Record labels in Nigeria can be credited for the current success of the Nigerian music industry as some of these labels had to go into the streets in search of talents and gave an opportunity to some of the big music acts that we know today, investing in these young acts with no guarantee on return.
Today, due to indiscipline, greed, and a failed Judiciary system in Nigeria, the record label business is slowly becoming a failed business in Nigeria as singers don’t honor contracts and don’t hesitate in fleeing their record label as soon as they are successful. Also, there are very few cases of renewal of contracts at the end of contract expiration and due to these reasons, some of the labels that use to be the powerhouse of music in Nigeria are no more in existence or are nothing to write home about currently.
Despite all the challenges in the music business, some record labels have stood out and have continued to churn out talented singers to the entertainment world and maintained a working business model, and signing with these labels is almost a surety for success.
Below in no chronological order is a list of top record labels in Nigeria that have made a name for themselves in the music industry.
Unarguably the biggest and hottest record label in Nigeria entertainment scene currently. Mavin records was founded in 2012 by industry veteran, Don Jazzy, and has produced a lineup of top artistes, including Tiwa Savage, Wande Coal, Korede Bello and currently trending Nigerian act, Rema.
Davido Music Worldwide
Founded by David Adeleke, Davido in 2016 after signing a record deal with Sony Music Entertainment. Davido, wanting to seperate business from family exited HKN records to start his own label that has grown to house talents like Mayorkun, Peruzzi, Dremo, and a couple of other artistes signed to the label.
Currently the oldest standing record label in Nigeria’s music industry. Chocolate City was founded in 2005 by Audu Maikori and Paul Okeugo. This label has been home to notable artistes past and present, including Brymo, Ice Prince, M.I. Abaga, Victoria Khimani and fresh rising acts like Blaqbonez, Ckay and Dice Ailes amongst others.
Founded in 2012 by Olamide after exiting ID Cabasa’s Coded Tunes record label. YBNL is named after his sophomore album released in 2012, and has housed artistes, all including Adekunle Gold, Lil Kesh, Lyta and currently, fast rising singer, Fireboy DML amongst others.
Founded in 2013 by one of Africa’s biggest act, Wizkid while still under E.M.E records. This record label has gone ahead to house artistes like L.A.X, Maleek Berry, Mr. Eazi and currently, fast-rising singer, Terri.
This record label was founded in 2015 by grammy-nominated artiste, Burna Boy after leaving Aristokrat records unceremoniously. Currently, the label houses Nissi Ogulu, who is Burna Boy’s sister, Leriq, and rising act, Buju.
Home to one of Africa’s biggest female artiste, Yemi Alade. The label was founded by Taiye Aliyu who also doubles as Yemi’s manager. The record label has gone ahead to drop some acts in order to focus on Yemi’s fast growing career.
Artistes on their roster include Soti, Geniuzz, Brainee, and ofcourse, Yemi herself.
Universal Music Group Nigeria
The West African division of global record label, Universal Music Group was founded in 2017, and has grown under this short time. Notable artistes in this label include Larry Gaaga, Tekno, WurlD, Vanessa Mdee and a host of other artistes.
There you have it! 8 of the biggest record labels in Nigeria presently.
As artistes all switch between labels at the end of their contracts, the record labels in Nigeria keeps increasing daily, weakening old labels who have strived to put the artistes at the top.
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