RECORD LABELS & INVESTORS: N100 MILLION WON’T “BLOW” YOUR ARTISTE
Ever heard an Investor or label executive complain about whooping huge sums spent on an Artiste without recouping a nickel, dime or kobo? Ever wondered why you have spent so much on producing great songs, promotion and excellent visuals but nothing to show for such expenses? Ever followed up an artiste you love so much because such artiste makes good music and well-funded but no progress?
Don’t let the headline mislead you into believing huge funding isn’t needed to build a well structure label and of course NGN 100 Million will do great.
Many have opined that all you need is money to hit the mainstream fan base in Nigeria and that’s the only way to “blow” as we usually say it here. Let me categorically put it out there that the amount you spend in the hope of “blowing” an artiste doesn’t guarantee success. What guarantees success is how the money is spent, on what it is spent on and the expected return on the monies spent.
These criteria aren’t exhaustive but they form the basis on how the record label or team must be structured, with respective roles and goals assigned. The music industry in Nigeria isn’t really structured as we expect it to be when compared to traditional understanding of music industry globally but this doesn’t impliedly mean there is entirely no widely accepted “Modus operandi” within this over $2 Million dollars’ sector of the Entertainment-cum-creative Industry.
This “Modus Operandi” must be well understood by the record labels or those the record label contract the job to because if this operational model isn’t well understood, the funds spent will only go to waste.
From understanding the idea of “radio friendly music “, “entertainment industry relations”,” corporate alignment”, “legal knowledge”, “paper work/proper documentation” to “Proper accounting system”, any record label or investor must understand that knowing and understanding these details makes the label strong, accountable and progressive.
Spending millions of naira on an artiste who hasn’t earned a million can be farfetched and counterproductive. So is the same when running a record label or a management imprint without proper incorporation and legal requirements fulfilled. Structuring your label to include content team, promotional team, and creative team amongst others isn’t as expensive as just spending cash for persons who are out to swindle you; popularly known as the “I am intos……”
Label executives and Investors need to always ask the right questions before embarking on money-jamboree on any artiste. I do understand and appreciate that most record labels in Nigeria emerge out of passion but that shouldn’t limit the passionate creation to a nomadic and unprofessional home of directionless investors and creatives.
As always, we shall charge record labels, management imprints and investors to ask the right questions before disbursing cash.
- What structures and/or operational model have we put in place?
- What are the functions of these structures/model?
- Who are those responsible for these functions and what are their deliverables?
- How do we compensate the achievement of the deliverables?
- What are the risk factors?
- Are the risks manageable?
These questions are not comprehensive and are dependant, relatively, on the goals of record labels, management imprints, and investors in question.
Questions will also depend on the strength of the label in terms of financing and content focus (not that we have label with genre-specific focus in Nigeria).