Nigerian artistes should grow up and start respecting their contracts

Freedom like Brymo said, is a kind of prison.

Maybe the artiste was referring to himself (and now many artistes) when he tried to leave his then record label, Chocolate City.

You see, as the story goes, Brymo had signed a contract with the label with an agreed upon stipulated number of years he’d spend with the label and then one day, he chose to opt out before his contract had expired.


Every artiste’s dream is to fly on their own one day.

However, that dream is curtailed at the early, hungry stage when they are only full of desire, passion and a zeal to make it. And so they are humble and they succumb to whatever offer is given to them at that point because what more could they have asked for to kick-start that journey.

Then they grow and so does the label.

There are two ways an artiste and their labels part ways- either by agreement or by disagreement.

Asides waiting out one’s stipulated time and then mutually choosing not to renew the contract, a record label can choose to terminate a contract like in Trybe Records/Eva Alordiah’s case with immediate effect if the said artistes aren’t bringing returns.

Most times, these artistes grow more than the label and decide they don’t need the label anymore. They can now fly on their own. Once that thought sets in, it seems like the scales have cleared from their eyes.

They begin to notice they are either being cheated by the label or enough isn’t being done for them as regards how much ‘input’ they are giving to the company [even if this has been happening for a while by the label intentionally].

Bitter fights and disagreement ensues both privately and publicly which in turn ends in court cases and [social] media shaming.

Now the question is, why don’t the artiste await their contract’s expiration? Are their wings that big that they can no longer be contained in the same room with the label?

Runtown may not be able to perform with his stage name anymore should his court injunction fall through.

Whatever other name he may choose to come up with may take a while to gain the same traction his current and soon-to-be defunct stage name has garnered. In addition to that, he can’t perform at any show or record music.

Basically his career would be shut down for the period his label chooses because you see, at the end of the day, while these artiste choose to make such careless decisions, they forget these labels still have the upper hand as long as said artistes signed a binding contract.

Except the artiste has a pretty good lawyer to battle it out in court, then we can flip the script.

But is it all worth it?

A binding contract may seem like a piece of paper to the overzealous newbie who feels he or she can be the next big thing in music. And so they hastily and excitedly sign whatever is put in front of them, with or without a lawyer present to explain the terms and conditions of that contract.

It doesn’t matter at that point.

All that matters is getting started on that music and hitting that road to fame and fortune until it later comes to bite them in the butt.

And then they realize Freedom isn’t so much fun after all.

No one is saying artistes shouldn’t grow to surpass the level they started out on.

That is the dream of everyone, including the fans. Because you see, supply has to be equal to demand and so the more demand from the fans, the more growth.

Respecting that signature however, is all that it takes to have a peaceful continuation of the artiste’s journey to greatness when it is time to. It wont cost a dime of ceaseless legal battles and whatnot.

Wizkid, Jesse Jagz, et al are perfect examples of artistes who waited to exhale.

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