There are several Nigerian musicians reaping from signing with an international music label. The trend is fast turning ‘normal’ in the industry as these talented artists seek better representation and international standards in the packaging and distribution of their works. Below are Nigerians musicians who have made a mark with international labels.
Aishah Saleeman – Patoranking
Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie is a reggae dancehall singer. Identified by his stage name as Patoranking, the Ebonyi-state born songwriter started with Igberaga Records in 2010. He went on to Foston Musik in 2014 and in 2015 he signed with an independent Caribbean-owned record label in New York, VP Records. The record label is known for releasing music similar to Patoranking’s reggae-dancehall genre.
Her entrance into an International Label was in 2019. The “Malo” singer had been with Mavin records for seven years but later joined Motown Records a subsidiary of Universal Music where she signed a seven-year publishing and distribution deal. After joining Universal Music, she released “49-99”, then “Attention” and “Owo mi da” to keep entertaining her fans.
Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua is a British-Nigerian singer and songwriter. The musical style of Seyi Shay as professionally called is a combination of Afropop and R&B though she has been exploring other genres based on what inspires her. After signing a global recording contract with Island Record, a multinational record label owned by Universal Music Group, in 2015, she released the debut album Seyi or Shay. She has been doing well in the industry with several endorsement deals and also as a music talent show judge.
Bukola Elemide is reputed to be one of Nigeria’s most exposed musicians. Known as Asa, the Nigerian-French singer, songwriter and recording artist is under international tutelage and signed to Paris-based Naïve Records. Asa is also signed to Sony BMG. Asa’s deal is a very positive one as her music is not, particularly for Nigerian consumption. Her second album, Beautiful Imperfection released in 2010 in collaboration with French composer Nicolas Mollard went platinum in 2011. Her latest album was released on the 25th of February 2022.
Olawale Ibrahim Ashimi is a singer, songwriter and author. Brymo as popularly called signed a record deal with Chocolate City in 2010 but left and signed a new recording and distribution deal with a US-based music company, Tate Music Group in 2015. His music is a mixture of Fuji, R&B, Rock and Pop.
Olamide is one of the few Nigerian artists to boast of owning a successful record label. Olamide established his record label, YBNL in 2012. The Label groomed artists like Lil Kesh, Adekunle Gold, Viktoh, Chinko Ekun, Fireboy DML. He recently signed a joint venture deal with International Label and Distribution company, Empire. The deal sees any other artists signed to YBNL enjoy their music distributed internationally.
Burna was formerly signed to Nigerian Label, Aristokrat Records but left in 2014. Burna Boy signed with Bad Habit/Atlantic Records in the United States and Warner Music Group internationally in 2017. He also released his studio album in 2017 “Outside” to celebrate his major-label debut. He also signed a publishing deal with Universal records in 2018. In 2019, Burna Boy spoke on the dangers of jumping into an international deal without proper guidelines.
Wizkid signed a multi-album deal with RCA Records, a subsidiary of Sony Music in 2017. The deal came a few years after his exit from EME Records and the establishment of Starboy Entertainment. Immediately after his deal with Sony Records, he released his third studio album, “Sounds from the Other Side.
Davido is signed to Sony Music through RCA Records. He was the first of Nigerian artists to be signed to an international label. He joined the label in 2016 and then went on to establish his own record label, Davido Music Worldwide which houses artists like Peruzzi, Mayorkun, Dremo, Yonda amongst others. In the same year as his new deal, Davido released an EP, Son of Mercy but the EP didn’t fare well in the market due to the change of sound and music style.
Phillip Kayode Moses or Pheelz as popularly known is a record producer, songwriter and singer and the latest artist to be signed by a United States label, Warner Records.