There has been a lot of great music in the Nigerian music industry. We owe it to the proper functioning of the vibrant Nigerian record labels. However some of these record labels have fallen off the top. We don’t hear anything from their artistes anymore.
Its a very competitive industry out there. New players are coming on daily. Some of them already have enough money and are willing to spend it lavishly to get what they want.
A good example is CEO of 5 star music Emeka Okonkwo aka E money who was a billionaire even before forming the label.
It makes it hard for the old timers who basically rely on trust and the respect they have gained over the years.But money is a bigger motivator.
Nigerian record labels also fold up or switch into other forms of entertainment because of poor return on investment. Shutting down or switching might be the only functional business strategy left. A pirated CD sells for about 50 Naira at Alaba.
Fans in Nigeria hardly ever buy original CDs, songs and album are leaked for free download online; how is the label expected to recoup the funds they have spent? This is a list of record labels in Nigeria that have gone quiet after years of producing hits.
1. Knight House records
Knight house looked set to take the music industry by storm and become the new chocolate city. This was because of their skills at grooming good rappers. They had sassy Mo Cheddah and the self proclaimed knight house general Phenom.
But in 2017 we can’t find them. It seems knight house branched out, they stopped competing for space with mega bucks labels.
Phenom is now making pop music and it’s even harder because he isn’t pushing out the like of Tekno anytime soon. Where is Mo Cheddah anyway?
2. Trybe Records
Trybe records is one of the oldest commercial record labels in Nigeria but its really difficult for the Eldee led group to catch the industry’s attention now. They had artistes like 2 shots on their roster in the past but things have watered down ever since.
The label tried to make a comeback by signing Sheyman Eva Alordiah and Sarz. Eva Alordia left barely a month after signing the deal. Sheyman followed suit soon afterwards and so did hit maker Sarz.
3. Question Mark Records
Question mark records was the ultimate record label for rappers in Nigeria. The Label was led by controversial mulatto business man Kevin Lucciano. Q Mark ruled the industry even before chocolate city and the Abaga brothers. They had Mode nine, Rule clean, Overdose.
Kevin was known to be erratic and ill tempered and his legal battles against his colleagues are well documented. The label became more chaos than music and eventually fell off when everyone left.
4. Coded Tunes Entertainment
Do you remember when ID Cabasa was everything in the Nigerian music industry? I do. The hit maker happens to be a relative of Afro pop star 9ice, he formed Coded tunes and created some banging hits.
Olamide owes his success to Coded Tunes. They created the beast that he is today. But while Olamide’s career has gone to hit sky limits, ID Cabasa’s hit rock bottom with coded tunes.
5. Kennis Music Label
Kennis is arguably one of the most popular Nigerian record labels to ever exist. They gave us Plantashun Boiz and the Remedies. These boy bands created the likes of 2face, Eedris Abdulkareem, Faze and Tony Tetuila.
But ever since the departure of the mega names, they have been unable to replicate that form despite trying hard for more than a decade. It didn’t work with KSB, Jaywon and Goldie of blessed memory.
Now they are running out of patience with Minjin and Capital Femi. However The only hope they have for another mainstream cruise lies with bald R&B star Joe El. We only see Kennis music on prime time Africa on AIT.
6. DB Records
DB records promptly named after DBanj is probably the most disappointing record label on this list. They are disappointing not just because of the music they make but also because of the artistic choice of signings made by their A&R.
The label has Kayswitch, Tonto Dike and 2 Kriss. These guys lack talent. They are not going to be making hits anytime soon and it goes to tell you that they are not seriously into music. This could be due to Dbanj’s lack of proper industry knowledge.
Did we miss any defunct Nigerian record label? drop a comment