It is not a common phenomenon in Nigeria for record labels to have up to ten signed artistes. That is why this piece focuses on Mavin Records and Chocolate City which are Nigeria’s most populous labels. The former has 14 artistes ( Don Jazzy, Dr Sid, Tiwa Savage, D’Prince, Baby Fresh, Altims, Reekado Banks, Korede Bello, Di’Ja, DJ Big N, Iyanya, Poe and DNA) and the latter has 15 artistes ( MI Abaga, Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz, DJ Lambo, Chopstix, Dice Ailes, Koker, Nosa, Victoria Kimani, Femi Kuti, Loose Kaynon, Ruby Gyang, Qritical, Ckay, Street Billionaires and Yung L). One common thing with these top labels is their ability to spot young talents easily, groom them and turn them into stars. One other similarity is that they have many super talented artistes. The third is they also both have veterans who serve as mentors for the young artistes. Since they have so much in common, it is not out of place to compare them to arrive at which label is hotter. The performance standards for judging them would be how popular their songs have been in the past few years, the endorsement deals they have been able to seal and their public image.
About three years ago, President of Chocolate City, MI, dropped the The Chairman album which climbed up to No 2 on iTunes World Albums Chart at a time. The Hip-Hop album houses smash hits as Bullion Van, Bad Belle, Monkey and Always Love. The said album would have been the last hit work we got from Choc City if not for the intervention of few acts like Koker and Dice Alies. On the other hand, Mavin have been dishing out back to back hits for four years now. About three years ago the music team came up with Dorobucci, an award-winning joint you all know and followed up with other hit jams as Adaobi, Looku Looku and Jantamanta. While all these were trending, Reekado Banks released his debut record, Katapult, which won him an award at the Headies Awards. And ever since it has been hit upon hit by all the artistes on the label from Dr Sid to Poe. One of their latest hits is All Over by Tiwa Savage. Though songs of some of the acts on Choc City as Koker and Dice Alies are now charts-toppers, you cannot compare the way Mavin pour out hits with the way Choc City do.
Out of the 10 artistes on Mavin Records, 7 have juicy endorsement deals. Di’Ja, Korede Bello and Reekado Banks are all ambassadors of telecommunications giant, Glo Limited and Tiwa Savage is an ambassador of international cola drink-making company, Pepsi and Pampers. The label owner Don Jazzy himself, has a couple of endorsement deals with brands as telecommunications company Glo and Whiskey maker, Johnnie Walker. Iyanya who recently joined the Mavin family got an endorsement deal with MTN Nigeria few weeks after his record deal. On the other hand, Koker is the only act that has an endorsement deal. Though endorsement deals are not the only measure of success, they go a long way in determining how hot and relevant you are.
Despite the huge number of artistes on Mavin, they stay united and act like one family. Chocolate City was marred by controversies in the past. Brymo left few years ago which resulted in exchange of words from the label’s management and the act and brother to the president, Jesse Jagz, also left the label in annoyance few years ago but returned later. They may be stable now but the controversy impression is already created. However, no single artiste has left Mavin since it was formed. The togetherness has given them a great image and that is why the top record label is the dream of every upcoming artiste- or even some reigning ones.
The above analyses will definitely convince you Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records is a hotter record label than Choc City. If you think the latter is hotter, drop your reasons below and I will engage you.