The recent Cynthia Morgan’s Record Label Call-out have raised eyebrows in the Music Industry, it has giving room for music critics to review the relationship between Artistes and Record labels in Nigeria.
Over the years, we I have followed music breakup trends between artistes and labels and this will not be the first nor the last time there’s a record label vs artiste drama in the Nigerian music industry.
The famous D’Banj – Don Jazzy split in 2012 was the beginning of this trend and more drama ensued. Wande Coal soon left Don Jazzy, Wizkid left the Banky W led EME, Brymo also had a long lasting court battle with Chocolate City and most recently there was a huge drama between Skales, his manager and Baseline Music. This was followed by some huge drama between singer Runtown and the owners of Ericmanny Entertainment.
The “Reggae blues” crooner Harrysongs also dumped 5 Star Music, a label he was signed into from 2013, following his troubles with now defunct Question Mark Records.
This was preceeded by Iyanya exiting Ubi Franklin’s MMMG record with the intention of starting his own record label only to end up being signed to Don Jazzy’s Mavin records.
With this becoming a trend in the Music Industry and a good number of Nigerian artistes still sighed on to labels, these are my few Reasons why I think artistes and record label drama will continue in Nigeria.
In A Recent live facebook chat between Mr. 2kay and MC JP, 2kay mentioned that he was “naive” when he signed his first record label deal with Grafton Records. This was after he was reported to have termed his former record label as evil in a tweet.
The truth is that, Yes! Most upcoming artistes are young, naive and looking for every opportunity to sign that record deal. In the case of Skales, upon the expiration of his contract with EME, Skales eagerly went ahead to sign a deal with the newly formed Baseline records.
He possibly failed to read the fine prints that came with the deal. He went on to accept the brand new car, a house, cash advance, and upkeep allowance and somehow mortgaged his freedom. When Skales and his long-time manager were accused of financial misappropriation and he felt it was time to leave Baseline music behind, he couldn’t because he had signed a contract that will see him pay a whooping N5,000,000,000 (five billion naira) anytime he attempts to leave the label- before the expiration of his deal.
This is one reason I’ve always adviced Upcoming artistes to always Consult with professionals and find the hidden traps before they put pen to paper on that deal. This canprevent that ugly situations that may arise afterwards.
LACK OF APPRECIATION / CREDITS
As trivial as it may sound, lack of appreciation or credits could be a major reason for fallout between the artiste and his label. Ever wondered why Nigerian artistes give accolades to the label bosses?
These shout outs feed the ego of the top dogs and is disguised in the form of showing appreciation. Isn’t it obvious that it was one of the reasons why Harrysongs left 5 star music?
You could remember that he said he’s been writing songs for someone who doesn’t know music and doesn’t even show appreciation for his works.
These appreciations you will agree with me, play a vital role in dragging investors into the Music Industry. That’s one of the obvious reasons why artistes will always mention names of rich friends and bosses who may not possibly be directly involved in music.
ARTISTES WHO OWN RECORD LABELS
The first law in the famous book “48 Laws of Power” by Robert Greene says “Never outshine your master”.
In a situation where the signee and label boss are both artistes who are competing for the same spotlight, what do you think will happen? The one with more power and resources will channel all of that capability into promoting his own works rather than promote the upcoming act whom he has promised to nurture.
Apart from D’Banj himself, which other artiste became big by signing under him? Don Jazzy has been the only one who has managed to be a producer cum artiste and record label boss that has nurtured and groomed talent into the limelight while staying highly relevant himself in the music industry.
Davido and Olamide have also been successful in recent times as a Nigerian artistes who’ve signed and supported other artiste under their labels, but how long will the peaceful relationships last becomes our primary question.
The Nigerian music industry needs to evolve to a place where there are professional music executives doing the work as managers, promoters and A&R, not one man running the whole show.
GREED AND PRIDE
This is obviously the most common reason in the artiste and record label fallout. Artistes tend to be cool with their record deals and management during their early years until they begin to record few millions in their personal bank accounts.
Once the artiste becomes big after heavy support and investment from the record label, most of them begin to look down upon the people whose money led him or her to a successful musical career. It starts with a quest for a contract review by the artiste, and high demand from the record label. This leads to discord and a fall out between artiste and management.
For me, loyalty is always key, and I’ve always been told never bite the fingers that fed me, you might get hungry again someday.
This can happen on both the part of the record label and the artiste. The artiste might say he will give 4 albums in 3 years just to get signed or the label could say we will give you 70% of your earnings only to hold on to 50% of it.
The unfulfilled promises are mostly a result of greed. If there are clear terms stating the duties and obligations of both acts, such incidences will be greatly reduced.
Integrity for me is key. Always keep to yours word.
With the above listed reasons, you’ll agree with me that the Nigerian artistes and record label drama can never be a thing of the past.
Please Drop Your Comments Below And Don’t Forget To Share With Friends.