Today on MyGbeduList, we will be talking about Nigerian musicians who peacefully left their record label. In recent times, there have been several reports of fights between artistes and their record label over one thing or the other.
A lot of musicians have lost their career as a result of this and so many of them find it hard to succeed after moving on. This is because they might have had a change of name or lack the necessary promotions they were getting from the previous record label. Only a few have managed to come out strong after going through legal battle with their former label.
But today we will be sharing some musicians who left their record label in peace and still get the love and support from their previous boss as though they were still signed to them. When a musician has a peaceful exit from a contract it helps the artiste grow, because they won’t find it difficult or see it as a struggle to excel. In Nigeria today, there are just few reports about musicians having a peaceful music contract exits.
Most of these record label boss also, should be appreciated because, some of them understands the music business and they know how to handle every artiste coming under their platform. Although there are some artistes who operates on an affiliation deal, those kinds of musicians are not running any legal contract.
PEACEFUL EXIT: Nigerian Musicians Who Peacefully Left Their Record Labels
L.A.X. – Starboy Entertainment.
Damilola Afolabi popularly known as L.A.X, is a recording artiste and the founder of Rasaki Records, formerly signed to Wizkid’s label Starboy Entertainment.
In 2013, LAX got his first professional record deal with Starboy Entertainment, owned by Afro pop giant Wizkid. When his deal was announced, there were speculations that the artiste was not going to do well with Wizkid, but that ended up to be a lie. In 2013 they both released his first official debut single entitled “Caro”, a song that practically became an anthem in every household. In 2014, they dropped another smashing single “Ginger”, another street anthem. All through his time at Starboy Entertainment, there was no report of fight or misunderstandings.
In 2017, the young star confirmed his exit from Starboy Entertainment, to open his own record label he called Rasaki Record. I can bet, a lot of you don’t even know the artiste is no longer signed to Wizkid label. There was no report of any fight or contract breach between the two artistes.
When he left Starboy, he told Planet TV;
“When you go to school you spend six years and after six years you collect certificate so when you collect certificate that means you are a good boy, you did well. So, I was with Starboy and I was there as a learning process. From recording to the business of music to strategy and all so I thank Wizkid for teaching me a lot of things. Now, we are doing it”.
Now that is a perfect example of a peaceful split, between label and artist.
Reekado Banks – Mavin Records.
Ayoleyi Hanniel Solomon, better known as Reekado Banks is a record artiste and the founder of Banks Music. He is formerly signed to Mavin Records owned by Don Jazzy.
In 2014, Reekado Banks signed his first professional record deal with the Supreme Mavin Dynasty also known as Mavin Records. Immediately he was signed to Mavin nothing was the same with the young star. The label gave him the opportunity to lead their smashing single “Dorobucci”, the song gave Reekado his first award. They did so with many other mind-blowing songs like “Adaobi” and “Looku Looku”. The singer practically grew from nothing to being a top notch under the Mavin imprint.
In 2018, he took to his Instagram to drop an emotional statement about his peaceful exit from Mavin Record to go create his own label.
He wrote on his Instagram;
“Today I write in tears, not from a place of pain, but of joy and gratitude. A place of bliss and satisfaction because I am more than contented with how far this opportunity has brought me. The last five years have been the most blissful years of my career, the journey has been extremely wonderful and filled with the best experiences…
Joining the Mavin Records family was the best thing to have happened to me in the last decade. Don Jazzy took me in and treated me like his own son. I’ll be eternally grateful to him for sacrifices he made towards the growth of my career…
Taking this bold step and moving on from Mavin Records onto bigger opportunities is something that, though not easy, is absolutely necessary because of my growth”.
Till this moment Reekado Banks still gets support and guardian from his former boss Don Jazzy. Now that is a perfect peaceful exit.
Simi – X3M Music.
Simisola Ogunleye, popularly known as Simi, a super songstress with so many awards to her name. Simi was formerly signed to X3M Music, as one of it’s biggest act.
In 2014, Simi got signed by X3M Music, where she shared same platform with the likes of Praiz. The musician became prominent after her record deal with the prestigious label. The same year, after she was signed Simi dropped her debut single “Tiff”, which gave her massive recognition and great fan base.
X3M Music did everything to make the songstress an A-list star. With the release of 2 massive albums “Simisola” and “Omo Charlie Champagne, Vol. 1”, these are albums that put her on the limelight.
In 2019, Simi announced her peaceful exit from the label, which grabbed everyone by surprise. Her exit from her former record label became an issue, going by the emotional statement she dropped on her Instagram page.
“For the platform
For the support
For the freedom to express For the trust
For the opportunity to live my dreams
For the growth
For the teamwork
For letting me be a part of the family,
I thank you deeply. I appreciate you endlessly. I love you truly. @x3mmusic has been a beautiful part of my journey and I hope you believe me when I say I will never ever take for granted the blessings you brought me.
An especially intense thank you to my forever boss, mentor @stevebabaeko who has been more than a boss to me. You’ve been there for me even more as a father than as a CEO. And that’s saying a lot. This is bittersweet for me and my heart is heavy. As far as I’m concerned, my win is your win boss, and I hope I’ll always be able to come to u when I need you. More than anything, I’d like that. This is not goodbye. You’re just sending your daughter to do great exploits like you sent me to my husband’s house. Lol.
These statements showed the songstress, Simi left in peace and she is honored for that.
Lil Kesh – YBNL Record.
Keshinro Ololade, also known as Lil Kesh, founder of YAGI Music, formerly signed to YBNL Entertainment owned by Olamide. Kesh is a recording artiste, who has many hit singles and an album to his name.
In 2014, Lil Kesh signed a 2 years contract with YBNL Record, which saw him releasing several hit singles like, “Shoki”, “Gbese”, “Ibile” and many other smashing hits. The artiste released his debut studio album, “YAGI” under the YBNL imprint in 2016, an album which he named his own record label after.
In 2016, Lil kesh 2 years contract expired and rumors began to spread about the artiste having problems with his boss Olamide. But the YBNL boss came out to debunk the rumor of having misunderstanding with his signee.
Olamide released a press statement, where he addressed the split issue, he wrote;
“Good day guys, sorry we didn’t put you guys in the loop…Maybe cause we see no point in bringing it up cause family is family business or no business…I signed 2 years deal with Lil Kesh and Viktoh, it ended weeks ago. But the bond is 007 leave it (James bond level) Don’t touch it. Kesh got his own record label now YAGI but still works with YBNL Mngnt. Viktoh is still under YBNL Mngnt too..So worry not. The world is ours for the taken..YBNL FamilyForEver”.
To confirm their James Bond deal, Lil Kesh also released a press statement, that convinced the public that everything is fine between them.
“Ok, so it’s true that my contract ended about two weeks ago like we all know my contract with YBNL was for two years but that’s the business side to it. And did I state that my contract included 3 videos for me and one album? But Baddo went out of his way to shoot about five videos for me. Business or no business YBNL is family and will always be till I go 6ft under the ground. YAGI records is real with the support of my big bro Olamide, YBNL, remains my management for life, YBNL doesn’t just produce successful artistes, it produces artists that help produce other successful artists. That’s the dream Baddo shared with me about a year ago.”
Till this moment Mr MiYagi (Lil Kesh) is still affiliated to YBNL Record.
Tiwa Savage – Mavin Records.
Tiwatope Savage, better known as, Tiwa Savage is the former first lady of the Supreme Mavin Dynasty also known as Mavin Records. Tiwa, with no doubt and argument, is the biggest female musician in Africa. Her records stand out and her competitions don’t last.
In 2012, Tiwa Savage got signed to the Supreme Mavin Dynasty (Mavin Records), a deal that pushed her to becoming the biggest female singer in Africa. Though she was signed to the Don Jazzy owned label she still runs her own label called, 323 Entertainment co-owned with her former husband T-Billz.
She also got signed to Roc Nation, owned by Jay Z for a publishing deal. She created a showbiz life with Mavin, with several hit songs always topping chart. You don’t want us to talk about major awards she bagged. A lot of rumors about her exit from Mavin has surfaced on the internet in time past.
But in 2019, her exit from her kingdom, where she is seen as a queen, became official. I’m talking about her official exit from Mavin Records, her peaceful exit sent a lot of emotional feelings on the internet and the industry.
Don Jazzy took to his Instagram to bid her an emotional farewell, he wrote;
“Our darling Tiwatope. We at Mavin would like to say a very big thank you for being such an inspiration to all of us, a friend, a sister. It’s been an epic journey with you and we are very proud of what we have achieved together.
“As you start this new chapter in your life, we want you to know that we are solidly behind you and can’t wait for the world to see what we have always believed you can be. Your jersey as the First Lady of Mavin will forever be yours as we do not intend to fill that position with anyone else.
“We love you from the bottom of the heart and pray GOD’s blessings to continue to follow you. Amennnn.”
However, reacting to the Don Jazzy’s farewell message the ‘Darlin’ crooner said she was leaving the label to make Don Jazzy proud.
” When I got pregnant, I was nervous to tell you so I decided to tell you at the airport when we were travelling for a show. I figured you couldn’t really say much in a public place but then you told me you already knew and had already been thinking of a plan to keep my brand going while I took some time out.
” I was shocked because you weren’t phased by the news, you had already started making plans. I recorded the RED album while I was heavy and I would fall asleep during sessions and you and the whole team would crash in the studio right there with me till I woke up again and was ready to finish recording.
” There was nothing you would hear about me that ever made you mad, no outfit was too crazy, no headline was too controversial for you to handle no crazy outburst no nothing. If I said today wasn’t emotional for me, I would be LYING.
” Please promise me that our relationship will never change. I only want to make you proud of me. Not every superhero has an S on their chest. You are my superhero DON DORO BUCCI. 7 years, 7 the number of perfections. I LOVE YOU ALWAYS AND FOREVER. Mavin 4life #DiaFada”.
During her time with Mavin, Tiwa transformed from just a talented singer to an A-lister, show headliner and multiple award-winner.
Adekunle Gold – YBNL Record.
Adekunle Kosoko also known as Adekunle Gold, is a performing artiste formerly signed to YBNL. He is currently the only artiste doing what he is doing right now.
In 2015, he signed a record deal with YBNL Records, owned by Olamide. Adekule Gold, became the king of alternate sound under the YBNL imprint, every song from him was massive. His debut studio album “Gold” was published by YBNL Record 2016.
In 2017, his two years contract with YBNL ended and he started his own label, The 74th Element. When he left people thought there was an issue or breach of contract between him and Olamide, but both parties came out to debunk that.
He granted an interview with Hip TV, where he opened up about his peaceful exit from the label.
He said, and I quote;
“Olamide is grooming artistes. Shout out to him. He has helped me; he’s put me and Lil Kesh on and now he has other artistes to cater for. There’s YBNL princess and there’s Davolee.
It’s normal. He can’t do too many people at the same time and we somehow, God has blessed us and we feel it is time for us to move.
My contract expired but I’m still with YBNL. YBNL is not a label, it’s a family, it’s a movement.
Olamide still calls me and we talk. There’s no bad blood”.
This statement cleared the bad air blowing around the industry and since then Gold, has been climbing up to the top of his game.
2 Baba – Kennis Music.
Innocent Ujah Idibia, popularly known as 2 Baba, is a recording and performing artiste and also the founder of Hypertek Digital, he was formerly signed to Kennis Music.
In 2004, 2 Baba officially got signed to Kennis Music, a platform that grew him to becoming the legend he is today. When 2 Baba’s former group Plantation Bois split up, he got signed by the biggest music label then. This was the beginning of greatness for the music legend, as he never stopped releasing great singles under Kennis.
Though 2 Baba’s exit was not officially announced or publicized, there was no trace of war between him and the record label. In an interview with one of the top blogs, where he was asked about his exit from Kennis Music.
“I still have a good romance with Kennis Music (smiles). It has been 10 years since the release of my first album as a solo artiste, and Kennis Music is planning a 10th anniversary of that album. The album has been re-mastered.
That’s exactly what I am doing with Kennis Music. So, it’s not about 2Baba joining Kennis Music as an artiste”.
This only means the legend left his former label on a clean note. He recently celebrated 20 years on stage, which was attended by his former label bosses, Keke and D1.
This article is to show that there is some record label boss who knows the music business and knows how to manage their artistes very well. A lot of musicians today find it very difficult to succeed after leaving their previous record label, this is because there is no growth where there is war. We can only encourage musicians, most especially the ones who haven’t made it as an A-list star to please calm down and follow the process.