Whichever way, Wizkid needs to understand his artistes are still new and need guidance and advice on several issues.
Several record labels abound in Nigeria. While some are active, some are dormant and unknown. The active ones have been able to be in the limelight due to their consistency; signing upcoming artistes and turning them to top notch ones who have remained relevant.
This year particularly, Wizkid has invested his resources in helping others grow following the footsteps of his arch rival Davido. He has signed TerriRyn, Spotless and also has Ceeza Milli as an affliate. Since 2016, Davido's franchise, DMW has signed the most artistes, with Dremo, Mayorkun, Yonda, Peruzzi, Idowest and Sinzu recently joining the label. At some point, they had Lola Rae, Dammy Krane and Ichaba aflliated to the label.
Starboy has also signed artistes in times past, L.A.X was the first artiste that was signed, before Wizkid partnered with Mr Eazi, Efya and R2Bees on a franchise that was short lived. However, both labels have decided to take it serious this year churning out hits and properly strategising on how to outwit one another. So we look into which label will be the best to join as an upcoming artiste.
Breaking forth from HKN when Davido decided to step up from mediocrity and become a power force to reckon with in the Music Industry, he decided it was time he invested in talents, signing Mayorkun first after he saw a video of the lady playing the piano and singing to his 2015 hit The Money. Thereafter, he snapped up Dremo. This came after he had inked his deal with Sony. Knowing the nature of the deal with Sony(as it won't allow him to release songs often)he knew he had to set up a plan to ensure his relevancy.
Within a few months, his upcoming artistes grew into top notch artistes that were now in hot demand. Mayorkun was trending and disturbing the country with Eleko and Love You Taya to the extent he and Dremo were nominated for Rookie Of The Year at the 2016 Headies. Truth is Davido made everything easy for them. He groomed them harnessed their talents and any show he was invited to, he brought his artistes along. Davido made sure these guys never suffered or lacked anything.
He made himself available for them. Even as a CEO, he was their best friend tweeting about them and also whetting the apetite of the fans whenever Dremo or Mayorkun was getting ready to drop any new song.
He supported them. It's the same reason why he allude his success to the mantra We rise by lifting others." DMW has grown from then, new artistes have joined, further strengthening the label and it's now a force to reckon with in the Music Industry. Davido still supports then and he now has a management team that ensures the efficiency of these artistes.
If there any other thing DMW is using to reign, it's the ability to use it's homemade resources, most of the hits we've heard from the label have been produced by in-house producer, Fresh Vdm not forgetting the collaborations they've blessed us with this year. Have we forgotten Mind, Bobo, Aje. We truly grow by lifting others.
While DMW have been able to achieve relevancy and success in just two years, same can't be said for Starboy records. Starting out in 2013, the label was touted to become a powerful one as regards the influential people that joined the label, with Wizkid, L.A.X, Legenduy Beatz and Maleek Berry, everyone was happy for Wizkid. Caro was the first song to be released by the team. Featuring L. A.X and Wizkid, it was a notice to everyone that the team didn't come to play, they followed it up with L.A.X's first single, Ginger which was a club banger.
However, in 2014, nothing extraordinary was heard from the label and it was around that time, Wizkid released his sophomore album, Ayo. We thought this took his time and focus away from the label and we should hear new music soon from the other acts in the label. But subsequent years showed it was all about Wizkid. Wizkid was focusing on his international sojourn and trying to hit Connects and network with the foreign acts.
L.A.X was back home isolated, releasing good songs that wasn't promoted. He wasn't in the limelight and was gradually taking backward steps rather than advancing forward. His boss had no plan for him, there was no management team on ground to look after him. He did everything by himself. There was a time L.A.X released a song and it was after a week Wizkid tweeted about the song
This inconsistency continued till 2016 when L.A.X quit the label, with Mr Eazi, Efya and R2Bees joining the label. We thought Wizkid would be consistent this time around. At the beginning, we saw a fee glimpses of teamwork with Wizkid and Efya recording together. Wizkid took R2Bees wherever he went too and also promoted Mr Eazi's concerts. But there was a lull thereafter. And the partnership deal was aborted.
2018 again, Wizkid has signed two artistes, Spotless and Terri. The beginning is looking promising with Soco by the whole Starboy team still making waves and topping charts but this is June and everything seems it is still all about Wizkid. Terri hasn't released his first single yet neither has Spotless but their boss is in London shutting down shows and his upcoming artistes were not even there with him.
The only concert Wizkid has gone to with his artistes was Gidi Fest which held last month and Wizkid has performed Soco at several events since then. Isn't this not going to end as it happened when L.A.X was in the label. There's no backup plan for these guys and the record label is having it quiet while their arch rival are succeeding helping themselves.
Wizkid has the fame and international acclaim, but Davido has been able to achieve greatness supporting his acts while Wizkid is there in a league of own neglecting his artistes and leaving them to make it on their own. Whichever way, Wizkid needs to understand his artistes are still new and need guidance and advice on several issues.
He might not be there for them at every time however, he should learn that things have taken a new turn now. DMW seems to be everywhere now but in your opinion, which record label would you advise an upcoming artiste to join?
Written by Olabode Otolorin.
Otolorin Olabode is a music journalist, writer and critic. He lives for the art and he also has a thing for upcoming artistes and can be contacted via +23464717949 and can also be followed on Twitter: @viewsfromdbod