Gone are the days when Nigerian artistes were confirmed to West Africa alone, now most of the good wines have international record deals, which aid the growth of their music career.
In January this year, HKN boss, Davido signed a mouth-watering deal with Sony Music Global becoming the first African artiste to be signed to the label.
Similarly, the likes of Don Jazzy, D’banj, Majek Fashek and more, who have tasted very promising international record deals, can testify to the fact that once your music crosses the shores of Africa via efforts made by your record label, the sky is just but a stepping stone.
Although the CEO of the defunct MoHit made a wrong decision with that deal, which he eventually walked out of before the first year elapsed, if he didn’t have that experience to learn from, his artiste may not have landed the Roc nation deal.
Moving on, let’s meet the following Nigerian artistes that are soaring on the wings of international record deals.
1. Seyi Shay
Seyi Shay signed a global recording contract with notable record label Island Universal Records, UK in 2015, the same label that manages Elton John, Bon Jovi, Dami Lovato and Sean Paul. Prior to that, she was signed to Sony/Colombia with her defunct girl group in the UK.
After breaking through the tough storm of Nigerian music business, Patoranking proceeded to sign a distribution deal with VP Records, a record label that is famed for housing some of the biggest dancehall stars in the world.
3. Burna Boy
Burna Boy signed a deal with Universal Music Publishing Group, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group. According to the caption he shared, the deal will see Burna Boy writing exclusive songs for the music publishing company, although so far, we are yet to see a song credited to him.
4. Ayo Jay
Born as Ayoola Ogundeyi Jr., Ayo Jay is a United State-based Nigerian singer and songwriter. He currently has a record deal with One Nation and RCA. Although, he is still trying to get the full attention of the Nigerian market, he is referred to as Boy Wonder.
5. Cobhams Asuquo
Cobhams owns his own self-named music label, Cobhams Asuquo Music Production (C.A.M.P), and is also signed to Sony ATV (Sony Publishing) London as a songwriter.
6. Tinie Tempah
Tinie Tempah first got the attention of Nigerians after bread seller, Olajumoke bumped into his photo session with TY Bello. He has been signed to Parlophone Records since 2009, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group and also has his own record and fashion label, Disturbing London Records. His latest collaboration with Wizkid ‘Mamacita’ has eventually paid off for his musical efforts so far.
Wizkid just signed a deal with Sony Music Entertainment and RCA Records this September and will be receiving a 7 figure dollar advance cheque to seal the deal. His first international record deal was with Konvict Muzik but looks like it has expired now. The Afro-pop star also signed an international management deal with Tinie Tempah’s music management company in 2012.
8. Femi Kuti
Afrobeat legend Femi Kuti has never signed a record deal with any Nigerian company, although, he has an ongoing management deal with Chocolate City. He has record deals with Motown Records, Barclay Records, Polygram Records, Fontana MCA, Wraase, Knitting Factory Records, all international record labels.
Award-winning soul singer, Asa is currently signed to French independent record label, Naïve Records. She also has a music publishing deal with international music conglomerate, BMG.
10. Tiwa Savage
While some artistes struggle to seal one deal, Tiwa has three; a recording contract with Mavin, another with Sony/ATV Music Publishing as a songwriter, and her most recent upgrade to Jay Z’s Roc Nation, which offers a management and publishing deal.
Do you think the success of a musician is determined by the record label overseeing his or her career?