Why Nigerian artistes leave record labels – Opeyemi

There’s an interesting trend in the Nigerian music industry – artistes leave record labels after some stints. In some cases, we’ve seen a few move on to achieve greater success whereas others are now a shadow of themselves.

A few weeks ago, we were all stunned by the effect the divorce from Northside Inc. had on Cynthia Morgan. The once high-flying reggae/dancehall diva is nowhere in the count of top female Naija artistes. Not anymore!

Not only did she lose her voice in the music industry, she lost her identity, too. Her stage name, Cynthia Morgan, being her real name, was withdrawn from her. She’s now bound, by law, not to use her stage name for any commercial drive. Her stage name is now Madrina. It is indeed a gory tale of divorcing from a record label. 

Of course, despite the ill-luck of Madrina’s break up with Northside Inc., a few artistes moved on to a new bliss. On the other side of the tale, Wizkid, D’banj, Tubaba all moved on to stories worthy of mention. The musical works of these stars had set Naija on the stage of global music. 

In essence, the divorce of an artiste from his or her recording contract has never been a doomsday for artists, it created new empires. It is a fairly balanced story. However, the question is “why should artistes leave their record labels”? 

Opeyemi offers sound explanation

Iredumare Opeyemi is an experienced entertainment lawyer. He’s no stranger to the showbiz industry. The Boomplay Music legal team lead should know better. 

“Simply put, it’s the desire for more; the same reason they signed in the first place,” Opeyemi explains in an interview with The Guardian. 

“When an artiste’s brand is beginning to get bigger than the label, the desire to leave and run to become independent will always be an occurring thing.

“Until labels begin to invest in growing their brand (both in human capacity development and outlook), alongside that of the artiste, they will always have artistes that walk away from the contract,” the legal counsel concluded. 

This, no doubt, explains the mystery behind the artiste/label issues. Some artistes had grown to be bigger brands than their labels. They are like lions held in a tiny cage. In most cases, establishing their own labels remains the only guarantee to a jungle to roar. 

Artistes are benefiting from the global patronage of Naija music. Mr Eazi was no shock finding his way to Billboard’s cover a few weeks ago. Davido and Wizkid have kept the flag flying. This boom means the Nigerian music artist net worth continues to rise. This simply leads to shredding their contracts with record labels to pieces. 

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About Francis Onyema

Francis Onyema is a passionate writer, blogger and digital marketer.

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One Comment on “Why Nigerian artistes leave record labels – Opeyemi”

  1. All artistes need to grow if they feel the company is not helpimg them grow then they can leave.

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