Joe says Nanko is loco, does it take one to know one?

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By Olimatta Taal

Nanko-sexygirls-downsound.jpgAfter several successful singles and the blossoming of a great music career, Nanko has left Downsound Records. Well, that's how it appeared from the outside looking in. The world saw this young gifted artist making waves for himself but the reality of it was that he was depressed and wasn't getting paid for the work he was doing. YardFlex.com had an opportunity to talk to Joe Bogdanivich, Vonnie McGowan, and Meliea Brown about the situation.

Bogdanivich, who has been managing Nanko's career also signed him to his record label, recently filed a lawsuit against Nanko asking for the recoup of monies for shows that were booked since the time that Nanko disappeared off the island. "Nanko is crazy; really I am tired of seeing his face. He signed a contract with me and then left the island. I have no idea where he is and have not talked to him," Bogdanivich said. "Concerns raised by Nanko in the new contract were modified; he signed the contract and then left the island. He refuses to take calls, respond to emails or communicate. Downsound has had to cancel concerts and it has spoiled Downsound's reputation. There is no truth that Downsound took money for shows and didn't pay Nanko, this act is a breach of contract," explained Bogdanivich.
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After a little investigation into the situation it just seemed very ironic that Jr. Kelly was the first artist to stop working with Bogdanivich, then Fanton Moja, Thriller U, and now Nanko. So we decided to locate Nanko to find out exactly what happened and were able to locate him in Miami. According to Vonnie McGowan, Nanko's present representative, "Nanko was uncomfortable in the situation because he was not being paid. He was traveling all over the world, with no money. There was a contract - both a management contract and recording contract with Joe. No one had seen that contract until March 9th; he was not privileged to see the contract."

McGowan continued to explain that Bogdanivich was going around telling members of the press, Nanko was crazy and had mental issues. "Joe says that Nanko is crazy, but Nanko had been diagnosed and was being treated for a common mental disability. Joe helped the family find a doctor for Nanko when Joe signed Nanko in the beginning. Nanko was admitted to the hospital and got medical attention and was put on medication. It was during that time that Joe had him sign the contract, during the time of diminished capability. Nanko's mom came to Jamaica; we had a meeting with Joe, Nanko and two sisters in a hotel room. During the meeting, Joe said that he doesn't like to be interrogated but we wanted to know what was happening with Nanko's money. He hadn't been receiving any money."

Nanko's living situation was described by McGowan as being unstable, "He lived in a disturbing neighborhood, and was scared to go home at night. That's when Joe gave him a house in St.Andrew to stay in. He stayed there 20 days prior to the hotel room meeting. He could not have visitors in that remote area, so he would come in the city and sleep at the studio."

"We requested to see the contract at this meeting," McGowan said, while explaining that it was the first time Nanko had seen the contract. "We discussed the contract clause by clause, then asked Joe why he didn't allow the young man to have a copy of the contract and show a relative for a second opinion. Joe's response was that Jamaicans are illiterate people and that is when the meeting broke."

The family decided to give Bogdanivich a second meeting. He wanted to continue working with Nanko and suggested a compromise be reached to iron out questionable issues. McGowan began to explain the contract and some of the issues, "He wants to work with Nanko because he is talented, but he has him working all over the world and for insufficient renumeration.

"For example, in the contract, Clause 6 states: For show and concert bookings, split compensation according to schedule. a) for bookings generating of $3-6000, Nanko gets $1000. $6-8000, 2000 goes to Nanko; $8-10,000 and Nanko receives 3000. Over 10,000, 40% is what Nanko is owed. All advances, future income 50/50 and 25% mismanagement fee. This sounds like slavery, there is no way you can have someone under these conditions," McGowan expounded.

The contract stated that Joe would facilitate everything. Another clause in the contract shows that he agreed to provide JA$10,000 per month, travel and clothing expenses. McGowan claims that Nanko never got most of it, "We question the JA$10,000, for the last two years he made 10 deposits and was suppose to put in 52. Nanko was displeased with his service; it was not in Nanko's interest. For his sanity and peace of mind that is why he left the island."

McGowan went on further to say, "When Joe decided to do the contract over, they coerced Nanko into signing it by bullying and blackmailing him. He had Nanko sign the contract without legal representation. When Nanko refused to sign the contract, he was staying in the house that Joe provided and Joe threw him out. His mom came from Miami and took him. Nanko asked to have a lawyer present while he was signing the contract but Joe threatened him and told him that he would tell the world that he had a mental problem."

"Nanko does not like to be reminded about his disability. Joe made him sign a paper that a lawyer had not looked at. Joe sent people to his sister's house to intimidate Nanko. The sisters explained what happen to Nanko and the people were sympathetic," McGowan explained.

The harassment did not stop there. McGowan described how Nanko bought a vehicle from doing specials and Joe seized his car. When he purchased the car, he used $6,000 that he earned independently as a down payment. Apparently, Joe lent him $1700 as an advance in income and Nanko paid the money back to him from a Surinam show. Joe offered to register and insure the car under Downsound.

Joe also spoke on air that Nanko is mentally ill and that he ran away but McGowan claims that they were not given any itineraries, no advances, and no show dates. "Joe has not given him any money, even the perdium Nanko has not got in his hands. He controls all Nanko's income, its frustrating for the artist and the family. It's embarrassing to travel and not have money. His mom has taken over his legal guardianship so Joe has to deal with her," ended Vonnie.

When talking to Meliea Brown, Nanko's mom she talked about how Nanko was doing and his intentions of picking up the pieces of his career. “With the assistance of Donovin Blair his road manager, we are recording in the studio. Nanko's love is to sing and record. As long as he is doing music, he is okay. It makes him feel good and he does that best. We are setting up bookings; he is not able to perform in Jamaica now. Joe placed an injunction on him so we apologize to all the Jamaican promoters and producers. The lawyer has advised us not to perform in Jamaica until the legal issues have been sorted," explained Mrs. Brown enthusiastic about moving on. She continues to brief us, "We have already begun to countersuit. Because of Nanko's disability we have to work on his legal guardianship. Joe Bogdanivich took advantage of him. Joe was so nice to him in the beginning, now he is the one saying that Nanko is loco. Nanko is so gentle he doesn't want to do anything but we want to let the truth be known. We need to book Nanko and get as much work as we can for him. I have spoken to Joe several times and there is no truth about him not being able to contact us. He even sent Nanko an email that they will come and get him. Joe has been slandering Nanko and it's not fair. We just want to move forward."

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