Willom Tight never imagined he would come to regret signing a contract with a South Africa-based record label, despite the fact he was enticed to do so by their appealing offer.
Surprising everyone, Willom had retired early to make room for his son, Gary.
The musician emerged from retirement in 2013 and inked a ten-year deal with the South African multimedia company Shamiso Music and Entertainment, which would oversee his musical endeavours and oversee the release of his brand-new album, Manifesto.
The artist dropped a lead track, Ndewangu (Ndoni Yamanzi), featuring South African star Speedy and recorded songs with Uhuru and Salif Keita believing that he had found an opportunity to “put Zimbabwe on the international map”.
Speaking to Standard Style in 2013, the label’s spokesperson Gilbert Muvavarirwa, called the deal as the “affirmation, ascension and consolidation of Willom Tight”,
He said Manifesto was a game-changing and innovative musical project, which will showcase the artist’s unique vocal capabilities and delivery.
“The project will, among other things, introduce Willom Tight to the international community. This album, as its name suggests, is a published verbal declaration of his intentions, motives, or views pertaining to his career, he said.
“Manifesto is not the return of the cherished Tight, but this is the affirmation, ascension and consolidation of the brand and its value proposition while positioning for the international market,” he said.
Alas, the international record label signing didn’t propel Willom Tight into international stardom but into regret, depression and heartbreaks.
Speaking to Chamvary on ZiFM, Tight urged young artists not to make rushed decisions when approached with record label deals, lest they make the mistake he made.
“I got into an international signing in South Africa, but the contract didn’t end well. And it took me about 10 years without recording because they said I had breached the contractual agreement so I couldn’t breach the agreements. I had recorded songs with Uhuru, Salif Keita and many more but it didn’t end well,” he said.
For the past years, I was in South Africa doing gigs with Zimbabwean clubs and now the contract has lapsed and I am back and reunited with Dino Mudonda and we are doing big things,” he said.
Tight added that artists should be wary of record label contracts before signing them.
“Every artist wishes to get signed internationally and they had told me that that’s what I was going to get. It’s every artist’s dream to work with Salif Keita, it was like I had elevated my career but it didn’t end well,” he said.
“These record labels always promise you cool and rosy things and you put pen to paper. My advice is you should go through the paper and understand the details. Don’t get excited when someone wants to sign you.”
Born Willboard Muponda, Tight hogged the limelight with the album Ndinoda Wangu in 2000 before releasing another hit album Hodzeko in 2003, both under Shamiso Music and Entertainment.
He was to part ways with the company and went on to record Kuza Ngoma in 2008 and Chinyerere in 2011.
Despite roping in superstar Oliver Mtukudzi on Kuza Ngoma, the album failed to get to the level of his previous two albums.