A contestant on the Channel Nine reality television series Married At First Sight who works for a music touring company has denied ripping off touring bands.
Nasser Sultan, who married Gabrielle in the series (in which two people meet for the first time on their wedding day), has been accused of owing money to touring acts through the company Nightmare Music. Nasser Sultan is named as “one of the head organisers” of Nightmare Music on the company’s website.
Musician Lisa Kekaula from American band The BellRays says Sultan “stiffed” her band on their last Australian tour.
“Nasser Sultan never paid us AUD$7,000 he owed us in August 2015,” she tells Music Feeds.
“The magnitude of harm that can do to any band is hard to survive. You don’t get paid, you don’t eat, loose musicians, close shop. What he did could kill a band.”
Music Feeds has obtained a contract signed by Nasser Sultan which states The BellRays’ performance fee for their 2015 Australian tour was AUD$7,000 plus expenses. Kekaula claims she’s also owed over USD$900 in personal expenses.
Guitarist Ruyter Suys from American rock band Nashville Pussy tells Music Feeds her band is still owed thousands by Nasser following the group’s 2017 Australian tour.
Music Feeds has obtained a contract between Nightmare Music and Nashville Pussy for the band’s 2017 Australian tour, as well as an invoice for AUD$5,600 which was sent to Nightmare Music by Nashville Pussy’s accountant in May 2017, which lists (among other things) money allegedly owed for drinks, meals and riders, which are stipulated in the contract.
Music Feeds has also obtained an email from December 2017, in which Nasser Sultan says Suys is owed AU$134.26.
Brisbane band Heavy Roller, who have supported Nashville Pussy in the past, also say Sultan owes them money. Music Feeds has obtained an invoice for AUD$150 which was sent to Nightmare Music in May 2017 by the band’s guitarist, Luke Earthling.
“Heavy Roller were stoked to get a support slot on the last Nashville Pussy show. We had an agreed price and helped out to promote the show, hooked up a stage manager and provided a merch person for the night,” Earthling says.
“Great gig, big attendance. Sent through our invoice for the show about 10 days later, we didn’t hear anything from Nasser for a couple of weeks… [he] just replied with excuses, deflection and lies.
“He kept saying, ‘It’s only 150 bucks, it means nothing to me,’ and I kept replying, ‘Exactly it’s only $150, pay the money!’
“There’s sharks operating in the music industry preying on people’s goodwill and trust, and it needs to be called out,” Earthling says.
“It’s near impossible to have recourse when you aren’t paid for a gig — the money for us wasn’t that big a deal — we would’ve played with Nashville Pussy for beers, but the principal of the matter is we had a deal and we did our end…
“People in the music industry deserve better.”
Nightmare Music has denied all of the allegations, saying in a statement:
“The recent allegations made against Nightmare Music are categorically untrue. Nightmare Music has honoured all contractual agreements, as per the signed contracts terms and conditions with all artists.”
Despite Nashville Pussy’s experience with Nasser Sultan and Nightmare Music, Ruyter Suys says the band has “always worked with fantastic people and promotors in Australia”.
“So this experience specifically with Nasser was quite surprising and disappointing,” she says.
“I know he doesn’t represent the mass majority of people involved in the music industry who are honest and passionate. It is just a pity that Nasser takes advantage of the good nature of artists and those who support the arts and music.
“Never have I felt the need to warn other musicians about a promoter’s tactics before. [Nasser Sultan] really should not be allowed to do business any more.”
Music Feeds has contacted Nine Entertainment Co. and Nasser Sultan for comment.