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Mohbad: 6 Things New Artistes Must Know Before Signing Label Contracts

Label contracts

There is no doubt that the joy that comes with having a talent and earning a living from it would fill the heart of any up-and-coming entertainer.

But such joy can quickly be squelched when greenhorn artistes who are ignorant of the rules and how the industry operates, fall prey to shady deals.

Following the death of 27-year-old rapper and singer, Ilerioluwa Aloba, popularly known as MohBad, on September 12, some artistes signed under several labels opened up about the issues they had with their record labels.

Before MohBad’s death, he was formerly signed to Naira Marley’s Marlian records before leaving sometime in 2022.

The PUNCH had reported in October 2022, of MohBad’s allegation that he was assaulted by his management team after demanding a change of manager.

The singer, however, added, “World, pls help me oo, I’m dying inside.”

The owner of the label had debunked the report and described the issue as a “family affair.”

Almost a year after his plea for help, MohBad eventually died.

Disagreements and fallouts between a record label and a signed artiste and or between a manager as well as the artistes can happen. At times, the disagreements can originate from contractual breaches, the discovery of shady deals and stifling requirements.

Many up-and-coming artistes, who may not understand the nature of agreements and are not educationally enlightened, are most of the time vulnerable to being exploited by shady labels and deals.

Here are six things entertainers must know before signing deals with a label.

Know what your label demands

Before signing to a label, it is important artistes know what is expected of them at every point in time.

Having this information beforehand would help to ensure the label and the signee are on the same page.

An artiste and talent manager and the Public Relations Officer, Association of Music Artiste Managers of Nigeria, Raphani Omabidi, and a human rights and public interest lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, said record labels were business entities with a primary objective to maximise profit.

They stated that artistes must understand that record labels are profit-making business organisations and therefore should understand what is required of them.

Omabidi said, “I admit that some of the boys are from the ghetto and are extremely talented. They just want to sing and it is appreciated but the advice is that they should not be in a hurry to sign any contract.”

He however noted that some record labels, while trying to maximise profits, did that at the peril of their signees.

Effiong advised young artistes, saying, “They must realise that it is not also about the immediacy, they have to be futuristic in their views and ensure that their interest is well covered.”

Involve a lawyer

Effiong noted that the first concern of every young artiste should be retaining the services of a lawyer before signing a contract with a record label.

He said, “Before someone signs a contract, one should have a legal practitioner of his or her choice review the clauses. There is no reason why any person would go into entertainment without gaining the services of a lawyer

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