Not All Artists Can be Consistent or Relevant in the industry After he/she leaves a Record Label; Kuami Eugene tells African artists who leaves out Record Labels.
Every artist wants to break into the mainstream, travel the world, publish , market their songs, and of course want to make money from their art. But of course, reaching that level requires financial and commercial networks, and most artists lack these early in their musical careers. At that time, as an artist, signing with a record company may be your last resort.
However, there is the problem that artists sign up for the label and leave it after having to reach a certain level of popularity. Yes, as a freelance artist, you can achieve great success. You can keep 100% of the profits generated from music sales, streaming, licensing transactions, performances, merchandise, and other sources of income. You have the master rights to music, the freedom to negotiate music licenses and publishing transactions.
In Ghana, l know a lot of self-made artists who made it without signing onto any record label nailed It to the prime and still pushing hard. Just to mention few, Sarkodie ,shatta wale, stonebwoy, Black Sheriff, and many more have been able to be consistent for long now in the industry.
The Cameroonian singer Koc is a good example of a successful independent artist, he studied the business side of music to perfection, kept it consistent and knew what to throw, so he remained relevant. Chance The Rapper is another example of a successful freelance artist. His 2016 mix tape “COLORING BOOK” earned him three Grammy Awards, including the award for “Best Rap Album.”
Canadian-Nigerian rapper Dax is another example of a successful freelance artist.
He has always been very consistent, has a close relationship with media figures, and has achieved great achievements in video viewing and audio streaming. Recently, it reached an impressive 1 million likes on the official video of “Dear God”. For freelance artists, this is a huge number.
However, not all artists can achieve world-class success through independence. Not all artists have networks to reach a global audience.
This is why even successful artists like Diamond Platnumz have signed a cooperation agreement with Warner Music. Warner Music will help promote artists like Diamond and suZuchu to more fans around the world and will introduce Bongofrava to a wider audience. This is something that Harmonize, who previously signed with Wasafi Records, will miss, because he quit the record company, plus he also let the network sign such a big deal.
So, whether you like it or not, in your musical career there will always be something that only record companies can give you. As a signed artist, you have the support of some of the best artists and celebrities in the media because they have a relationship with your record company, not with you. For example, Shura T.F. and GOMEZ 237 still can’t get the support of some of the best artists and professionals in the music industry because they are independent. The previous support was due to the influence of Steven’s Music Entertainment LLC and Lion Production, respectively.
Now they are forced to establish their own personal relationship. Some artists are even less concerned about establishing relationships with media figures under the label. For example, only when Gomez left Lionn Productions did he publicly thank the bloggers for their work and begged them to continue to support his music journey and interact with some bloggers in the WhatsApp group he created. After independence, he is now aware of the importance and influence of media figures. So I’m not saying that it’s wrong to leave your label and start an independent routine, but it’s wise to be very sure and certain of your music status before leaving the label. Don’t give up on completing something just because you have already given up on the label thing.
In Ghana, there are a couple of artists who signed onto record labels and finally canceled the deal. I don’t want to mention names but truth be told, 90% of these artists are no more consistent or relevant in the industry.
Popularity, there’s more to consider. Do you have the money to fund, market, and distribute your songs? Do you have the funds to produce goods and touring performances? Do you have industry contacts, contacts with professionals in the music industry, media celebrities, booking agents, etc.? Keeping relevant is one thing, keeping relevant is another.
This is why you must respect artists who stay relevant under the label and stay relevant when independent. What about artists who have never signed but are popular, consistent, and relevant? Respect their names. Lil Kesh, Lyta, Temmie Ovwasa, Shura, Davolee, and other artists have become irrelevant since they left the mark. I hope they reformulate their strategy and recover successfully.