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April
2

The advent of digital music production has rendered music production affordable and easy. No doubt , our burgeoning music industry has witnessed the sprouting up of a plethora of record labels both major scale and indie scale.
Artists are often lured into inking record deals as this often comes with the splendour of accomplishing their dreams to churn out chart-topping hits, sealing performance deals, bagging endorsements etc . Signing record deals require utter caution and discernment. Don’t get carried by the upfront signing bonuses you receive from the label and think you are already succeeding. That might sometimes be a facade to ensnare your career.
When you get signed, some labels give you an advance fund to buy clothes , your upkeep , rent a house or even buy a car . Don’t be fooled. This money is just part of their investment budget to be recouped when you start selling records, getting performance deals or endorsement. The label takes into consideration all its expenses like promotion fees , recording session payments , video shoot payments and branding. That’s why when an artist is no longer making commercially appealing music, the label gets frustrated .
Anyway, we have exceptional cases where “Ngess men” create labels just to garner fame, get the girls and don’t really care about the profit margin. No stakes .
The failure to gauge the terms of the contract and how it will affect your career is usually a pitfall for many Cameroonian artists .
Most of these deals are signed by artists without consulting a lawyer for professional legal advice and the outcome has been overly ruinous. You get yourself screwed and handcuffed in a dungeon . Getting a legal practitioner is a preemtive tactic against ruthless record label owners .
Some artists are under labels based on friendship without formal contracts under the pretext of “just cam make we di work, we see how e go be ” or some informal pronouncements and engagements.
Over the years, artists have been severing ties with their record labels and we’ve been trying to decipher the reasons for their unprecedented exit .
Signing a deal is quite challenging. You are compelled to write hit songs, sometimes your creative direction is swerved .
You hear things like “You have to sound a little like Daphne or write the Calee kind of song ” , “Write a song with French lines ” , “I’m not feeling the song at all” etc .
What about doing a song you think is good enough to make a groundbreaking hit and the label decides to keep it in the computer without releasing it for years or you drop a song and it’s not getting any promotion . Quite frustrating for the artist right ?
The phenomenon of labels keeping your song without releasing it has been highly debatable. Artists in EU countries are even proposing the ” use-it-or-lose-it” clause in record deals which means if a label is not making a song available to the public, the label returns the song to the artist.
Most artists fall prey to the whims and caprices of label owners simply because they are ignorant .
Some other artists them di enter shock so, na over sabi.
Before signing a record deal , artists should be aware of some basic elements of a typical recording contract.
– The term of the contract. This simply means how long the contract will last. This is determined by the record label depending on how many albums you’ll be recording. But I’ll advice Artists not to sign for more than one year. Could be renewable. By limiting it to one year, you prevent the label from effectively controlling your life and creative direction for an unreasonable duration . Keep your options open. One never knows the future.
-The territory. This refers to the geographical area the label is allowed to sell your music.
-Exclusivity. This gives the label exclusive right to all the artists recorded performances in video and audio during the term of the contract.
– Artist royalties and mechanical royalties . Artist royalties are paid to the artist for his recorded performances while mechanical royalties are paid to the songwriters/publishers of the songs. Artists need to know that the contract has to specify a certain percentage to be paid to them each time he is booked for a gig or gets an endorsement. These details need to be well spelled out to eschew the embarrassment and injury .
– All Recording , video and promotion costs shall be covered by the label .
Why am I saying all these ?
After signing a deal with Universal Records Africa November 2017, we have witnessed Tenor’s relevance and fame dwindling after he had established a fan lovemark with hits. Locko who also signed to the same label last year is now pining and wanting himself out of the label . He even posted on Facebook a week ago that he’s thinking of quitting music . Infact, label fit give you high blood when you sign blindly .
Glancing through my Facebook timeline , a post of Phillbill decrying exploitation in the music industry caught my attention .
Phillbill is an ace songwriter, producer and singer whom in my humble opinion enormously contributed to the success and bliss Pit Bacardi is currently basking in.
He was supposed to sign a dual contract with different clauses with the label as (Dianee) of Rythmz , the singer and as his alter ego Phillbill , the music producer and songwriter.
In this light , Phillbill was supposed to earn both artist and mechanical royalties from the label.
I’m sure he hasn’t been paid for all the instrumentals he’s been producing for Empire Company till the recent POWER project.
Since a label is normally supposed to pay for all record production costs , I believe Pit Bacardi was to pay Phillbill upfront for every song he produces and pay Kezzy for every song he mixes and masters under the label.
Some record deals turn you into a slave . If you fetish being signed by a label, please be wise.


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February
24

Neat & Mane frontline singer Vivid Smith has collaborated with rapper Cleo Grae to deliver an appealing version of Teniola’s hit song “Case”. A perfect vocal performance and lyrical punch , contextualized in a purely Cameroonian style is what makes this release worthwhile. Vivid Smith is arguably one of the most consistent artists right now.

Listen and share


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February
2

Daphne is apparently one the most successful female artists in central Africa. Her humble start from No Hits No records in Buea to getting signed by Stevens music has been a journey of enormous struggle , resilience and patience. The multi award winning artist is serving a lesson to you never to give up on your goal and showing gratitude for her success. Boy Tag’s rap artistry adds a spicy vibe to “alleluia” . 

Videos directed by Dr Nkeng Stephens.

We take another shot !


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February
1

Omega records songstress Ewube has unveiled her much anticipated tune titled “Cherie coco ” produced by CFX.  The song depicts undying passion and commitment. Ewube drifts from her usual dancehall style to something thumping for the clubs to jive  to. The video is simply amazing. Shot by Adah Akenji.


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January
29

After much-acclaimed “Belleh weh” , Award-winning Gospel singer Prosper Menko just released a brand new video dubbed “Toquer” directed by Adah Akenji. Quite edifying tune.

Enjoy !


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December
26

The Voice Francophone laureate  FUL got signed by legendary R&B singer Singuila’s label GC. He just dropped his debut single fresh outta the label titled “Elle n’a  d’yeux que pour moi”.

Video directed Dr Nkeng Stephens. 

Enjoy ! 


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December
15

Mellow-voice songstress Labi has churned out her debut single titled “Position”. The Bikutsi /Afro-pop melange brings out her uniqueness and unmatched artistry.  

A perfect  shindig tune in which she describes different erotic positions to get her highly emotionally triggered.  Labi ‘s emphatic debut is a breath of fresh air for  the music industry.  Song produced by DJ Karl and video directed by Merlin Caren. 

Enjoy! 


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November
25

The 5th All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA held in Accra, Ghana on November, 24, 2018 had in attendance music stars, dignitaries, and music lovers across the continent, the annual music event seeks to celebrate and reward African talents who have done exceedingly well in the year. 

With a total of 36 categories, the 5th AFRIMA winners are culled from the Regional and Continental categories. In addition, special recognition awards fully decided by the International Committee of AFRIMA is awarded to individuals who have impacted positively to the world using their craft. 

The 5th AFRIMA Legendary awards was given to the internationally recognized South African singer, Yvonne Chaka Chaka. The music legend, who is “dubbed Princess of Africa” has a career span of over 30 years with several hit albums, has performed for notable personalities within and outside the country. 

Executive Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode was awarded a special recognition for his contributions towards the growth and development of the Arts and Tourism sector of Lagos state, most importantly the role Lagos state played as official host of AFRIMA in its last 4 years from 2014 – 2017. 

In what turned out to be an emotional moment for the audience, a special recognition awards was given to one of Ghana’s music veteran, Teddy Osei, the leader of the famous Osadebe group, an Atropop band created in 1969. The veteran who was helped to the stage in a wheelchair had been suffering from a mild stroke, but was overwhelmed by such great honour. 

REGIONAL CATEGORY

Best Female Artiste in Central Africa

Daphne / Cameroon / Jusqu’à La Gare

Best Male Artiste in Central Africa

-Fally Ipupa / DRC / Mannequin Ft Keback & Naz

Best Female Artiste in Eastern Africa

-Betty G / Ethiopia / Mengedegna

Best Male Artiste in Eastern Africa

-Bebe Cool / Uganda / Freedom

Best Female Artiste in Northern Africa

-Lyna Mahyem ft Medi Meyz /Algeria / Bye Bye

Best Male Artiste in Northern Africa

-Hamza El Fadly / Morocco / Ya Mraya

Best Female Artiste in Southern Africa

-Shekhinah / South Africa / Please Mr

Best Male Artiste in Southern Africa

-Nasty C / South Africa / Jungle

Best Female Artiste in Western Africa

-Tiwa Savage / Nigeria / Ma Lo Ft. Wizkid & Spellz

Best Male Artiste in Western Africa

-Davido / Nigeria / Fia

CONTINENTAL CATEGORY

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

-Betty G / Ethiopia / Wegegta

ARTISTE OF THE YEAR

-Davido / Nigeria / FIA

BEST AFRICAN VIDEO

-Sesan / Gringo (Shatta Wale) / Nigeria

BEST AFRICAN ACT IN DIASPORA

-Hazel Mak / Malawi / Jaiva Ft. Roberto & Tay Grin

BEST AFRICAN COLLABORATION

-GuiltyBeatz, Mr. Eazi, Patapaa & Pappy Kojo / Ghana-Nigeria / Akwaaba

BEST ARTISTE, DUO OR GROUP IN AFRICAN CONTEMPORARY

-Kidi / Ghana / Odo Remix Ft. Mayorkun & Davido

BEST ARTISTE, DUO OR GROUP IN AFRICAN DANCE OR CHOREOGRAPHY

-Mr P. / Nigeria / Ebeano

BEST AFRICAN DJ

-Afrotronix / Chad / OyO

BEST ARTISTE, DUO OR GROUP IN AFRICAN ELECTRO

-Master KG / South Africa / Skeleton Move Ft. Zanda Zakuza

BEST AFRICAN DUO, GROUP OR BAND

– Toofan / Togo / Money

BEST ARTISTE, DUO OR GROUP IN AFRICAN HIP HOP

-M.ANIFEST FT KING PROMISE / Ghana / ME NE WOA

BEST ARTISTE, DUO OR GROUP IN AFRICAN JAZZ

-Sibusiso Mashiloane / South Africa / Niza

BEST AFRICAN RAPPER OR LYRICIST

-Falz / Nigeria / La Fête

BEST ARTISTE, DUO OR GROUP IN AFRICAN POP

-2Baba / Nigeria / Amaka Ft. Peruzzi

BEST ARTISTE, DUO OR GROUP IN AFRICAN RAGGA, REGGAE & DANCEHALL

-Stonebwoy / Ghana / Hero

BEST ARTISTE, DUO OR GROUP IN AFRICAN R ‘N’ B & SOUL

-Praiz / Nigeria / Champagne and Flowers

BEST ARTISTE, DUO OR GROUP IN AFRICAN ROCK

– Maryam Saleh, Maurice Louca, Tamer Abu Ghazaleh / Egypt / Ekaa Maksour

BEST ARTISTE, DUO OR GROUP IN AFRICAN TRADITIONAL

-Irene Namatovu / Uganda / Nsambila Nyuma Nga Janzi

BEST FEMALE ARTISTE IN AFRICAN INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC

-Sandra Nankoma / Uganda / Kaddugala

BEST MALE ARTISTE IN AFRICAN INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC

-Sarkodie / Ghana / Glory Ft. Yung

MOST PROMISING ARTISTE IN AFRICA

-Kuami Eugene / Ghana / Confusion

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

-Fresh VDM / Togo / Fia

REVELATION OF THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

-Betty G / Ethiopia / Ere Manew

SONG OF THE YEAR

-GuiltyBeatz, Mr. Eazi, Patapaa & Pappy Kojo / Akwaaba / Ghana

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR

-Shekhinah Donell, Amon Taulo Chibiya II / South Africa / Different Ft. Mariechan

AFRICAN FANS’ FAVOURITE

-Nedy Music / Tanzania / One and Only Ft. Ruby


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November
17

 

Outstanding lyricist Mic Monsta serves it red hot with his banging club vibe titled “Change ya style” featuring Dready Christ. 

Enjoy 


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November
17

Blanche Bailly continues her smooth musical journey with a brand new tune titled “Ndolo”. The “mimbayeur” hitmaker delivers sultry vocals and heart- soothing lyrics on this masterpiece.

The song was produced by young talented producer McCoy and video directed by Nkeng Stephens.

Enjoy


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