By Ehis Ohunyon
The Nigerian music industry is one that is not properly structured or defined, hence the lack of proper recording companies to cater for the mass number of talents within the land, so at best what we have in place are mushroom labels or management houses with the recent trend now being artists owning their indie imprints.
However dire the labels are, whether properly structured or not, the dream of every upcoming artiste remains to get signed unto a platform, one willing to bear the burden attached to recording/producing and promotion of his music.
This has led to many getting trapped due to unclear terms and conditions in the contracts signed or bitter fallouts barely months into the deal, it is hard to however blame them when booking for studio sessions, promoting the music and video shoots all come at pretty high rates. A little support from anywhere to offset this burden would always be welcomed despite the risks involved.
Whilst the likes of Wizkid left E.M.E and has successfully taken his Star Boy imprint global, the likes of Kelly Hansome have a different story to tell, here is a look at the careers of three artists whose careers were seemingly on a vertical rise till they exited their label and have since struggled to maintain their presence on the mainstream.
PHENOM & KNIGHT HOUSE: Knight-house, a production house and label headed by Rogba Arimoro who acts as the CEO alongside Temi ‘Othello’ Gomez and Lanre Oladimeji became prominent sometime in mid 2000s and was behind the success of the likes of in- house producer Deejay Klem, Mo Cheddah and churned out hits like Won Beri which had Teeto Ceemos and Sauce Kid, now Sinzu.
Then we got introduced to a young, talented and budding rapper Phenom sometime in 2011 with the release of the ‘Live at 51′ mix-tape, Phenom had been lurking on the sidelines for a while and his feature on M.I’s ‘6 foot 7 foot’ off the IM2 mixtape brought his name to the notice of many (With many still debating that he out-rapped M.I on the song).
His subsequent singles like Paloma, Omo Naija, Murda dem, ShukuShuku Bambam ft Ms. Iye (which I still can’t place how it didn’t end up being a major hit) made him top many lists as one of the next rated rappers around. He really was the radar of industry followers featuring on many songs and collaborating with the likes of Wizkid and Olamide.
After a long wait, he was finally able to drop his B.R.A EP, which turned out to be the opposite of the EP’s acronym, then like Mo’Cheddah and Ms Iye before him, Phenom took a break from the scene and upon his return he had switched Knighthouse for Black Market Music and despite releasing couple of new songs thereafter, the rapper whose delivery is clearly one of the finest around is more visible on twitter showing off his tattoos and ranting off on his followers these days, his career has since hit the rocks and the Phenemous viper sadly has lost his sting.
CAPITAL F.E.M.I/ KENNIS MUSIC: Talented artiste Femi Adeyinka, brother to ace comedian Gbenga Adeyinka returned from the United States in 2009 and immediately got signed by powerhouse record label, Kennis Music.
His relationship with the label saw him rise and rise with the release of hit songs like ‘Never felt a love”, ‘Money, Money, Money’ which won him the Best Vocal Performance Award (Male) at the 2011 edition of the Headies and ‘In the name of love’ amongst others, he also released his debut album aptly titled ‘The Year of R ‘n’ B’, which was well received and earned fairly successful reviews.
Kennis Music has ceased to be the power house it once was and it was no surprise that sometime in 2015, news broke that both parties had parted ways amidst speculations that his contract had expired and would not be renewed.
The artiste has since tried to progress his career by putting pen to paper with 3Six Music and released both audio and visual for his single Tumbo, but for someone once predicted to do battle with Banky W for a claim to the R n B crown, he has since fallen off the charts with that chapter of his career all but closed.
SEAN TIZZLE/ DIFERRENCE ENTERTAINMENT: From being crowned as the Headies ‘Next Rated” Act in 2014 after the release of his monster hit ‘Sho Lee’ to dropping one of the finest Pop albums in recent times titled ‘The Journey’, the singer who once walked out on an interview with TheNETng and never shies away from controversies soon parted ways with producer D’Tunes and the label Difference Entertainment.
Considering the gems paraded on his album, the only way possible for the talented artiste was up and he was billed to be amongst the leaders of the new school of Nigerian music, but this prophecy was not to be as the singer struggled to manage the success that came with his fame, had to close his twitter account at some point, disappeared from the scene to supposedly re-brand himself, such that despite recently dropping a new 7 track EP titled Moving Forward Vol. 1, which contains some really good songs, the EP received a lukewarm reception and the emergence of new names like Mr. Eazi and Tekno has further ensured that Sean Tizzle will need to do a lot more to regain the attention of music fans he once enjoyed.
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