Zimdancehall man-of-the-moment Enzo Ishall is reportedly still struggling financially as his music label Chillspot Records is taking most of his earnings. According to an inside source who works closely with the label, Enzo Ishall's earnings are split four ways.
"When he is booked for a show or gets any endorsements, Enzo Ishall's money is split between himself and Chillspot executives Fantan, Levels and DJ Ribbe.
"He (Enzo Ishall) feels like he owes the stable for his rise since they nurtured his career and invested in his music. The artiste can't leave because as you know Chillspot is vibrant in dancehall and he is afraid to lose that," said the source.
In international best practices record labels take between 10 and 20 percent from the profits after all expenses are paid. This usually happens because the label invests hundreds of thousands of dollars in one's career.
The invested money is used as advance payments to make sure artistes live comfortably not worried about how they pay rentals or any other expenses, only to worry about creating their work.
When Herald Arts tried to reach Enzo Ishall, calls were diverted to Levels' phone.
Levels said he works with artistes who are old enough to know what is beneficial to them.
"The artistes we work with are old enough to know when they are being fleeced. I don't think artistes can stick around where they are being used. They are old and mature enough to choose what's good for their careers," he said.
The famed Chillspot Records co-founder and producer said they invest a lot of money in their artistes.
"We have been working with Enzo Ishall since 2013, most people started to know him only since last year. All this time we have worked with him we invested money and time in building his career. We never calculate how much but we invested," said Levels.
Though the stable has been working with the "Kanjiva" hit maker for a long time, sources close to the artiste allege they only gave him free recording, while he walked from home to studio, sometimes getting food from friends.
"Sometimes Enzo Ishall would beg for a bit of money for food from friends and colleagues in the industry. After he moved to Mabvuku some time ago he could walk to Chillspot Records to record his music, then walk back to Waterfalls to another studio.
"He would then walk to Sunningdale where he spent nights on the streets. He is so passionate about his career that he kept on working till it finally paid off but still he is not getting rewarded for his sweat," said the source.
When asked how much they get per dollar Enzo Ishall makes, Levels said their contract was confidential.
"Our contract is confidential but all I can say is we are fair. We also don't tie an artiste to our stable, they are free to leave at any point, we don't own them," he said.
Enzo Ishall is a fast-rising dancehall artiste who has consistently dropped hits including "Kanjiva", "Smart Inotangira Kutsoka", "Magate" and "Muchiround" earning him a Star FM Music Award and a nomination for NAMA Best Male Artiste.