Nkrumah v. Fyffe
On Friday 3 February, HHJ Melissa Clarke heard the trial in the matter of Nkrumah v. Fyffe. The dispute concerned what had been agreed in a telephone call in 2015 regarding royalties earned by a track called ‘Coward’.
Mr Nkrumah aka Dirty Danger composed an instrumental grime track ‘Together’ in 2002, which he released in 2005. In 2015, Mr Fyffe aka Chip and/or Chipmunk, was engaged in a rap battle with Tinie Tempah. He produced a track called ‘Coward’, with him rapping over the track ‘Together’. He did so without asking permission from Mr Nkrumah.
Just before ‘Coward’ was released on Spotify, Mr Fyffe called Mr Nkrumah and requested retrospective permission to use his track. Mr Nkrumah claimed that Mr Fyffe offered to go 50% on everything. Mr Fyffe, who in subsequent correspondence was said not to recall what he had eaten for breakfast in 2020, let alone what he had agreed in 2015, asserted that he would never have offered that but did not put forward a positive case.
At trial, Mr Fyffe failed to turn up citing unsubstantiated child care issues. Given his overall conduct and the lack of a formal application to adjourn, the Judge ruled that it was proper to continue with the trial in his absence. She heard from Mr Nkrumah and his witness and found that there was no reason to disbelieve their evidence. She ruled that the agreement had indeed been that Mr Nkrumah would be entitled to 50% of all royalties earned by the track ‘Coward’.
Jamie Muir Wood, instructed by Mike Shepherd of Cadence Solicitors LLP, appeared for Mr Nkrumah.