The unexpected and tragic passing of Nigerian music sensation, Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, known to fans as Mohbad, has cast a spotlight on the hidden complexities within the country’s music industry. Beyond the allure of fame and fortune, the industry has revealed a darker side characterized by fierce competition, power struggles, gang rivalries, dubious deals, and even whispers of cultism.
Emerging artists often find themselves at a crossroads when presented with record label contracts, a choice that can either propel them to stardom or plunge them into a daunting journey fraught with challenges.
Mohbad’s untimely demise serves as a somber cautionary tale, underscoring the critical need for careful consideration before committing to binding agreements.
Prominent figures within the Nigerian music scene have shared their own tales of industry woes. Kizz Daniel, who once engaged in a legal battle with his former label, G-Worldwide, has likened the music industry to a “cabal,” where non-conformists are often sidelined.
Cynthia Morgan’s legal feud with her former label boss, Jude Okoye, severely impacted her music career. Rapper Vector expressed frustration over betrayals by industry insiders due to loyalty conflicts.
Following Mohbad’s heartbreaking loss, singer Temmie Ovwasa, also known as YBNL Princess, courageously disclosed her experiences of humiliation and alleged physical abuse at the hands of her former record label boss, Olamide, and his wife, Aisha Adebukunmi. Similarly, Harrysong revealed the torment he endured during his time with Five Star Music, owned by E-money.
Even veteran singer Charly Boy acknowledged that while the music industry has made strides in earnings and global recognition, the issue of a “cabal” transcends music and infiltrates various sectors. He emphasized the importance of artists making informed decisions before signing with record labels and considering the potential consequences.
Navigating the labyrinthine music industry necessitates thorough due diligence. Aspiring artists must conduct comprehensive research on potential record labels, scrutinize their reputation, seek insights from current or former signees, and assess the label’s track record in supporting artists.
Before inking any contract, artists must meticulously examine its terms, obtain legal counsel, and ensure a clear grasp of all facets, including record releases, contract duration, intellectual property ownership, royalties, and potential restrictions.
Recent developments in the Nigerian music industry serve as a poignant reminder that beneath the glitz and glamour lie formidable challenges. Aspiring artists must equip themselves with knowledge and professional guidance to safeguard their careers and well-being within this fiercely competitive landscape.