The record label contract may be the biggest dream of most aspiring musicians, but it may not be totally juicy for the artist if the label is yet to recuperate from the expenses made on the artistes behalf.
Unsuspecting musicians may sign away their proprietary rights, making it difficult for them to properly reap the full benefits of their stardom. Although it is highly recommended for beginners to sign a contract after consultation with (and in the presence of) a legal professional, many hardly adhere. In the long run, the artistes may likely find themselves fighting to be free of the contract after realising what they signed away.
On the hand, there are those who learnt the lesson the hard way but eventually went independent, going on to sustain successful music careers as an indie artist.
1) 2face Idibia
When 2face decided it was time to call it quits at Kennis Music, the label fought hard to keep the African Queen crooner. However, 2baba had his way and formed his own record label “Hypertek Records”. He mostly used the label’s management to market and promote his brand, although he also signed Dammy Crane at one time.
The ‘Plantain Boy’ has enjoyed a stellar music career in the industry from 2007 till date. Of course saying he is the undisputed dancehall king is underselling it.
However, part of the reasons for his long stay and relevance in the industry is down to his indie franchise, “Dem Records”. Being your own boss has its own pecks too. As well as allowing the dancehall star experiment with his style, his attention to the ever evolving Afrobeats has allowed him to maintain his mainstream cult followers. It’s almost like he is a genre unto himself.
Starboy saw out his deal with Empire Mates for (5) years before going on to form his Starboy Records.
The “Holla at your boi” crooner has since trashed the label talk and has continued to maintain a successful music career as an indie artist. The Yoruba born artiste has however leaned more towards collaborations and partnerships, which landed him with top American acts like Drake, Beyonce and Calvin Harris.
4) Adekunle Gold
A lot of the people were of the opinion that Adekunle Gold didn’t fit at YBNL. Looking at the style of music, it was obvious AG baby is better off doing his thing.
But, the Nigerian Music industry is unforgiving. If you have to go hard, it’s advised you go all the way in because if you lose the spot accorded you, it’s hard to gain it back.
For an artist doing something different, we can all agree that AG has done very well for himself (and has continued to do so) since leaving YBNL records.
• Burna Boy