"Now that I am trying to keep our brother's dream alive, I am being pulled down by my own brother."
The popular British Asian music act RDB (Rhythm Dhol Bass) have become the talk of the music scene after their split has turned into a family row.
Brothers Manjeet and Surj are at loggerheads as to who owns rights to the RDB brand and their songs.
Manjeet Ral together with his wife Nindy Kaur have teamed up as a solo act after he parted from RDB. Manjeet set up Manj Musik as the producer and director of the company.
Using the legacy of RDB, he is quoted by his PR as having worked on numerous Bollywood films.
These include Heropanti, Dr. Cabbie, Namastey London, Singh Is King, Kambakkht Ishq, Aloo Chaat, Speedy Singhs, Tanu Weds Manu, Yamla Pagla Deewana and Bullet Raja.
He has also worked with mainstream stalwarts such as T Pain Snoop Lion, Ludacris and LMFAO.
After Manjeet’s departure from, Surj went on to rebuild and keep his late elder brother Kuly’s legacy alive by continuing with the RDB brand.
Doing so however, has caused a significant rift between the two brothers. Upon setting up his company with his wife Nindy Kaur, Manjeet said:
“Today I have confirmed projects with Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan, Tiger Shroff, Vishal-Shekhar, and other big names in Bollywood. I operate under the new company name.
“I do not believe in earning lakhs using RDB’s goodwill. I am working towards protecting that brand and want to preserve it as a legacy. My stand is clear, neither me nor my brother Surjeet can use it.”
This has led to Manjit putting allegations on his younger brother Surj for using the RDB brand, name and songs without any rights to do so.
Since February 2014, Manjeet alleged: “Surjeet for reasons best known to him and without the former’s approval, started behaving as if he is the sole owner in respect to the company.”
Despite the issue of several notices, Manjeet alleged, his brother has been utilising the company’s name, its trademark and properties, by performing in India.
Manjeet filed a case in the Bombay High Court against Surj seeking an injunction against him from using the brand name RDB.
The application for an interim injunction was heard but the court declined to grant any ad-interim protection to Manjeet with a final hearing due in October 2014.
Surj chose to keep quiet thinking that Manjeet would understand that his allegations are baseless, but now he accuses Manjeet of turning the whole matter into an unsavoury family affair with the allegations being very personal and having a profound effect on his family.
In response to the allegations, Surj says:
“RDB was formed by all three of us and was our elder brother Kuly’s dream. It became the brand it is today because of the equal amount of hardwork put in by all three of us.
“After Kuly Paaji’s death, we both thought it was our responsibility [Surj and Manjeet’s] to continue the legacy but then Manjeet had his own plans and decided to part ways.
“Now that I am trying to keep our brother’s dream alive, I am being pulled down by my own brother. His argument is that I am performing on RDB songs at our tours.
“I don’t understand this, as a member of RDB, and as a contributor to all the hits, I have every right to perform my songs. If I perform on songs that include Manjeet post our split then I totally understand.
“The saddest part is that Manjeet’s allegations are personal, and are a direct hit on me and my family and unfortunately bringing RDB in the middle of all this.”
“I would like to apologise to all RDB fans on behalf of Manjeet and myself for putting them through all this. The last thing I wanted is for RDB’s name and Kuly’s legacy to be tarnished due to our personal quarrels and all our fans to get into our family dispute.”
Three Records, originally owned by RDB, is stated by Surj’s PR is to be owned by Surj RDB, and is set to release new singles through the label.
Manjeet and Nindy Kaur are also set to entertain audiences worldwide by live performances and new releases too, under the new name of Manj Musik.
It now remains to be seen if the once highly recognised UK music brand that made it big in Bhangra and Bollywood will continue as RDB, or whether Manjeet will succeed in stopping Surj, his brother, from using RDB as a brand.
The court case between the RDB brothers continues.