How Nigerian Artistes and Record Labels Can Avoid Hubbubs Between Them

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T
he history of artistes’ relabelling is quite interesting. Some Nigerian artists have broken out to begin something of their own. While some of these artists make great achievements, sadly, others face legal battle stretches without an end in sight. An example is Kiss Daniel against G-world, and Vector against YSG.

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Why do artists and record labels get into disagreements and legal battles?

‘‘A typical upcoming artist is like a drowning man who can’t swim ashore to save his life. He reaches out and grabs anything that may keep him afloat until he can get to the shore alive. He is unconsciously desperate, he’ll grab anything within reach and insight.’

‘A young up and coming music talent always see a record deal as his opportunity to ‘blow’. He is just like everyone else who doesn’t really read the ‘Terms & Conditions’ before signing up for a new stuff online. So he puts his ink above the dotted lines to append his signature without fully understanding what he has committed himself to. He smiles widely as his dreams are unravelling before his eyes’’

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After great efforts by his management coupled with his own talent, he is able to rake in money and in the long run, he realizes he deserves more. Really? At this point, the record label’s policies become too obstructive and outlandish. An artist will then decide to play smart by disobeying some rules then bingo! Here come problems!

On the contrary, record labels can also be selfish sometimes. Recording contracts are crafted to exploit artists and some of these policies are just too domineering and secretive. Promises made to these desperate artists are not implemented as earlier stated.

Again, what accrues to the artists are far from what they currently deserve. It’s only a matter of time before the feud sets in.

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The label and the artists

Nigerian artists are not ungrateful neither are record labels slave merchants to a certain extent. It’s more about greed from either of the two parties.

In a case where an artist finally becomes really big and the cash begins to accumulate, it is only reasonable to draft out a new contract or amend the existing one for everyone to feel satisfied and not cheated.

To avoid the hurdles and hullabaloos, the artists involved should attempt to understand what is in the contract they are signing because ignorance on the part of an artist is not an excuse at all. As much as contracts are binding, the terms and conditions should be adhered to. Artists in Nigeria mostly stick to the terms of the contract and avoid messy fights with labels.

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Therefore, for peace to reign, no label should rip off an artist neither should an artist treat his former record label as trash once he hits the jackpot and become a superstar.

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