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Ever heard an Investor or label executive complain about whooping huge sums spent on an Artiste without recouping a nickel, dime or kobo? Ever wondered why you have spent so much on producing great songs, promotion and excellent visuals but nothing to show for such expenses? Ever followed up an artiste you love so much because such artiste makes good music and well-funded but no progress?

Don’t let the headline mislead you into believing huge funding isn’t need to build a well structure label and of course NGN 100 Million will do great.

Many have opined that all you need is money to hit the mainstream fan base in Nigeria and that’s the only way to “blow” as we usually say it here. Let me categorically put it out there that the amount you spend in the hope of “blowing” an artiste doesn’t guarantee success. What guarantees success is how the money is spent, on what it is spent on and the expected return on the monies spent.

These criteria aren’t exhaustive but form the basis of why the record label or Team must be structured, with respective roles and goals assigned. The music industry in Nigeria isn’t really structured as we expect it to be when compared to traditional understanding of music industry globally but this doesn’t impliedly mean there is entirely no widely accepted “Modus operandi” within this over $2 Million dollars sector of the Entertainment-creative Industry.

This “Modus Operandi” must be well understood by the record labels or those the record label contract the job to because if this operational model isn’t well understood, the  funds spent will only go to waste.  From understanding the idea of “ radio friendly music “, “paper work/proper documentation” to “ Proper accounting system” , any record label or investor must understand that knowing and understanding this details makes the label strong, accountable and progressive.

Spending millions of naira on an artiste who hasn’t earned a million can be farfetched and counterproductive. So is the same when running a record label or a management imprint without proper incorporation and legal requirements fulfilled. Structuring your label to include content team, promotional team, and creative team amongst others isn’t as expensive as just spending cash for persons who are out to swindle you; popularly known as the “I am intos……”

Label executives and Investors need to always ask the right questions before embarking on money-jamboree on any Artiste. I do understand and appreciate that most record labels in Nigeria emerge out of passion but that shouldn’t limit the passionate creation to a nomadic and unprofessional home of directionless investors and creatives.

As always, we shall charge record labels, management imprints and investors to ask the right questions before disbursing cash. Questions like:

  1. What structures have we put in place?
  2. What are the Functions of these structures?
  3. Who are those responsible for these functions and what are their deliverables?
  4. How do we compensate the achievement of the deliverables?
  5. What are the risk factors?
  6. Are the risks manageable?

These questions are not comprehensive and are dependant, relatively, on the goals of record labels, management imprints, and investors in question. Questions will depend on the strength of the label in terms of financing and content focus (not that we have label with specific genre focus in Nigeria).

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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.