There seems to be something going wrong or right in a wrong way in the Nigerian music industry. Is this a matter of trends that will soon fizzle out like the time when so many indie record labels in Nigeria decided to be signing female artistes despite the fact that they had no proper structure for the intended deals? Times when the likes of Trybe Records had Aramide, and EME signed Niyola to mention a few. We all know how those deals ended up or are doing right now.


Is something wrong with the system or have people in the system decided to be doing the wrong thing and calling it the new cool. I guess the latter might be the case. How come all these indie labels just decided to announce signing a record deal with an artiste without providing adequate information that states what the deal is all about? Are the artistes signing these deals just enjoying the hype that comes in today while subconsciously preparing for the disaster awaiting their deals in the nearest future?

As a journalist, I am programmed to report detailed news by meticulously researching and delivering stories that are objective, informative and educative. So, it’s still hard to comprehend how Iyanya’s so-called record deal with Mavin lacks specifics, reflected even in the press release they put out. In similar fashion, in early November, Davido Music Worldwide announced signing Lola Rae, leaving me puzzled and pretty disconcerted. If you wonder why I use that word ‘disconcerted’, the single ‘Biko’ they put out to announce the deal says it all. The creativeness, uniqueness, and the aura attributed to the Lola Rae we know was lost in that sound. Well, that is a topic for another day when we look back to how things started going south or right. Comparing her efforts before the deal from ‘One Time’ to ‘Biko’ may be an indication of what’s to come.

But seriously, if there’s someone thoughtful inside the camp of Davido Music Worldwide, I think the Media in particular and followers of all things Nigerian music in general would like to be informed on what form of deal Lola Rae signed. Is it a production, distribution, or recording deal, to name a few? How do we all learn when all these things, if there are any, are shrouded in secrecy without any avenue for added knowledge? I hope for Lola Rae’s sake it won’t end up becoming a deal for the beauty with no brain. She’s one of the artistes in the country that comes with a premium package; I hope that beautiful face and fantastic vocal range will end up happy with this record deal.

Being managed by Davido’s manager who might also be part-managing the record label is not a yardstick for how successful this so-called deal will become. While we wait for answers and watch how events unfold, I will find comfort in my Lola Rae Playlist; Watch Ma Ting Go, You Know What My Name is, One Time……….

Words – Sesan Adeniji

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