The Nigerian Music Industry has grown in size and quality over the past 20 years with the help of numerous record labels.
It happens to be one of the fastest growing sector in the country. New artists spring up from every corner, both from the ghettos and the GRAs.
In order to manage this growth, the music industry has expanded its umbrella of labels to accommodate most of these artists, although a large number of fabulous singers are yet to be discovered by any Label. Also there are a million and one record labels in Nigeria that would be described as “small,” since they do not have the adequate resources, structure or/and good enough artistes to make them known.
Notwithstanding, there are also a handful of good, well structured labels that have produced most of the famous musicians in the country. This list comprises of fifteen of them – top music labels in Nigeria.
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15. Kalakuta Republic
Kalakuta Republic is the communal compound where Fela Kuti’s recording studio was located. The word “kalakuta” is a caricature of a prison cell named Calcutta that Fela inhabited. This republic of a Record label produced most of Fela’s songs that are still being enjoyed up till date. This is one of the oldest labels in Nigeria and remains a legacy to Nigerian Afro-beat/High life music.
14. Alapomeji Records
Alapomeji Records was founded in 2008 by 9ice after he left Edge Records. In 2013, it was reported that artistes of Alapomeji Records, which included the likes of Seriki Omo-Owo, Kayefi and Wise, had left the label citing lack of support for their musical progress. Currently, nice is the only artist on Alapomeji Records.
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13. Grafton Entertainment
Grafton Entertainment also referred to as Grafton Records, is an artist management company and record label, with dual-headquarters in both United Kingdom and Nigeria. It was formed in 2004 by Rivers State born Tonye Ibiama. The first artists to join the label’s roster were De Indispensables Lenny B and Tick Lips, while the second batch of artist was M Trill, who left the label in 2010. Currently, Grafton’s most successful artist is the waterside boy – Mr. 2Kay. His hit songs include Bad Girl Special and Run This Town.
12. Kaycee Records
Kaycee Records is an independent record label jointly owned and managed by Kennedy Kesidi Richard and Kingsley Chibuzor Aguoru (KayCee). In 2012, Kaycee Records signed Mr. Bistop (Amaobi Clement), a former member of the brackets. Aside the Limpopo Kaycee, the other artist on this record label is Safin De Coque – son of Oliver De Coque.
11. Kennis Music
Kennis Music was founded by popular Nigerian radio DJ Kenny Ogungbe in 1998. The company “Africa’s No 1 Record Label,” has in the past years produced one of Africa’s NO 1 artists – 2face. Other former members of this label include OJB Jezreel, Tony Tetuila and Sound Sultan. Currently, KM is home label to Eedris Abdulkareem, Kenny Saint Brown, Essence, Capital Femi and Joe EL. The current CEOs of Kennis Music are the world famous duos, Kehinde “Keke” Ogungbe and Dayo “D1” Adeneye.