There are hundreds of record labels and record label bosses in Nigeria. While some bosses lose great talents not too long from the time of signing, some bosses are so talented in the area of management they do not just manage big artistes but also do so for a long time. This piece will highlight five record label owners with the best managerial abilities.
When Mo’Hits Records collapsed about six years ago, Don Jazzy formed Mavin Records. Don Jazzy signed Tiwa Savage to his label to join Dr Sid, D’Prince and Wande Coal. The songstress has been with the label ever since. Why do you think an artiste as blown as Tiwa is afraid to leave? The answers are simple: the record label is growing; her music career keeps blossoming; and she feels safe with the label. She has no reason to leave. The maturity and wisdom Don Jazzy shows is super. When pop icon Wande Coal left the label, his absence was felt but Jazzy quickly signed three super-talented budding pop singers- Reekado Banks, Korede Bello and Di’Ja- and started grooming them. They are doing the label proud today. Despite been a production genius himself, he carries his two in-house producers, Baby Fresh and Altims along as you can see in the production of Reekado Banks’ spotlight album. They were also involved in the making of Iyanya’s Signature EP.
The way YBNL Nation leader Olamide treats his signees is unrivalled especially his two in-house producers, Pheelz and Young John. He knows well how to apportion assignments in such a way that none feels sidelined. In the last three years or thereabout Pheelz has been responsible for the production of most of the tracks on every Olamide’s album up till his last, ‘The Glory’. However Young John was never forgotten- he was allowed to produce a couple of tracks one of which is Pepper Dem Gang. And while The Glory is still gathering more popularity, Olamide dropped a hit single Love No Go Die which was also produced by Young John. Despite the availability of these genius producers, he still gives his artistes to choose producers outside the label. The psychological impact of this is: it makes them feel they have a say in their own affairs.
When Made Men Music Group boss Ubi Franklin lost Iyanya to Mavin Records, some commentators opined he would be missed greatly. Yes Iyanya was a big name on the label but may not be missed that much because of Tekno’s ubiquity on the Nigerian music scene. The boss held on to a talent who is doing incredibly well with a couple of endorsement deals and smash hit records. Meanwhile, two of Nigeria’s finest producers Selebobo, and DJ Coublon have been on the label for years now and I don’t think they have the intention of leaving anytime soon. He also about to unveil a new soon.
G-Worldwide Entertainment chief who is fondly called Emperor Geezy is another intelligent manager. Since he signed Kiss Daniel, the label keeps soaring with his signee dishing out hit singles and a classic album, New Era, last year. At some point, observers raised the question that why would such an artiste with immense talent and popularity have no endorsement deal. The label owner kept calm only for Kiss Daniel to be announced Hennessy ambassador few weeks ago. Despite the singer’s huge stature, Geezy made sure his label mate, Sugarboy is not overshadowed. The talented singer’s rich debut album, Believe, has just been served us.
Aquila Records which is relatively new when compared to the aforementioned labels, has been doing unbelievably well since it was launched. Its chief Shina Peller, has signed a number of artistes including talented singer and Ori Owo crooner, Tillaman, gifted indigenous rapper, Base One, his brother Que Peller. His latest signee, Airboy is just a wonder boy that is currently doing justice to Afrobeat. The profile of the label is rising by the day because of Peller’s smart management.
If your favourite record label owner was omitted in my list above, put his/ her name and record label in the comment box below.