Nigerian artists Who are still thriving despite Leaving Their Former Label.
Artists leaving a label to start their own or enter another is a common thing in the Nigerian Industry.
While sometimes artists leave their Labels amidst controversy, some others leave in good faith.
For some, the exit from their label is the beginning of their downfall and problem.
However, Some of these artists who left have found greater success in the Nigerian music industry after departing the record label that catapulted them to prominence.
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In this article, Mp3bullet.ng highlights the Nigerian Artists who still remain in the limelight years after leaving their first label.
Wizkid is a well-known Nigerian musician who began his career at an early age. The gifted vocalist rose to prominence after being signed by Banky W in 2009 and releasing Holla at Your Boy, the lead single from his debut studio album, Superstar (2011)
Wizkid departed E.M.E following the release of his second studio album and the expiration of his five-year contract. He went ahead to establish his label imprint, Starboy Entertainment in March 2013.
By 2016, Wizkid had achieved international recognition following his collaboration with Drake on the hit single One Dance, which reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100.
In March 2017, he signed a multi-album deal with RCA Records and released his third studio album Sounds from the Other Side, later that year.
Wizkid’s exit from E.M.E records was amidst controversies. It was also reported that money was at the centre of the controversy and in a video interview with Capital Xtra in October 2019, Wizkid said he left the label without any money.
Since starting his own label, he’s had even greater success, releasing numerous hit songs and winning numerous awards, including Grammys, BET Awards, and others.
Burna Boy is a Nigerian artist and rapper who was born Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu. He is one of Africa’s most well-known and successful artists. The Odogwu hardly needs an introduction because being a ‘African Giant’ is not a day’s work.
Burna has worked hard to get to the top and has managed to stay there. He began his career in music in 2011 and has remained relevant since then, despite parting ways with Aristocrat Records in 2014.
Prior to his departure from Aristocrat Records, he released his debut studio album L.I.F.E in August 2013, following up on his second mixtape Burn Identity (2011). On the first day of its release, the album sold 40,000 copies.
Then in February 2015, Burna founded his record label, Spaceship entertainment. He knew what he wanted and he went for it. In 2017, Burna Boy signed with Bad Habit/Atlantic Records in the United States and Warner Music Group internationally.
He has since released four more albums; On a Spaceship 2015, Outside 2018, Steel and Copper (EP) 2019, African Giant 2019, Twice as Tall 2020.
That is aside from many hit singles and collaborations. Burna sure has a lot of firsts; he is the first African artiste to bag three nominations and wins consecutively, having won the BET Award in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Burna Boy became the first Afrobeat musician to sell out the SSE Arena (formerly known as the Wembley arena) in November 2019.
For his album Twice as Tall, he won the Grammy for best global music album, a first for a Nigerian solo artist and the first Nigerian to receive back-to-back Grammy nominations.
Olamide is another musician that has had a significant impact on the Nigerian music scene.
The music sensation rose to prominence after signing with the Coded Tunes record company, under which he released his smash single “Eni Duro” and debut album, “Raspodi“.
Despite his success as a member of the label, he departed to start his own record label. He created countless award-winning songs and signed brilliant music stars including Adekunle Gold, Lil Kesh, Chinko Ekun, and Fireboy DML to his label.
He is still active in the music industry and has recently earned plenty of honours.
David Adedeji Adeleke, better known as Davido, has also carved a niche for himself since entering the music industry in 2010.
He started his music career under his brother’s label known as ‘HKN‘. While signed to HKN music, the OBO released his debut studio album Omo Baba Olowo in 2012. Despite considerable critical criticism, the album received numerous honours.
After releasing Dami Duro, the second single from his debut studio album Omo Baba Olowo, Davido won the Next Rated award at The Headies in 2012.
He had a string of hit singles between 2013 and 2015, and after leaving HKN Music, he secured a record deal with Sony Music in January 2016. He went on to start Davido Music Worldwide, his own record label (DMW) that same year.
He also became more famous under his label and signed multi-talented artists like Peruzzi, Dremo, Mayorkun, and many others to his label.
In April 2017, Davido renegotiated his contract with Sony due to creative control issues and later that year he released five singles including If and Fall.
Currently, Davido is the second most followed African on the social media app, Instagram. Despite his exit from HKN music which moulded his music career, Davido has successfully managed to keep moving forward.
2Baba is a well-known Nigerian singer who has made a name for himself in the music industry. Before starting his own label, he was contracted to Kennis Music.
Under his label, the musician has received various honours, including the SoundCity Music Video Awards, Channel O Music Video Awards, MTV Africa Music Awards, and others.
His exit from Kennis was a controversial one that was shrouded in a lot of legal disputes. However, this did not stop him from starting his own label, Hypertek and signing artists like Dammy Krane to it. 2Baba is one of the most consistent artists in the industry.
Kizz Daniel came to the limelight in the industry after the release of his hit song “Woju” under his former label, G-Worldwide Entertainment in 2013.
In 2017, he exited G-Worldwide which led to a contractual dispute with the record label. The issue was his desire to breach the terms of his contract and exit the label without fulfilling the terms of the contract.
As a result of the dispute, an injunction prevented him from performing throughout the festive period of December 2017.
It also led to him changing his name from ‘Kiss‘ to ‘Kizz.’ G Worldwide has trademarked the name, ‘Kiss.’ While under G Worldwide, he released his critically acclaimed and commercially successful Headies-winning 2016 debut album, New Era.
However, in 2017, he was able to release music again through his own record label, Flyboy Entertainment and even released his sophomore album, No Bad Songz on the label.
Tiwa Savage started her music career overseas where she worked as a songwriter and a backup singer for various popular artists.
She moved back to Nigeria and signed with Mavin records in 2012 during which she appeared on the label’s compilation album Solar Plexus.
Her debut studio album Once Upon a Time was released in 2013 and was supported by seven hit singles: Kele Kele Love, Love Me (3x), Without My Heart, Ife Wa Gbona, Folarin, Olorun Mi and Eminado.
After releasing two more projects, “R.E.D” and “Sugarcane“, she announced her record deal with Universal music group and exit from Mavin records in 2019.
Tiwa Savage has managed to prosper in the music industry despite her departure from Mavin Records. Despite working in a male-dominated business, she is at the top of her game and prospering.
Signing with UMG, the world’s largest music corporation and one of the “big three” record labels, along with Sony Music and Warner Music Group, was without a doubt one of Tiwa’s best moves.
Under her new label, she has released two projects, “Celia” and “Water and Garri“.
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Adekunle Kosoko is a Nigerian highlife singer, songwriter, and graphic designer known professionally as Adekunle Gold or AG baby.
He rose to prominence after releasing the 2015 smash track Sade, a highlife cover of One Direction’s Story of My Life.
He signed a record deal with Olamide Badoo’s YBNL Nation that year. During his time with the label, his singles Sade, Orente, and Pick Up became mega-hits, with ‘Sade‘ earning the award for the best alternative song at The Headies 2016.
He left the label in 2016 after the release of his debut album, Gold, on July 28, 2016.
After his exit from YBNL, Adekunle Gold unveiled his band The 79th element in reference to the atomic number of gold.