The struggle to hit the airwaves is real I know! But at times young underground artistes get deceived with the term ‘record label’ not knowing they are signing deals with an ordinary vanity label.
Creating music, marketing music are two things that you need to be heard by millions or even billions of homo sapiens out there (oh sorry I used homo sapiens, the science student oddity is in me). Creating musics depends on you the artiste while marketing the music you’ve created is the problem and you run into wrong arms.
Firstly, I know you might be confused with what I said in the first paragraph about a record and vanity labels. Now chill…
A Record Label
A record label or record company is a brand which it’s function is involved in the marketing of music and music videos. Sometimes, a record label is also a publishing company that manages trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution , marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos; also conducting talent scouting and development of new artists..
A Vanity Label
Vanity labels are labels that bear an imprint that gives the impression of an artist’s ownership or control, but in fact represent a standard artist/label relationship. In such an arrangement, the artist will control nothing more than the usage of the name on the label, but may enjoy a greater say in the packaging of his or her work. – Wikipedia
Now back to basics, a lot of established acts in our industry here don’t really have an idea of how record labels runs only few. This leads to them dissociating with the independent record labels that birthed them to limelight in other to establish a vanity while they call it a record label.
As an upcoming act, when you think you’re submitting your music to a record label meanwhile its just an imprint/vanity. As of 2012, there are only three labels that can be referred to as “major labels” (Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Warner Music Group). And no other! Although you can mention record labels over here like Mavin Records, Chocolate City Music as independent record labels because they are on their own and not a sub label.
A typical record label will enter a recording contract with an artiste in order to help in the production of his/her music and get royalties from the price of the musics after being sold.
Established, successful artistes have the right to re-negotiate their deals in other to be more favourable to them but this didn’t happen when Wizkid wanted a 50/50 deal with Empire Mates Entertainment which shows that label is a Vanity Label.
Even some so called record labels in Nigeria here don’t have a recording studio, or even an office or even a management team, once you get signed, you live in the owners house, when its time to record a new music everyone drives out to a an established producers studio which means no official music producer attached to the record label oh sorry vanity label it is! But, for a new artiste the recording process needs to be well supervised but as an established act you have your freedom to record and submit to the label.
What Nigerian artiste promote is a vanity label and not a record label, yes! The only brand that I could still recognize as an independent label is Chocolate City Music and Mavin Records partially. The remaining labels (vanity) they don’t even sell your music, once they put it on top music blogs like NotJustOk, tooXclusive its up for listening to anyone who has internet access which is not meant to be. The only royalties you can receive comes from the amount you charge from collaborations, or shows, concerts and endorsements.
So it is very clear now about what D’banj said about record label owners saying most of them know nothing about music, that could also be related to the saga between G-WorldWide and Kiss Daniel which the artiste later won in a court hearing.
So in the industry today, is there a chance for record labels running to resurge?? Maybe. Its a maybe because it’s not really sure.
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