We celebrate any news of signings between African artists and international record labels especially the ‘Big Four’ – Sony Music, Warner Music, Universal Music Group and EMI. Sadly, these deals always end up with a bitter-sweet twist.
For foreign artists signed to any of these labels, there is usually some drama involved at some point (what then is there to say for our African acts). Only recently, Kanye West took his record label, Def Jam Recording/Universal/Bravado International Group and his distribution company, EMI to court because he wanted to win rights to his publishing back.
There are ways to circumvent any such unfortunate happenings as seen in cases of artistes like 2Chainz who successfully negotiated ownership of his masters into his recording contracts.
These are experiences that are not publicised however, afro-pop rave of the moment, Burna Boy who is signed to Atlantic Records, a division of Warner Music Group has shared his thoughts on these “international deals” saying he feels sorry for Nigerian artists who jump at them.
“I feel so sorry for all you Nigerians and artists jumping into these “international deals”. You guys don’t know what you’re doing. I will forever be grateful to my manager/mother for making sure I will never be an “international” VICTIM. I feel very bad for every one of you. I’m hearing some really crazy shit out here. I feel so sad for you all,” he wrote on his Instagram.
Recall that Chocolate City recently went into a deal with Warner Music. Although the details of that arrangement are unknown, it is hoped that they are favourable to the acts under the label.