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How To Get Signed With A Record Label Deal In Nigeria; 3 Tips For Upcoming Artistes

Getting a record label deal is the ultimate dream of an upcoming Nigerian rapper or singer. People believe that getting a contract is hard but I have made it easy here.

Most people believe that getting just any contract is the end of all suffering but it isn’t necessarily so. This post aims at demystifying these terms. So you can know what it really means to get signed.

According to wikipedia “A record label is a publishing company that manages brands and trademarks, coordinates the production, manufacture, distribution , marketing, promotion, and enforcement of copyright for sound recordings and music videos”

READ: How to start your own record label from scratch

Record labels see you as an investment opportunity and seek to sell your brand to make profit.

They will spend time preparing your story and creating a hype around you, they will spend money grooming you to ensure you look like everything they said you were.

The amount of attention you get depends on the kind of contract you get, all artistes don’t get the same deals. Below I listed the popular types of contracts and what they entail.

Marketing/Promotion deal

If a label offers you this contract, it means they are willing to use their resources to promote your brand thereby increasing your natural audience. They will seek to introduce you to a wider audience which will grow your fan base in turn.

The contract may require you to relinquish some control over your representation and public image, because they might have to hire a manager and a PR agent for you to carry out their marketing vision. This means they might be in charge of your social media profiles.

You will become more visible because more blogs will carry your story, your management will get more leads so you will perform at more shows and eventually become attractive for brand endorsements.

You will be required to share your earnings with the label via a percentage distribution to cover for the resources spent on getting you that far.

Distribution deals

Distribution deals are offered to semi established artistes who already have a vibrant market presence but needs wider reach. This will allow such an artists to sell more, get more shows and and eventually make money for the label via percentage sharing.

Distribution has come a long way, these days independent artistes are now taking it up themselves by using tools available on social.

Wholesome Recording/Copyright contracts

This kind of contract are mostly provided to artistes who start from scratch. The label will take care of all your creative expenses on the grounds that you allow them influence your artistic expression.

They may own your songs and your voice for the duration of the contract term. In plain English, they own you for the time being. Nigerian record labels hardly offer them because frankly no label is interested in building up an artiste from scratch.

Contract agreement

This contract is dangerous because you may not be able to perform your own songs even after the term, without sharing a percentage of money with the former label as royalties.

Soul E had a battle with his former label, colossal records in 2007.

The label¬† claimed they own the name “Soul E” and that he couldn’t use it anymore after the contract was breached. He was ordered to pay N160 Million naira by a Lagos federal high court according to Linda Ikeji.

Upcoming artistes are misinformed and that’s why they find it hard to get signed record label deal Nigeria. Make labels fight for you with these 3 steps

How To Get Signed Record Label Deal Nigeria

To attract the attention of labels is just like looking for investors to put money in your business. Its easier when your business has already started up. So this is focusing on things you can do to improve yourself while waiting for that glorious day.

READ: Building your core fan base in Nigeria as an upcoming artiste

1. Build a Core fan base

Label wants underground Nigerian artistes that are already locally recognized. Its not just enough to be talented, they want you to make waves in your zone because they are business people with an eye for a product they can sell.

Lets look at the case of two artistes A and B, each getting 10,000 downloads for their free digital mix tapes.

Rapper A got people downloading his project from all over the country from Lagos to Calabar to Maiduguri and Sokoto. Statistics show that the people who are downloading his songs are within the ages of 50 and 20.

He has done well considering how vast the country is, its possible that some of the downloads came from random action given the very diverse demographic.

Rapper B got all his downloads from Benue only, all 10, 000 of them. Most of his downloads are from people within the ages of 18 and 30. Its very unlikely that his downloads are coming randomly, the stats place him as a local champion.

Who do you think labels will go for? A is a good artiste, but From all indications B seems like more of an investment. All the record label wants to do now is to offer him a deal that will help him amplify his presence by trying to recreate his Benue following in other States.

If Rapper B can be so strongly followed in Benue as an underground artiste then it means he has done well on his own in the pilot phase and has come close to being a finished product. It also means that rapper B is already able to invoke emotion in a small area and thus will be easier for PR people to brand.

2. Acquire other skills

Labels wants artistes with a diverse skill set. Its not enough to be polarized anymore, its a capitalist system and you need to lookout for things that make can you attractive. It’s no coincidence that 5 of the 2017 big brother Nigeria contestants were musicians.

Many of them will get signed up, despite getting evicted at an early stage. The idea is to show yourself with every opportunity, you can’t afford to be in the background if you dream of getting signed.

3. Blend into the trend

You might not have enough money to hire your own PR agent, you might not have a manager but you can surely make moves to brand yourself. Labels are on the lookout for artistes who already look like celebrities, they want those who are making songs that can sell.

So if you’re an underground rapper looking to get signed by Don Jazzy its time to quit hardcore rap,¬† meddle with some catchy feel-good music and get on their radar by looking good all by yourself.

Now that you know what the record labels are looking for, you should do the following

1. Contact them directly

There are services that claim to be middle men and offer to link you up to record labels. Let me give you this piece of advice; DO NOT PATRONIZE THEM. Record labels put out their emails and contact addresses from time to time whenever they need to add a new face to their roster.

You have to do yourself a favor and stay attentive to industry news in case there is any new opportunity to send your song. Its not a crime for you to go on social network and initiate conversations by sending direct messages with the big names.

Many of them will not reply but those who do will be worth it. When contacting a record label, you need to package your stuff correctly with all your song, links, past performances and reviews well arranged.

2. Participate in competitions

Competitions are a great place for record labels to select their future flag bearers. Record labels want to give deals to artistes who can hold their own in front of a crown while under pressure.

The industry is a wild place and they are usually watching out for new confident acts catching the headlines. Skales got signed to EME after Banky W saw him perform at a show in Kaduna, you could be next signee.

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OG Adoga
I am a Rap Music Instructor, Hip Hop Culture Custodian, Promotion Expert, all round smooth operator and chief editor at Hip Hop Head. Call me on 09050391411 (No free jobs) ______________________________________________________________________________ To join our Whatsapp group copy and paste the link below in your browser (Lovers of Hip Hop only)

40 thoughts on “How To Get Signed With A Record Label Deal In Nigeria; 3 Tips For Upcoming Artistes

  1. Hi everyone, my name is Patrick chimaobi okeke, Aka Young Focus, an Nigerian, upcoming Afro Artist, i am single and not yet under any label, i believe that action speak louder then words, i was born with the talent of music, i am an afro singer, and also a dance hall singer, on grand of hustle, came across many collaboration from Ghanian Artist , it is my pure dream to wake the word with my voice and fresh talent, like i attached my link, i would like a check out on it, and see the little of Young focus,, and i promise that more is to offer, My friends called me Mr Playboy, because i am that boy who keeps the best of Amazing songs, i believe in talent and dream come true, some day it will shine, and God bless the team i will shine on, and God bless my fans and lovers,
    Your faithfu
    Playboy:Young Focus

  2. I have to be honest, you have given the most detailed expression of what should be done. You just might have helped a future superstar. This message is blessss!!!! Keeep writing and passing truths like this brother.

  3. Comment *hi!… my name is okon eyo okon, a.k.a king jo, am a nigerian upcoming afro artist,rapper and a singer,not yet in any label,but,how i wish,i can be given the opportunity into any recode label,then,i will show to the world the stuff am made of..!

  4. I’m an up coming artist with creativities in singing nd designing. Pls can someone help me to get signed in to record label

  5. am cheche msafi in fb and am an upcoming gospel artist, I have a band and we are kindly looking forward for support so that we can sustify our music dreams thank you as we wait for ur spornsership deal thank you God bless u
    my phone number is 0714236682

  6. I’m vik-waiz , a rapper n singer looking for any record label to sign me in, this my contact 09020882692 I will appreciate n very glad if I got one,,,,,,, thanks

  7. Comment *I like this page. its awesome .thank GOD for OG. your a genus. I need a Gospel music studio that can give me the best production .am into praise and worship songs. I emulate. Don Moen. frank Edwards, I have wat it takes to praise ,worship. and perch the gospel through my songs. I need a sponsor to take care of recording and taking care of everything about my songs. I can be reached on 08064628599

  8. This is good i love this …….. am an underground artiste no even upcoming but this motivate me alot …. big thanks to you brother ….. Ama kip doing ma things real cool and catchy ………..08145333244

  9. its amazing how this posts of yours educate my musical life. Am an underground artiste who wants nothing but to be heard and am gathering my fans. Og adoga tankx alot bro#AM SKEEDO

  10. Hi. Am Khan Imari. Am an afrobeat singer and rapper. If you a label and you looking for a starboy, i humbly apply and am your best shot.
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  11. Hi. Am Khan Imari. Am an afrobeat singer annd rapper. If you a label looking for a starboy, am your best shot. Oluwa did it
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  12. GOD blessed you children of focus record label…are you talented and gifted in music ,dance hall,r and b,rap and gospel ,if you are sure of your self ,contact mr james lucky 08138080303 ,whattsapp ..thank and remain bless in jesus name ..we are ready to welcome you any time focus record label …

  13. Comment *this is nice OG Adoga, u’re really boosting the moral. Continue with the good work. I still remain your man Lukzy.G. V. Soon the good thing will come out of nazareth. MUSIC REMAIN MY FIRST LOVE

  14. I am desmond by name originally notify as Evagreen by stage name! upcoming artist I have some few tracks from the past due to local production, But i am good to all kind of muzik! Afrobeat Afropop, reggae, dancehall, & hip-hop etc. i also a songwriter, I’m current around afrika but i am seeking in help of label to sign me

  15. Comment *my name is Christian Jackson am an hip hop artist stage name claxxified am an upcoming artist with the dream of being signed and given opportunities call or what app: 09037427518

  16. My name is gbolahan ojute a.k.a ELMO.. I am upcoming artist. I’m into UK grimes, garage music and reggae dancehall.. A lot of people who get to or who have the chance to listen to my song really finds it addictive.. All I need is to push my music to the rest of Nigeria and to the world.. I believe being unique, skilled and diligent in one’s work is what makes him or her great and stand out.. I would be expecting a response.. Thanks for your audience.. 08179401014


  18. God blessed you upcoming artists… Focus record label want to get you sign..if you are sure of your self and believe in your talent.. Contact daddy James lucky 08138080303 we are fully ready to welcome you in Jesus name and in God we trust

  19. God blessed you upcoming artists… Focus record label want to get you sign..if you are sure of your self and believe in your talent.. Contact daddy James lucky 08138080303 we are fully ready to welcome you in Jesus name and in God we trust….

  20. I’m a talented songwriter, recording and preforming
    artist. SAM-E is my music name. Have debuts the industry with an album titled ‘YOUR LOVE’ 2018/2019 with major production credits by renounced South South based producer ‘Bard Bishop’. I’m still in my 20’s and has decided to take a bold step to kick start a music career. I am extremely creative and hardworking. You are surely going to love this body of work… Yet to sign into Record Label…
    To download songs on the album, google –
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    WhatsApp/Call me:08136315245 for bukking.

  21. Comment *hello I’m up coming artist and I’m good at hip-hop, Afro and reggae, I will be clad if I some one should help me and sign me…
    I have dropped 3 songs and people found interested…
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