Music is one of the world’s universal languages filled with melodious sounds that entertain and helps calms the mood of the listener.
In the past, musicians in Nigeria were regarded as scums, a disgrace to the word “Profession” and were seen as hopeless individuals who had no plans for the future.
Alas! The perception has changed! Today, with the vast improvements, strategies and funds which have been pumped into the music industry to make it attractive and a force to be reckoned with, musicians are now the talk of the town and their songs now enjoy massive play radio and TV.
As the money and fame accrued to the music industry continued to grow staggeringly, it became a norm for record labels to spring up here and there, to help musicians achieve their dreams, by sponsoring their music careers, giving them a face and a name, and promoting their music.
We take a look at some record labels who have grown to become the movers and shakers of the Nigerian music industry, as a result their massive productivity and impact.
We’ve scrubbed the internet and come up with the top 10 record labels dropping the dopest joints in the Nigerian music industry.
Take a look:
1. SUPREME MAVIN DYNASTY (SMD)
Mavin Records is a revamped Nigerian-based record label founded by recording artist and record producer Don Jazzy on May 8, 2012.
Originally labeled the now defunct MoHits Records after parting ways with Nigeria’s Koko Master, D’banj; Don Jazzy shook off the disappointment and set out to create something that people would not have thought possible at that stage in his career.
Today, Mavin Records is the best and foremost record label in Nigeria, and houses popular artistes like Nigeria’s Afrobeats Queen, Tiwa Savage, Dr. Sid, D Prince, Reekado Banks, Korede Bello, D Prince, Di’ja, and its latest signing, Iyanya. For the MAVINS, every day is supreme!
Founded in 2013, the name could possibly mean different things, but the obvious name that the owner has been associated with is “Yahoo Boy No Laptop.” Owned and managed by Olamide Adedeji popularly known as Olamide or Badoo Sneh, the record label is fast becoming one of the most populous and widely accepted record labels in Nigeria.
Don’t be surprised – the amount of trends garnered by its signed artistes is compared to none. The label boasts of popular music acts like Viktoh, Chinko Ekun, Zino, BBanks, Young John, Pheelz, Dj Enimoney, and its First Lady, Temmy Ovwasa.
Lil Kesh and Adekunle Gold, protégés of the label left recently to establish their own record label, YAGI and 79TH Element respectively.
3. CHOCOLATE CITY
Chocolate City was founded in 2005 by Lawyer Audu Maikouri alongside Paul Okeugo and Yahaya Maikouri. Choc Boyz Nation is one record label that most young Nigerian rappers dream of representing.
The Record is currently handled and coordinated by MI Abaga and has signed former artistes like Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, Pyrse, Milli, Kahli Abudu & VHS Safari, DJ Caise, and Victoria Kimani.
Audu Maikori’s Chocolate City was the first Nigerian Music Company to attain a global music award and recognition, International Young Music Entrepreneur of the Year (IYMEY) IN 2007.
4. E.M.E RECORDS
Having its own special magic that makes their song feel special; EME is managed and owned by Bankole “Banky W” Wellington.
Artists formerly signed to the label include top stars like Wizkid, Shaydee and Skales. The record label also boasts of stars like Banky W, and Niyola.
DJ Xclusive is the label’s official DJ. Producers associated with the label include Masterkraft, Jay Sleek, Cobhams Asuquo, Spellz and Samklef, among others.
5. HKN GANG
HKN Gang is undoubtedly one of the leading and best record labels in Nigeria. Formerly managed by the Adeleke Brothers, they have been able to create a very good fusion of Afro-pop and Lifestyle. The team is made up of artists like former record label act, Davido, B-Red, Sina Rambo, Danagog, King Special and DeeKay.
6. STAR BOY ENTERTAINMENTS
Star Boy Entertainments is one of Nigeria’s mainstream labels that keep drooping chart-topping impressive joints in the industry. Owned and controlled by Wizkid, this record has over the years produced artistes with very good vocals and applicable lyrical contents such as Maleek Berry, LAX and Wizkid himself.
7. TRIPLE MG
Now owned by Ubi Franklin, Triple MG houses record mates such as Tekno, Selebobo and Emma Nyra. Being one of the record labels on their A-game, Triple MG definitely owns a spot on the top 10 Nigerian records label list.
8. NORTHSIDE INC
Undoubtedly, Jude Okoye has done so much for this record to survive and the label keeps getting better every day. Record home to the flashiest artistes including the lady with the German juice and Nigeria’s Dancehall queen, Cynthia Morgan.
Hypertek came out as a shocking surprise to almost everyone when 2Baba announced his decision to float a record label. Now, there is no doubt that Hypertek remains one of Nigeria’s top record label by consistently releasing impressive tracks from their label. Signed to the record label include former act, Dammy Krane, 2face and others.
While many have argued that record labels are milking artists dry, one truth isn’t farfetched – record labels give exposure, finance and promotion to its artistes, especially the upcoming ones.