasn’t made himself available for that.
“All these were deliberate attempt to make the label lose money before the end of his contract, he’s just being wicked” our source concluded.