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Artists and the contracts they sign

Posted on: September 5th, 2016 by The Moderator No Comments

Tyeng: Artists that know their value, and understand the industry (business) get what they want.

Nike: That is the sharp artistes or the ones that think they are sharp.

Tobe: Nike, what if the reason they became artists was to just be popular and command an online and club following.

Nike:  Ha. You can be popular by doing Short videos on IG, you can be a model. You can even be bobriskky. No need to be an artiste to be popular.

Tobe: Lol. This is true. There is a “make-it-now-or-never” plague in the industry. Hahahahahahahaha. You had to say Bobriskky ?? touché ?.

The thing with investors is that they need to understand the time within which to expect a return.

Uyi: @Tobe.. In all honesty, it’s quite difficult to say. Everything is centered on when the artist gets a breakthrough song. It could be 3 months or 3 years.

Tobe: I don’t agree. The labels need to diversify and plug into income streams based on creating human brands, grounded in music. An artist should be able to retire after 10-20 active years or slow down, and still have a quantifiable and forecastable income flow.

Tyeng: They don’t think long term. 10-20 years is too long for them.

Eniola: I am going to be radical and say a focused and talented artist in Nigeria does NOT need a record deal. It is not so hard to record good music anymore. If you can raise a bit of money, you can record, you can self promote via social media and you can build your brand to the point where the demand for you is high. And artists in Nigeria do not make much money from record sales (digital or physical).

Uyi: A very good example of such artist is Mr. Eazi. He pretty much pushed his music over the Internet. And what a lot of artists fail to realize is that the Internet is a global market

Eniola: @Uyi yessir. And he can make money off live performances and advertising. He didn’t need a label. Infact labels these days want to sign what is called a 360 agreement with you. They want exclusive recording rights with them, publishing rights (ie rights to make money of your musical compositions) and the right to manage you. So for the money they give you for your recording, they can make money off every other thing you do.

Tobi: Well, the presence of a label with cool reputation is likely to push you up quicker if you are really good. In the end it’s a connected industry one way or the other labels need artists, artists need labels . I believe collaboration is a key success factor

Uyi: Artists have started making money off that, they have opened their eyes to publishing.

Eniola: Only just now. But a lot of artists who have opened their eyes to publishing did not even write their own songs.

The Octagon: Should artist/label/investor be regarded more as business partnership rather than an employer/employee relationship? Would this help reduce the conflicts that currently exist?

Tyeng: A song involves so much… A Writer, Producer, Mixer, Distributor, A&R, PR, … But only the performer gets the big bucks? Or has the record deal? Until they are all valued, the contract under values. Example – Jesse Jagz had issues with being tasked to produce Chocolate City artists including himself, but wasn’t paid producer fees because of contract.

Tobi: The social media space is a highly cluttered environment, there is only so much you can do to get that required attention…. It’s a strong channel, but is it strong enough to get the attention of the audience that really matters

Tobe: It should be a partnership. The talent brings in talent; the investor brings in funds…there is an agreement for profit sharing et al.

Eniola: I totally agree. And everyone should get credit for what they do. Cf “One Dance” by drake featuring Wizkid. Check out the credits. Wizkid is listed as both producer and songwriter. This means Wizkid will probably get paid royalties for publishing and sound recordings. It certainly should be a partnership. Again, without the song, there would never have been record labels. The music business started with artists who wrote songs and performed them live. Record labels came with the advent of technology and the high costs of recording. In this day and age when the costs have dropped of what use is a record label? I predict that record labels will cease to exist 100 years from now. Certainly not in the form that they currently exist. This is the disruptive power of technology and digitals influence on the industry.

Tobe:  Solid point. Record labels need to take up more than just the performing artist. Not in the way they are now but I think there will be evolutions in the way artists are managed and their brands built.

Tobi: Again,They should be regarded as business partners. It’s a collaborative exercise between both parties.

Gbubemi:  This is a great question. I think sometimes partnership is better. Especially if the manager truly believes in the talent. However, we are human, and conflicts would occur but in my case my manager got it spelt out – you come for my hard work or cheat me in anyway, thats the last thing you will do. An independent lawyer would go over the contract that governs our working relationship being more a partnership than employee/employer relationship. Disagreements usually come when views differ, and thats healthy. But where there’s room for extortion and cheating that’s the real problem.

Eniola: In the beginning, artists would record 100 times to sell 100 albums, they would have the whole back up to record with them too. Those would have to be paid. Record labels paid. These days I don’t even have to meet an artist to record with them. Things are changing.

Nike: On a side note. Away from the fact that artistes don’t even listen to their lawyers and managers. Some label owners have lawyers that are YES men. Because Oga is rich gang. He will tell you to put a ridiculous buy out clause or give artiste only 10% share, and you will put it because you know that artistes are vulnerable. Everyone is just looking out for themselves.

Tobe: This is the gospel. ?. I totally agree. The politics of the Game. Record labels need better structure to incorporate all of the components of music making, distribution and sales.

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