The word ‘Advance’ might not mean much to the ordinary man but to an artiste, it means the beginning of a great career. Little wonder it is one of the things that tempt artistes into signing a record deal.

This is especially true of upcoming artistes that have been striving on the streets of Lagos, Kaduna, Jos, Warri , Port-Harcourt e.t.c , hovering from music studios to lounges, nightclubs and concerts on their own naira solely to make their sound heard and get their big break ( i.e subsequently “blow”).

This usually comes with a lot of financial sacrifices with the uncertainty of finally becoming successful in this cut-throat world of the music industry.

This leaves a very little opening for the successful artistes with a lot of them giving up on the dream before they even get a chance for their big break. In other cases, a small portion of these artistes continue, with the hope that “one day, I will blow”.

Fast forward, a record label comes forth with millions of naira to sign and invest in such artiste, with the promise of a fancy duplex in Lekki phase 1 or VGC, coupled with  a complete wardrobe overhaul, and  a range rover evogue 2017 edition.   The artiste comes excited with the feeling of “ I am now rich , I don blow”.

Then comes the reality check, the realization that such “gifts” are given as an “advance” on royalties.  Advances are sums of money or gifts paid or given to an artiste on account of future royalties. They’re paid (or given) when the artiste signs to the label or during the term.

An advance is an advance (literally) and it’s an advance against royalties an artiste will earn on future record sales; the record label will definitely want a return on Investment (ROI). The full amount given as an advance is recoupable, it is advisable resist the temptation to spend the ‘advance’ money in a night on ‘popping bottles in the club’.

An advance, ordinarily should be shared with the artiste’s manager. However, it is also taxable: thus, an advance can “disappear” quickly. An advance sometimes can also be for recording costs, tour costs etc. It is important to understand that advances are recoupable.

Although, the thought of a large advance may get an artiste excited, but however, they come at a price. Advance is basically Debt and not free money, Debt that shall be paid back. Often, if the advance is large, there will be more pressure on an artiste to succeed immediately and also, the label is tied longer to the artiste as it has to recoup its advanced sum.

Recoupment of an advance is a process by which the label will first recover as against any of the artiste’s royalty income. An advance can also become a personal debt owed by the artiste to the record label which such artiste could be liable for at any time.

Thus, it is advised to opt for a smaller advance and aim to secure a higher royalty percent rate. Smaller advance also serves as a precautionary measure, because it protects against the uncertainty of becoming successful in the music industry. Nobody wants a case of “Had I known”.


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Fawehinmi Oyinkansola Esq.

Fawehinmi Oyinkansola aka The FozaDoza is synonymous to energy and passion. With keen interest in the entertainment and legal industrIes, Foza has been able to create a niche in both industries for herself. She obtained her LL.B and a Diploma in Security studies from the prestigious Babcock University Ilisan Remo, Ogun State. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2014.

She started out in the entertainment industry as Business manager for a school group called Pro Inc which became the favourite go to hip hop group in school. This spurred her passion for talent management and she has worked as a road manager at Monarc Talent Agency (an affiliate of Aristokrat Records), G- WorldWide Entertainment as business manager and currently is the General Manager at a 360 management company (Incubation Factory).

Her clientele spans across the music, film and telecommunications industries where she has effectively brokered license, distribution and endorsement deals. She has an impressive personal and professional relationships with all her clients which ensures she creates a comfortable working relationship. She leads the music and film divisions of the firm.

Foza is a vocal and passionate change agent, a non conformist and an adventurous risk taker. These traits have made her a known face as well as speaker on the most prestigious entertainment conferences stage. She strongly believes in integrity and is driven by family and legacy building. She has received numerous awards in relations to leadership and social activities.

Foza enjoys her live band music sessions, and a gathering of talented artiste anytime. She is the life of every party and has an excellent social skill.

Olumide Mustapha Esq.

Olumide Mustapha is a technology and entertainment attorney both in Nigeria and the UK. As an undergraduate he was a student of Sociology and economics at the University of Reading in the UK before embarking on his legal career by first qualifying – with Distinction – as a Solicitor from the College of Law UK, (and then practising for a period), with a particular focus on International Commercial Law,
Tax and Intellectual Property. Having been also called to the Nigerian Bar with Honours Olumide has since continued to focus on the areas of media, entertainment and technology law.

Olumide, in applying his vast legal and business knowledge in these sectors, has successfully initiated, negotiated and pushed through numerous transactions to the commercial benefit of clients. He has advised two of the “Big Three” global music labels on their planned entry into, and commercial strategy for, the Nigerian market; negotiated significant licensing agreements with a number of major Nollywood production houses and advertising agencies on behalf of a major music publishing company; consulted for one of the country’s biggest copyright collective management organisations; and worked with numerous technology start-ups in securing funding and scaling their businesses. Olumide is also the Chair of the Music Publishers Association of Nigeria.

On the back of such experience Olumide has also built over time a formidable network of contacts that allows his clients to enjoy a full suite of legal and business advisory services that include the ability to source funds, conveniently acquire/produce/licence valuable content, in addition to ensuring specialised due
diligence is carried out on all transactions and that good governance is practiced at all times; all with a keen understanding of the relevant market dynamics and client’s specific commercial objectives. Moreover, he has significant experience in litigation and has a lot of expertise in utilising the Nigerian court system to ensure client’s rights are protected and enforced at all times.

Never being one to shy away from sharing his professional thoughts, opinions, and analyses, Olumide is regularly featured in various media to provide his views and analysis on the legal and business issues surrounding the Nigerian entertainment and technology industries. Such media outlets include Channels TV, TVC, NigeriaInfo FM, Business Day, The Guardian, Techpoint Africa, and the African
Venture Capital Newsletter amongst others.

Olumide’s aim is to use his years of experience and expertise in international commercial and intellectual property law related matters, and strong network of contacts – both foreign and domestic – to contribute to the legal development of Nigerian enterprise structures and governance, and general business practice; thereby pushing the country closer towards fulfilling its socio-economic potential.

Iredumare Ojengbede Opeyemi

A graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University Nigeria (LLB) and University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (LLM) is a legal practitioner in Nigeria with over six years of experience in intellectual property, telecommunication and cyberspace Law.

He is a cyberspace, media and entertainment researcher with keen interest in Music, Film and Television, digital rights and personal data protection, intellectual property protection, creative financing, Media Advocacy and information literacy on the digital space. A cultured, informed and disciplined legal practitioner, who prides himself as a strategic solution executor, an expert in identifying root challenges and creating specific market/territory based solutions to cyberspace and digital challenges. He is always constantly seeking growth opportunities and self-improvement initiatives as a team player working in and for goal-oriented organizations.

Iredumare has spent the last two years facilitating multimillion naira deals for his clients across catalog licensing, catalog acquisition, intellectual property estate valuation as well as developing music business models for various value chain members in the African creative industry. Iredumare enjoys reading and having solution driven conversations with like minds.