Many great Nigerian musicians have benefitted from signing major deals with foreign record labels. This strategy is increasingly becoming the industry norm as these excellent artists seek a stronger global presence in the packaging and marketing of their works
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The Nigerian music industry keeps expanding as our music talents gain global acceptance for their distinctive sonic crafts.
Legit.ng is here to inform its readers about the famous musicians who have bagged one international deal or the other, spreading the tentacles of culture and indigenous rhythms.
Patoranking moved from Foston Musik to join VP Records (USA)
Nigerian reggae and dancehall superstar Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie, popularly known as Patoranking, was first signed with Igberaga Records in 2010.
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In 2014, he moved to Foston Musik and joined VP Records, a New York City independent label established by Caribbean individuals. The label is well-known for releasing Patoranking-style reggae-dancehall music.
His last album 'World Best' was released under VP Records.
Pheelz, from Olamide's YBNL to Warner Records USA
Pheelz is a Nigerian singer and songwriter who first came into the industry as a record producer signed under Olamide's YBNL.
He has worked with several musicians, such as Davido, Usher, Wizkid, Fireboy DML, Teni, Tiwa Savage, and Olamide.
In 2022, he signed a deal with United States label Warner Records, following the success of his hit single, 'Finesse'.
Seyi Shay secured a recording contract with Island Record
Seyi Shay is a British-Nigerian singer and composer. Her sonic ability to fuse Afropop and R&B in her songs stands out.
In 2015, she released her debut album, Seyi or Shay, after securing a global contract with Island Record, a multinational record label owned by Universal Music Group.
The songstress has since then remained relevant in the music industry. She was a talent show judge for the famed Nigerian Idol talent hunt and bagged various endorsement deals.
Tiwa Savage bagged a 7-year contract with Universal Music Group
After seven years with Mavin Records, the Kele Kele Love breakout star inked a publishing and distribution deal with Universal Music's Motown Records division.
On May 2, 2019, Universal Music Group announced the signing of Savage to a seven-year publishing and distribution deal.
Joining Universal Music, she promptly released "49-99," followed by "Attention," and "Owo Mi Da."
Asa, a Sony BMG recording artist
Bukola Elemide, with the stage name Asa, is widely considered one of Nigeria's most prominent artists.
The Nigerian-French musician, composer, and performer is being mentored internationally and signed to Nave Records in Paris.
Asa is also a Sony BMG recording artist. Asa's contract enables her contemporary sound to travel across borders.
In 2011, her album Beautiful Imperfection, which she recorded with French musician Nicolas Mollard in 2010, went platinum.
Her latest album, V, was released on February 25, 2022. The 10-track studio work features guest appearances from top Nigerian acts, including Grammy award winner Wizkid, Nigerian highlife duo The Cavemen, and Ghanaian artist Amaarae.
Brymo, from Chocolate City to Tate Music Group
Olawale Ibrahim Ashimi, popularly known as Brymo, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter.
His first record deal was with Chocolate City in 2010, but he later left in 2015 to sign a new recording and distribution deal with a US-based music firm, Tate Music Group. He does a blend of Fuji, R&B, Rock, and Pop.
Olamide, in partnership with Empire Records
Olamide is one of the successful record label owners in Nigeria. In 2012, Olamide founded the YBNL, with artists like Lil Kesh, Adekunle Gold, Viktoh, Chinko Ekun, and Fireboy DML nurtured under him.
Recently, he inked a partnership agreement with Empire, a major international record label and distributor. Thanks to this partnership, all the artists signed to YBNL will also benefit from the global distribution of their music.
Wizkid, from EME Records to Sony Music's RCA Record label
2017, Wizkid secured a multi-album contract with Sony Music's RCA Record label. He eventually signed this deal after leaving EME Records and starting Starboy Entertainment.
The contract was finalised amid much anticipation following the release of a remix of WizKid's 2015 smash single "Ojuelegba" by American rap artists Drake and Skepta, which became a global sensation and brought the singer international acclaim.
It wasn't long before his third studio album, "Sounds from the Other Side," was published following his contract with Sony Records.
Burna Boy, signed to Atlantic Records
Burna was previously signed to Aristokrat Records in Nigeria but left in 2014. 2017 Burna Boy signed with Bad Habit/Atlantic Records in the United States and Warner Music Group worldwide.
In addition, to commemorate his major-label debut, he released his studio album "Outside" in 2017. In 2018, he also inked a publishing contract with Universal Records.
Davido, signed to Sony Music through RCA Records
In 2016, Davido was signed to Sony Music through RCA Records. He created history when he became the first Nigerian musician to sign an international record deal.
He's since extended into the music industry by establishing his record label, Davido Music Worldwide (DMW), and mentored a couple of fast-rising talents in the country.
Davido, Falz perform at Mohbad’s tribute concert
Legit.ng earlier reported that Falz and Davido performed in front of an enormous crowd at Mohbad's tribute night.
The rapper kept the crowd pumped up while calling for their loud voices to shout justice in response to the unfortunate events surrounding Mohbad's death.