Ever wondered why there exists a long rift between record labels and their Artistes
for a while now? In a dynamic industry where independent artistes now have alternative arrangements where their music is created, distributed and consumed, then the question of who even needs a conventional Label
anyways comes into mind.
There has to be a level playing ground for both parties to reach their goals. This year’s social media week theme is tagged ”Stories”. A panel session which held on Wednesday, day 3 of the event tagged ”Who Needs You Anyway? Reinventing The Artist- Label Relationship In The Digital Era” at the Landmark event centre, Vi, Lagos addressed the prevalent challenges in the music business.
For more than 7 months in 2018, an artiste like Runtown of the former Eric Many Entertainment just won a legal case he had been battling with the record label. The Soundgod music group boss was hindered from performing with his name due to problems bothering on contract. Iyanya left Made Men Music by Ubi Franklin to Don Jazzy’s Mavin, although there was no visible drama here, Kizz Daniel had to change his name to form his Fly Boy Inc label after court case with former Tinny Entertainment label, Reekado Banks also left Mavin records after an expired contract to form his Banks Music label. The list is endless as some artistes left on a good note, for others it was a tug of war.
It looks like it is some of the young generation artistes that are switching labels and managers back and forth. 2Baba as a solo artiste for 15 years has been under his manager Efe Omoregbe and his label Hypertek Digital and we haven’t heard of a change, while the legend is doing great!
Experts like Steve Babaeko (X3M Media), MI Abaga, Godwin Tom (iManage Africa), Buki Izeogu (Buki HQ Media) and the moderator Douglas Jekan made up the panel which discussed the relevance of artist-label relationship in the digital era, managing recording agreements and how to promote cordial working relationship between the duo in an up to date digital space.
MI in a statement said Banky W leaving music was sad in respect to managing talents. Under Banky’s Empire Mates Entertainment label, he signed artistes like Niyola, Shaydee, Skales and Wizkid. Imagine if the singer still managed this combination of artistes by now, it would have been explosive. The rapper emphasized that he would have been 10 times more successful if he went into movies but he has artistes lined up for him to manage, and that’s part of what keeps him focused on the mark. Artistes should therefore stay humble as one can have a fair or 50/50 contract but nothing like a perfect contract anywhere with labels.
Steve Babaeko who currently has Simi as his frontline artiste at his X3M Ideas label says cooperation between artiste – label is essential for growth and to bridge the communication gap in the future while Buki Izeogu of Buki HQ Media disclosed that we are more powerful together than alone, no consistency, no growth, therefore a symbiotic relationship between an artiste and its label will always be relevant.