Vanessa Mahi says she feels "trapped" in a record deal with Ashley's label Locked In Music.
UK rapper Ivorian Doll has taken to social media to accuse former Radar Radio boss Ollie Ashley of deliberately impeding her career.
The East London artist, real name Vanessa Mahi, posted a 27-tweet thread on December 2nd, as well as videos on Snapchat. In the thread, she says she feels "trapped" in a record deal with Locked In Music, the label owned by Ashley, son of billionaire and Sports Direct CEO Mike Ashley. (Ollie Ashley declined to comment for this article.) Mahi claims that, despite offers from several major labels, no deal has been signed. She says this "deceitful behaviour" has been going on for nine months.
"I've asked Oliver Ashley to let me go," reads one of Mahi's tweets. "Me and my manager and lawyer presented the idea that he can get all his money back once I sign a deal. So that means he would take 50 percent profit and on top of that everything he has spent. Once again a loss but I'm willing to take it."
Mahi claims that Ashley trademarked the artist names Ivorian Doll and IVD without informing her and is demanding £17,000 in exchange for the rights. She also says she's recorded more than 50 records in 2020, but doesn't "know if they will be released because of this situation."
The trademark claims were later verified by freelance journalist Will Pritchard, who did some digging into Locked In Music and its finances. He shared publicly available documents that confirm the company operates at a loss and is financed by loans.
In 2014, Ashley founded Radar Radio, the once-beloved online station that faced allegations of a toxic working environment. Radar shut down in 2018 with £4 million debt and £500,000 in closing costs.
As Ivorian Doll, Mahi is known for mixing UK drill with rap, Afrobeats and more. Her 2020 track "Rumours" is one of the biggest of the year.
To Read Mahi's Twitter thread in full. (Click through to Twitter.) QUEEN IVD @IvorianDoll_
Published/Updated on 09/12/[email protected]:38